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MR Films Team

Back to the Reel World

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We’re back in business…t’s and c’s applied.

Face masks, social distancing and hand sanitiser. This is what our brave new world looks like at the moment as we adapt to the Corona Era one day at a time. The global pandemic has had a massive impact on our beloved industry, with new pending regulations and a collective uncertainty over the future of production services in South Africa…until now.

The MR Films team have been making the most out of popular mini-series, Life in Lockdown by staying at home, looking back and learning from the previous season. The docu-drama was recently renewed for a third season with a massive plot twist that saw the film industry resume some form of normality. It was a season cliffhanger that nobody saw coming and while the producers are keeping things vague about the new rules and regulations for film sets in South Africa, the suspense has us gripping on the edge of our seats.

While a “work from home” policy is still in place for pre-production and prep work, self tape / virtual casting and post production, offices will be open, adhering to strict social distancing protocols. For more information about the CPA Guidelines for Film Production in South Africa, download the PDF on our COVID-19 resource section.

Back at Base Camp:

MR Films have been growing from strength to strength over the past two seasons, reaching new heights and overcoming challenges while exceeding and managing client expectations. From bringing animatics to life – a technical challenge mixing motion control, real life actors and normal film elements – to working with legendary director, Marc Foster, on a 6 day TVC for Eli Lilly. The MR Films team have proven their resilience and passion for production services, through sharp shooting techniques and creating motion that moves.

“Our first shoot for the year was a touching look at breast cancer survivors with a concept inspired by Radiohead’s “Daydreaming” music video. Crafted by Dylan Pharazyn and produced by our good friend Hannah Cooper, the stars were perfectly aligned on this one for an incredibly smooth production.” says Kabelo Seane, Head of Production at MR Films.

Our band of self-proclaimed reservoir dogs genuinely love what they do, and are so excited to get things rolling again, with an altogether optimistic view of the not so distant future. The adoption of increased health and safety protocol as well as technical innovations provides a loophole for the industry to develop out of the box solutions for international clients. Such innovations include smaller production teams, stringent hygiene and health measures on set as well as virtual and online production solutions that are both cost effective and production friendly – not to mention a sexy red and black MR Films facebook in your gift pack.

“Live streaming to our clients is going to be an interesting way of navigating commercial production service. It’s been a tried and tested method by a few of our local service production companies, with little compromise to the end result. While we’ll definitely miss the social element of interacting with our clients and the #setlife, online solutions seem to be a great way to move forward through these unprecedented times.”

The MR Films team are also bringing sustainability into the story arch by partnering up with Wrap Zero to make their productions much greener. Wrap Zero is a proudly South African company pioneered by wonder women, Liesl Hattingh and Grace Stead with a mission to create a service culture that implements a green, sustainable and eco-friendly approach to shooting. Regrettably, one of our UK shoots that was set to be 99% green had to be cancelled due to lockdown. (script note: make Corona the villain throughout the series).

“Having a leaner, greener agenda is still very much on the cards and we look forward to implementing eco-friendly strategies to all of our productions.”

Community:

If there is one thing South Africa knows how to do best in a crisis, is pull together, especially within our communities. The recent bank holiday known as Freedom Day, as ironic as it was at the time, was a much needed reminder about South Africa’s resilience, not only as a nation but as a community.

Our local crew have probably taken the hardest hit during the lockdown without much work going around to get by. While it may take some time to get back to work as we know it, The Commercials Producers Association have been campaigning for funding to provide relief for our local freelance communities. If you have the means and are looking to donate, please consider the CPA COVID-19 Fund. You can find more information on www.cpasa.tv

Another initiative close to our hearts is Ikhaya Le Langa, a youth development program which was introduced to us by one of our producers, Mel Charrington. Mel has been helping the non-profit organisation by facilitating a series of Lockdown Lunches, providing over 120 meals per day to the youths within the Langa community. For more information, to volunteer or donate, please visit the IKhaya Le Langa Facebook page.

So that’s a wrap for now! Please visit our sexy new website for all the latest updates on COVID-19 Film Regulations in South Africa. We’ve got some amazing new TVC’s on our showcase – www.mrfilmsa.com

For any production queries, please contact us:

Earl Redcliffe / Executive Producer and Partner – earl@mrfilmsa.com
Ian van Riel / Financial Director and Partner – ian@mrfilmsa.com
Kabelo Seane / Head of Production – kabelo@mrfilmsa.com
Eve Beukes / Head of Research – eve@mrfilmsa.com

Until then, stay safe, stay sane and have a lekker day #useitinasentence