Cape of Hope

March 4, 2008

Tomorrow we unleash 40,000 tons of water on our house and deck. The set is a replica of the deck we built over the ocean (see previous photo) but this one was built in a parking lot near the hotel. What makes this so exciting is that no one really knows what will happen. Testing this kind of event is impossible. If the set collapses on the first pass then that is all she wrote. Therefore the “water dump” must be filmed the very first time it happens. If we are able to go again we will. If not, I am sure we will have seen something dramatic. As will our cameras.

So far the shoot has gone well despite various weather events: unremitting fog, gale force winds, relentless sun -sometimes all in the same day. But that, as the local crew tells us, is South Africa.

Speaking of Cape Town, I should point out that all around us people are shooting print and TV advertisements. This place really is the new Hollywood. It even looks like LA, especially in the more elegant sections. Winding roads take one past pricey villas dotted with palm trees and tropical flowers. Throw in a little Palm Springs (arid, sandy, hilly) and finish off the look with bits of genuine Africa. We saw a baboon noshing on something-or-other just up the road from our first location.

On a less pleasant note one can’t help but be moved by the shanties flanking this city. Wooden and aluminum hovels, they go on for miles. With limited electricity and almost no running water, the conditions are undoubtedly brutal. The irony of building and destroying a gorgeous beach house is not lost on me.

The gods of advertising are not always in sync with the God of us all.

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