Friday, April 20, 2018

M-Net and HBO collaborate on a producer apprenticeship programme for the benefit of South Africa's TV and film industry.

M-Net and HBO have started a joint producer apprenticeship programme for the benefit of South Africa's TV and film industry giving 6 South African producers access to the set of the new HBO/Cinemax drama series Warrior currently filmed on location in the Western Cape.

Warrior is based on Bruce Lee's account of the Chinese Tong Wars in 19th century San Francisco.

In this producer apprenticeship programme, each producer gets to spend 30 days on set, observing the scripting, filming, directing and editing processes on the HBO production.

It means that a producer gets exposure to 1 200 hours of development engagement with the project in an interactive and immersive manner.

"HBO is among the world’s leading entertainment brands because of its ability to set trends, break new ground and originate unforgettable worlds, characters and stories. As a result, HBO productions carry a unique DNA and to partner with them in this valuable corporate social investment (CSI) project is immensely gratifying," says Nkateko Mabaso, M-Net acting CEO about the producer apprenticeship programme.

"Our investment into developing local producers mirrors our ongoing commitment to transform Mzansi’s creative arts sector and empower new leaders. M-Net's passionately committed to be the best African storyteller in the world so strategic interventions such as this are vital to our continued success".

Jay Roewe, senior vice president for global production & incentives at HBO, says that the producer apprenticeship programme is the result of its direct experience of the talent and capacity of local TV professionals.

"We evaluate multiple factors when considering where to shoot to find the best possible combination of elements including financial, regulatory and technological infrastructures. South Africa offers these and has a significant community of accomplished TV personnel, both in front of and behind the lens."

"It's already a viable choice for international companies looking to base their productions abroad, and for us to contribute in part to the evolution of its producer network, alongside our long-time commercial partner M-Net, is a positive outcome for HBO."

One of the producers benefiting from the initiative is Benjamin Overmeyer from Gambit Films based in the Western Cape, who has recently completed his time on set.

Benjamin Overmeyer says "I've spent 17 years making TV, working on shows such as Suidooster and the forthcoming feature film Nommer 37. To be able to walk onto an HBO set as a colleague, and be received as such, to exchange ideas and see the exacting detail of their processes, to absorb and then relay the learnings to my own team, that's a rare and prized gift."