The making of a film – Eastern Cape

Posted by Anita Froneman on 22 December 2021

Mazda Change Your View

Weather? Pfft, bring it on. The second of three films in the Mazda Change Your View series is out (watch it, below) and, just like the first, we had a seriously good time making it. Here’s the lowdown.

There was a moment  – every film shoot has one – when the team just had to shake their collective head and wonder why them, why there? For filmmaker Craig Rhodes-Harrison it was day two of the Eastern Cape adventure. Predictably it had to do with weather, epic storms that seemed to lurk just over the horizon until the team climbed out of the car to set up a scene. Then boom, Poseidon.

But genius will always out – Craig turned a negative into a positive and, as you’ll see in the film, some of the most arresting footage is in the squalls. ‘You just don’t want to know what we looked like after that morning. Great for the drought-stricken Eastern Cape, not so much for us.’

Another positive: the weather turned out to be ideal for testing the Mazda BT-50’s mettle in every conceivable environment, from fast (wet) tar to slow (wet) mud. The 4×4 system was often called on in and around the mountain kingdom of Hogsback, the forests and logging roads superb for filming but not for the faint of heart.

For Buntu Fihla, artist and social commentator, trip and car both were revelations.

‘There’s something very comforting in knowing whatever lies ahead round the next hidden bend, it’s cool because the car under you is so sorted, so capable. I really understand the concept of car confidence’ now, that feeling of safety when help is far away and you have to rely completely on the ability of your vehicle.’

Buntu’s home turf is the Eastern Cape and the plan was not only to head to his childhood stomping ground of Phakamisa and create an artwork in the area, but also to stretch his adventurous spirit.

Job done – turns out the artist was keen to channel his inner Dakar driver, which proved to be a proper challenge. All fun though as he and the team discovered the mostly forgotten, utterly astonishing memorial to Khoi chief Ndoda, an epic pod of bottlenose dolphins and expertly manoeuvred out of the mud at a swollen river mouth (teamwork and multiple conversations with the ancestors helped).

Wildlife also played a big, mostly comic, supporting role in the film. A herd of photobombing cows refused to be bit players at one shoot location, meaning the scene had to be shot over and over again. And in Bisho, one particularly committed bull took on the role of car guard. Very effectively, as it turned out.

But mostly the film was about community pitching in to make things happen – to get the artwork made, to wash filthy cars at 10pm on a Saturday night (no easy task), to offer moral support and to suggest secret routes to test the Mazda BT-50.

And tested it was. Two thumbs up was the collective pronouncement, a master of its many and challenging environments. Sophisticated on the fast stuff, bulletproof in the trenches, handsome in the hood and covetable. Great machine.

Next up is KZN, chasing raptors in the Drakensberg with environmental artist Giffy. Don’t miss that one in February, it’s going to be wild.

Watch the film:


Win with Mazda, Getaway and Legacy Hotels and Resorts

Follow the Mazda Change Your View series and stand a chance to win one of two Legacy Hotel and Resorts weekend getaways for four.

Indicate one of the destinations of the three Mazda Change Your View trips and stand a chance to win one of two Legacy Hotel and Resorts weekends away for four.

How to enter, below

List one of the three destinations in the Mazda Change Your View series.

Provide your name, address and contact details.

Indicate which of the three prizes you would prefer.

The Prizes

A weekend at Bakubung Bush Lodge in the Pilanesberg.

A weekend at the Portswood Hotel in the Waterfront, Cape Town.

WIN: One of two Legacy Hotel and Resorts weekends away for four

  • The prizes include accommodation on the basis stated, and the stated extras for four people.
  • The use of a Mazda for the weekend.
  • It does not include airfares or other travel expenses.

The competition closes on 22 December 2021



Mazda Change Your View Trip 2: Wild in the Eastern Cape





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