Mazda Change Your View – The making of a film

Posted by David Henning on 18 October 2021

The first of three films in the Mazda Change Your View series is out (watch it, below). So what did it take to make? Turns out lots of stamina, good humour and a dose of curiosity. Here’s the lowdown.

Written by Peter Frost

One very cool street artist, one super-special filmmaker, a long-suffering journalist and an up-for-anything car. That was the core of the team making the Kamiesberg Mazda CX-3 film. The idea was to put both car and artist in a completely new environment, somewhere that would challenge both, somewhere a million miles from ordinary. So it was. The team spent a day in Cape Town filming artist Quasiem Gamiet’s backyard (Salt River) and then headed out up the N7 to discover the hidden aspects of the Northern Cape. Ultimately Quasiem would create an artwork, but as the saying goes, it’s all about the journey.

From the get-go the plan was to stay open to filming opportunities, even though a detailed storyboard existed. That’s how the team happened upon Bagdad Cafe in the middle of nowhere, named after the classic 1980s film, set at a remote truck stop in the Mojave Desert. With similar scenery and a killer kerriemaalvleis roosterkoek to boot, it was a real surprise. Good start. Curiosity also led them up Versveld Pass outside Piketberg, away from the N7 and rarely featured in West Coast travel blogs. Big mistake. The CX-3’s cracking 2.0-litre, delivering 115kW and 206Nm torque, made short work of the steep incline and handled Versveld’s S-bends with ease – the car’s GVC (G-Vectoring Control) technology instilled impressive confidence in the turns. The system works by briefly reducing the engine’s torque when entering a turn, which shifts the car’s weight to its front wheels, giving the tyres more grip and responsiveness. Serious fun.

All the while filmmaker Craig Rhodes-Harrison was trying to keep up. Now and then he had to cool the enthusiasm, call them back, just to get the shot. Up would go the drone, ‘one more pass please Quasiem’, finally in the bag. Check out the Versveld Pass drone work – it’s astonishing. So too are the N7 sequences along the Clanwilliam section. This stretch of national road is recently finished, one of the Western Cape’s flagship projects, a marvel of engineering as it doubles back once, twice, many times over the famous Clanwilliam aqueduct system, feeding water to the country’s sweet-smelling citrus basket. Again Quasiem had to be reined in; beautifully cambered roads and the CX-3’s long legs equalled temptations too great.

And so to the dorp of Garies, a wide spot in the road not far from Springbok, known for not much more than the dirt road turn-off to Leliefontein. Here the CX-3 put away it’s fast tar manners and hauled out the SUV aspects of its character. On the long stretches through the ancient granite landscape it came into its own, clearance and suspension ensuring a stress-free experience. Mostly; signal is not great out there so the ‘come back and do the drive by one more time’ proved tricky. None so deaf…

And finally to Nourivier, the final destination, a tiny community in deepest Namaqualand, where Quasiem had been invited to create a work on the inside wall of one of two disused farm dams. As the strange fellow from the city went to work setting up, the local children gathered. Street art, he explained, isn’t quite as simple as it seems. It usually starts out as rough sketch on paper. Letter structure, background and colours are explored on his iPad and then, once he’s happy with the final sketch, he moves onto the messy part. The painting itself also starts out with a rough sketch, usually with white spray paint. The next step is filling the base colours, followed by the outlines and finally the highlights, which makes the work really pop. Quasiem uses a specific brand of acrylic-based paint called Montana which have interchangeable nozzles for a variety of line widths.

As the work took shape, the crowd grew larger. The final result, when it came, was a celebration of being out in nature, away from the confines of the city.

Exhausted, the team made for the Kamieskroon Hotel, most of the film in the bag. The well-loved inn, famous as a flower season stop-over, had a tough time of it during Covid, but the staff rallied, serving up a much-appreciated slap-up dinner. The hotel is open again now, as is most of the tiny town of Kamieskroon, eager to get back to the business of tourism. Drop-in sometime, they’re good people.

Days later, back in Cape Town, Craig’s unenviable job was to cull hours of footage, make a cohesive film that spoke to the touring, the CX-3 and the elemental nature of the Kamiesberg region. We reckon he did a pretty fantastic job, even if a shedload of footage was left on the proverbial cutting room floor. Decide for yourself here. (Link)

The Mazda CX-3 shone as an all-weather kind of stalwart – fast and sharp on the blacktop, sure and confidence-inspiring on the loose stuff. Miles from anywhere is when quality and dependability are vital, and the big little guy never put a foot wrong.

As for Quasiem’s work – it’s out there. Turn off at Kamieskroon, head for Nourivier and ask a local. And just as a reminder, here’s how his process unfolded: watch the time-lapse here.

Win with Mazda, Getaway and Legacy Hotels and Resorts

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

Indicate one of the destinations of the three Mazda Change Your View trips (check the link here) and stand a chance to win one of three 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 Castleton Resort in the Southern Drakensberg.

A weekend at Bakubung Bush Lodge in the Pilanesberg.

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

Discover more about the Legacy Hotels and Resorts prizes here.

  • 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 February 28th 2022, click here to enter.


yoast-primary - 1004431
tcat - Brand Feature
tcat_slug - brand-feature
tcat2 - Travel news
tcat2_slug - travel-news
tcat_final -