Everyone who visits Cape Town should go up Table Mountain. Its presence dominates the city wherever you are, but soaring up its granite slopes in the cable car brings a new, freer perspective with panoramic views over city and ocean.
These views bring many film and stills productions looking for locations to shoot on top of the mountain. Dramatic shots of a model poised on a boulder with a mountain precipice dropping away steeply and endless vistas of sky, sea and distant blue mountains, make for memorable campaigns. The setting is a gift to adventure or action movies too, both rugged and beautiful and a natural wilderness in the middle of the city.
An experienced local production company will be able to arrange everything for you, but if you are thinking about using Table Mountain for your next production, there are a few things to bear in mind about filming in this awesome spot.
The mountain top is 1000ft above sea level and is infamous for its 'table-cloth' of cloud. Hot summer days in the city below can be transformed when the wind blows from a certain direction bringing a thick layer of cloud that hovers about the mountain, enveloping it in chill, damp fog and reducing visibility to nothing. There are many days when the mountain top is clear and sunny, but it is unpredictable. You will need to build a certain flexibility in to your schedule so that you can take advantage of the best clear days for shooting there.
Access to the mountain top is either by cable car or on foot. Everything that goes to the top of the mountain must be transported in the cable car. This means that there are weight constraints. Your local film production service will be able to advise in more detail on weight limits.
Table Mountain is a part of national park and is carefully protected. There are many extremely rare plants that only grow on the summit. Filming activity must take this into account and respect the environment. Details of exactly what you plan to do and which part of the mountain you plan to use must be submitted when you apply for the filming permit.
Thousands of visitors go up Table Mountain every day in the summer without any problems, but it is a mountain environment so it makes sense to take precautions. Always take warm clothing, as well as sun protection and a hat with you, even on a hot day, as all it takes is for the cloud to roll in for the temperature to drop dramatically. Keep to the many paths and boardwalks -the edge of the mountain is not fenced and there are steep drops! Listen out for the siren that sounds at the top of the mountain whenever weather changes make it advisable to leave the top of the mountain. In high winds or extreme cloud the cableway has to close, and visitors are warned of imminent closing by the siren.
Table Mountain is a unique place and makes an awesome location, so find out more about shooting there from your Cape Town film production service.