Shona & Connie Ferguson: Production is now difficult and expensive.

Shona & Connie Ferguson: Production is now difficult and expensive.

Power couple Shona and Connie Ferguson tell us there’s no behind-the-scenes drama at their production house, it’s just showbiz.

Dineo Langa one among the first cast members, Dineo played Connie’s onscreen daughter, Kea Khoza, but was abandoned after she allegedly asked for a three-month break to film a movie.

She sizzled on-screen as Martha, a waitress who was everyone’s confidante and adviser. She was sacked after reportedly requesting a raise.

them. “We’re also human,” Connie says. “We get suffering from untrue and unfounded sentiments.”

To the surface world, they’re the right couple – capable, clever, and hugely successful. But if their former employees are to be believed, Connie and Shona are a pair of bullies who exploit their acting talent. Over the past decade, they’ve produced several hit shows, including The Wild, Rockville, and therefore the Herd, through their brainchild, Ferguson Films. But nothing compares to their flagship show, The Queen.

Yet the wildly popular series has been beset by an exodus of cast members, who often leave under a cloud of controversy.

Some, like Marah Louw, claims to possess been blacklisted by the facility couple. The veteran actress hasn’t set foot on a group since speaking out against them two years ago.

Marah said she was “treated like trash” by the producers once they abruptly terminated her contract.

Vatiswa Ndara also mentioned “possible backlisting from the powers that be within the sector” when she penned a scathing letter to sports, arts, and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa last year to debate the unfair treatment by production houses, particularly Ferguson Films.

But there’s a reason for cast changes, Connie says.

“It’s less about actor changes and more about breathing new life into the story and our different worlds,” she explains.

“We start by creating the character first, then follow the method of casting the foremost suitable actor to breathe life into the role.

“We have characters that drive the most arc which we ask as principal cast, with an opportunity of staying with the show for extended , and people who are available to service a

Their production company has come under attack for reportedly underpaying staff, but Connie and Shona Ferguson say that couldn’t be beyond the reality . Ferguson Films even paid staff fully while production halted thanks to COVID-19.short arc.”

Connie admits fans don’t always welcome fresh faces.

“What we do isn’t easy as there are numerous expectations from everybody,” she says. “It’s just impossible to please everyone.”

FAN favourites Rami Chuene and Dineo Langa are among the newest crop of actors to be chopped from The Queen. Although Rami was advised by her legal team to not discuss her reasons for leaving, rumour is rife her relationship with the Fergusons became tense after she publicly sided with Vatiswa.

Dineo, insiders say, was axed because she reportedly wanted an opportunity to shoot a movie.

Connie doesn’t want to debate the small print of their departure.

She tells us via email that Ferguson Films is all about unearthing fresh talent. within the highly anticipated fifth season of The Queen, the Fergusons will introduce audiences to a replacement family.

“We getting to be|are”> are going to be introducing a father and two daughters who are going to be a thorn in someone’s flesh,” she reveals.

Like most business owners, the Fergusons thought the extension of the national lockdown would ruin them, but

Connie says they paid the salaries of their staff for April and should .

“Our cast and crew didn’t suffer any loss . the corporate itself took a financial hit and experienced a couple of losses.

“We couldn’t film during this era , but we were ready to continue creating stories and writing scripts. Meetings were on video calls and conference calls. Fortunately, The Queen had shot two months ahead, so we were ready to stay on-air.”

She’s thrilled to be back at work, albeit the conditions still need some getting wont to .

“We have just resumed production under strict regulations, with minimal crew and cast. we all know things have changed and that we have a replacement norm. The health and safety officers are there fulltime to oversee this process,” she says.

The Fergusons could also be working with a slimmed-down cast, but they’re grateful they’re ready to empower others.

“In an industry where creatives are scrambling for work, we are humbled and honoured to be during a position where we are ready to employ on the brink of [one] hundred crew, cast and production staff,” Connie says.

“The incontrovertible fact that we would like Ferguson Films to outlive us is that the motivation to offer it our all.”

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