Soapies halt shooting ahead of Covid-19 lockdown
‘Skeem Saam’, ‘Muvhango’ and ‘Generations: The Legacy’ wind up production but will stay on air to keep you entertained
With the national shutdown set to take effect from midnight on Thursday, local production houses shooting some of the country’s biggest TV shows have come to a halt.
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday announced a 21-day lockdown, restricting all citizens to their homes unless they are accessing or providing essential services.
Muvhango and Skeem Saam are just some of the productions that have stopped shooting this week ahead of the lockdown. The producers of both told TshisaLIVE that the safety and health of their crew and cast is their biggest priority.
Muvhango’s senior creative director Nthabiseng Tau told TshisaLIVE that the main filming of the show was halted just hours after the president’s address on Tuesday.
“We have shot a couple of scenes in the morning, to kind of safeguard where we are as a production, in terms of deliverables and to have things that are on air. We closed yesterday [Tuesday], so actors and crew are not on call as of when they wrapped yesterday.”
Tau explained that there was a sombre mood on set, with the outbreak of Covid-19 on everyone’s mind.
“We are taking the necessary precautions but when it comes to nature, we all don’t know or understand what’s going on.”
She added that the soapie would still air on TV as they had footage for two months.
GENERATIONS: THE LEGACY
Generations: The Legacy spokesperson Nandipha Pantsi said the production of the popular soapie would be closed from Friday.
“We are taking the current crisis seriously and are doing everything in our power to mitigate against it. However, we do have enough material to remain on air.”
In the meantime, the show’s producers have put safety measures in place to ensure that their staff doesn’t get exposed to the virus and have informed them to follow precautionary and preventive measures while on set.
Skeem Saam confirmed that all production staff would take part in the 21-day shutdown, but assured fans that the show would still air during the lockdown.
“Following the statement by President Ramaphosa on March 23 regarding the escalation of measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, we will be partaking in the 21-day shutdown,” said publicist Sumaya Mogola.
“The safety and health of our crew and cast is the biggest priority. For our fans though, the entertainment and drama will continue as per usual, the signature Skeem Saam way, so they don’t need to worry about their daily doses.”
She could not comment on the potential long-term effects the lockdown may have on the production.
Reggy Moalusi, MultiChoice SA executive head for corporate affairs, told TshisaLIVE that it was in contact with production houses on the impact of the lockdown and would provide further comment in due time.
“We are in touch with all our production houses to consult with them on the impact of the lockdown on their individual productions. We will provide an update in due course,” he said.