Last night the new 13-series reality TV show ‘Clifton Shores‘ premiered on Vuzu to mixed reaction, locals slamming the production on Twitter, yet the beautiful shots of Clifton were praised from a tourism perspective.
‘Clifton Shores’ documents the ability of a bevy of beautiful American lasses to adapt to ‘survive’ in Cape Town, said executive producer Quinton van der Burgh, reports the Cape Argus. He explained that they cast the girls in America, on the basis of not only their beauty but also their brains. Katy, Kathy, Destiny, and Jamillette were selected and came to Cape Town last year for the filming, being joined by local lasses Raquel, Rikki, and Claire, as well as local lads Quinton, Brett, Toby, and Steven. The unique idea for the series came when Van den Burgh, billed as a ‘coal mining magnate’, was driving between Johannesburg and the coal mines, looking to get away from the ‘black’ in his life, he explained!
They were accommodated in a Clifton mansion, and had to work for Van den Burgh, playing the role of a billionaire businessman. They had to use their social skills to raise funds for a charity, and to host parties. No script was used. ‘We just started rolling and the drama comes as we go along. It is as real as we get’. For example, one of the girls is fired. He said about filming locally in Cape Town: “It is a brilliant idea because everything happens in Cape Town, one of the most beautiful destinations in the country. So we see them work and play in a city that allows both all year round” .
Van den Burgh explained that he has made the series to be successful amongst American viewers first and foremost, to make it financially viable, having had to make this choice early on in his production. Two American networks have expressed interest in the show. He proudly praised the marketing role of the series: “Also, there is a need to show Cape Town as a tourist destination and, judging by the way the ladies have fun, we are doing a good job in marketing the place” . The stars of the series were filmed around Cape Town, at the beaches, and even attending the J&B Met earlier this year. The video for the series shows some clips, including lots of footage of the Twelve Apostles and Camps Bay in the background to Clifton Beach, abseiling down Table Mountain, paragliding down Lion’s Head, flying over the Cape Town Stadium and V&A Waterfront, and also moves to the Palace of the Lost City, where they do game viewing, and ride elephants.
The Cape Town tourism industry should be grateful for Van den Burgh’s decision to shoot the series in Cape Town, and choosing Clifton (one of the top ten beaches in the world, he motivated). One hopes that it will be sold to American networks with good audiences, to encourage them to visit Cape Town and its ‘Clifton Shores‘! The reality TV series (see trailer) comes one month after the Bollywood movie ‘Cocktail’ was released internationally, having been predominantly shot in Cape Town too.
POSTSCRIPT 4/9: Last night we watched the series for the first time, being the third episode. It showed the Bay Hotel in Camps Bay, at which a meeting was held, paragliding down Lion’s Head, beautiful Table Mountain, a township, and a show at the now ex-Vaudeville. A surprise was that the episode was only 30 minutes long.
‘Clifton Shores’, Vuzu (DStv channel 123), Tuesdays at 21h00. www.cliftonshores.com
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage