'Soap City' expands
Thursday, 10 July saw a huge gathering at Sasani Studios in Highlands North, Johannesburg to celebrate the official opening of the recently constructed stages housing e.tv’s Scandal and Rhythm City. In Focus was among the guests.
CEO of Sasani, Geoff Green, welcomed all those present: “I would like to welcome the management, cast and crew of both Scandal and Rhythm City to the newly completed stages, the advent of which has made this site, and here I quote Marcel Golding CEO of HCI and e.tv, “A true Soap City!”
The project was conceived around the office table of Bronwyn Keen-Young, COO of e.tv, in mid-October of last year and Sasani’s commitment to the project was given at the end of October. Construction started in November with non-negotiable deadlines for completion of 1 April for stage 6 and 1 June for stage 7.
Faced with the challenges of the December builders holiday, rain, rain and more rain, the vagaries of building material supply, building design changes and many others the team at Sasani managed to pull the rabbit out the hat – not once but twice.
Both Rhythm City and Scandal were previously housed at e.tv headquarters in Hyde Park, Johannesburg and were forced to re-locate due to e.tv’s commencement of a 24 hour news service. Sasani Studios also houses the long-running Franz Marx daily drama series Egoli and Big Brother Africa, while Sasani also provides services for Binnelanders, which is in fact shot at the Fox Street studios.
Green concluded: “There are too many thank you’s to mention, but I would like to single out Eileen Sandrock, General Manager of ZSETV; Kim Smith the chief engineer; DeeDee Barnett, the Sasani Studios property manager; and also the e.tv team of Cedric Robertson and Vaughn Williams.
“Special mention must also be made of all the other tenants on site and more specifically to the Franz Marx team and cast and crew of Egoli who, I am sure, suffered the most from a noise and disruption point of view. I know it wasn’t pleasant but you all hung in there with us and for that I am very grateful.”