9 November 2020
ANTON Smith, the man who makes film permitting seem like a walk in the park, is no stranger to members of the Cape Town film collective.
But not many people know that Smith is somewhat of an all-rounder.
As the senior project coordinator in the City of Cape Town’s Film Permit Office, Smith leads a team of nine permit officers.
They are responsible for processing film and stills photography permit applications among other duties.
“Our office serves as a one-stop-shop and an intermediary between the film industry and our (City of Cape Town) service departments in order to get the necessary filming approvals,” Smith tells Film Cape Town of the daily operations of the permit office.
“Our film permit officers also visit sets to check on compliance during and after film shoots. Post filming, the permit officer would then collate all applications and issue quotations and eventually an invoice for filming would be issued.”
Before Anton was appointed to head up the permitting team, he was the Manager of the Good Hope Centre – a venue which has played host to numerous film productions and some iconic events.
He had joined the municipality after an 18-year career in the South African Navy where he was responsible for Radio and Satellite communications.
Over the last eight years, Smith has worked on some major productions including Raised By Wolves, Blood Shot, The Watch and Maze Runner which he has described as the “most challenging due to the large closures of streets in the Cape Town CBD and the explosions that took place”.
Following the global outbreak of COVID-19 earlier this year, all filming was halted for over a month but the film permit office worked behind the scenes to ensure it was ready to spring into action once filming resumed.
The team is now fully prepared for a busy summer peak season and Smith is confident the industry can bounce back from the effects of the pandemic – and that the film office will be ready welcome back filmmakers to the city.
“Cape Town has a can do service attitude with an a enthusiastic film office and vast amount of service providers all geared to service the needs of the film industry. From hotels to vehicle hire, casting agencies, studios and equipment hire companies we are all rearing to go. We have been able to recover from a previous crisis and I believe we can overcome this one as well.”
When he’s not processing permitting applications or on set monitoring film shoots, Smith, a family man, enjoys watching the English Premier League or Formula 1 racing.
Smith also plays competitive men’s softball on Wednesday and Friday evenings.