Lights, Camera, Nairobi: A Filmmaking Adventure in Kenya’s Capital
Our Australian clients selected Kenya as the location to shoot their unique film – mainly due to the incredible film production infrastructure this country offers and of course due to the substantial financial saving it afforded them in comparison to approaching the same project Down Under. Filming a movie is a thrilling experience that takes you to different corners of the world, immersing you in diverse cultures and landscapes.
From bustling streets to vibrant nightlife, from delicious local cuisine to breath taking natural wonders, Nairobi offers a rich tapestry of encounters for filmmakers and their crew. But most importantly, our clients were looking for reliable film services and support. Let’s delve into the captivating journey of a film crew filming a movie on location in Nairobi, Kenya and see if they found what they were looking for.
Hoodlum Film Fixers in Kenya providing full film services
In the months leading up to the international film crew’s arrival in Kenya, we had cultivated a strong relationship by means of frequent and open communications – making sure all Heads of Department were given more than enough opportunities to engage and develop a strong understanding of the exact needs and vision of the directors and producers. Our team in Nairobi is experienced and super quick on the uptake. A detailed locations deck was presented and promptly adjusted after client’s comments, necessary negotiations were undertaken to meet the budget and secure locations and the success of this endeavour bore witness to the great relationship between our Kenyan team and their broad film network in Nairobi.
Wardrobe decks were also presented and signed off systematically as it was a challenging endeavour to secure the perfect look for 30 plus cast members to round off their characterisation. Our wardrobe department outdid themselves, always going the extra mile to match the brief, putting suggestions on the table, and showing up on set with multiple options to find quick solutions. When the Australian production company set out to shoot this film on location in Nairobi, the process of finding suitable cast members became a critical step. Here the expertise of our seasoned Casting Manager was an invaluable asset – arranging for audition tapes to be sent to our client which led us to hosting online live auditions and call backs in order to find the perfect actors. The talent we stumbled upon in Nairobi was jaw-dropping and surprisingly also very diverse. We ended up booking two or three of the biggest names in the Kenyan film scene and I was blown away by their eloquence and humility, qualities that have now become synonymous with Kenyans for me.
After having us arrange all the travel documentation needed on their behalf, the Australian film crew arrived in Nairobi with excitement and a passion for storytelling. The Visa process involved an easy online eVisa application that was seamless with the assistance of our Kenyan Line Producer who then guided them through every step. Processing time was around 3 days. Airport pick-ups were quick and comfortable, an air-conditioned 10-seater production vehicle was at the ready and as a bonus, the driver was a pro at navigating the Nairobi traffic as well as eager to share his vast knowledge and historic insights of the country and the areas we were driving through.
Friendly staff was waiting at the lovely Fair Acres Boutique Hotel. This was one of plethora of beautiful and modern hotels to choose from in Nairobi, but it was our selection due to its proximity to the film set and we could not have been happier. Once again, the generous spirit of the Kenyan people met us around every corner and I can commend the hotel staff for assisting us with unexpected extra needs including office space and facilities, always with a smile on their faces. Hotel staff was also happy to provide information on visiting the best markets and restaurants. The lush garden provided a wonderful escape spot for unwinding after the busy film production days and the squeaky-clean rooms were a haven for a good night’s rest.
Settling into the rhythm of the city, our visitors quickly discovered the warmth and hospitality of the local people. They would proceed to work together with a talented team of Kenyan film professionals and form a collaborative bond that would shape their unique movie-making journey.
The process of this specific film shoot required some unorthodox conditions that involved 3D technology and the specialised post-production that goes hand in hand with that. This format led us to have to design a less than conventional set environment, complicated scheduling and a shooting style that demanded a lot from our actors and crew on the long night shoots. Nothing was too much for our fully local film crew and unit who rose to the occasion – delivering high quality film equipment, HOD’s and supporting crew. Having a well-oiled film crew makes all the difference when dealing with the challenges that arise while filming and finding solutions as they do. For every scenario that popped up we had our team ready to jump in and deliver. The small things also counted: from our local caterer always ready with delicious, wholesome food and even hot chocolate in the small hours of the morning, to our medic making sure everyone stayed healthy and hydrated to the drivers being on standby to offer quick trips back to the hotel when needed. Our Australian clients felt looked after, safe, comfortable and above and beyond they were ecstatically happy with the quality of the footage that was produced. A specialised 3D post-production house was on set and proved more that competent in delivering perfect and immediate results remotely.
Taking a break from the hectic filming schedule, the Australian crew embarked on a thrilling safari adventure in Amboseli National Park. Located a few hours from Nairobi, this iconic park is renowned for its breathtaking views of Mount Kilimanjaro, diverse wildlife, and vast savannahs. On their daytrip, they witnessed majestic elephants roaming freely, observed graceful lions in their natural habitat, and captured the essence of Africa’s untamed beauty. This unforgettable experience served as a source of extra inspiration for the hard work on the film set and left an indelible mark on the international crew. A small group opted to rather visit the nearby Nairobi National Park, right in the heart of city! They could experience the thrill of a 5am game drive, were lucky enough to brush up against some giraffes and lions, out and about on their breakfast run, and still be back at the hotel for a much-needed nap before the next day’s shoot.
Shooting a movie in Nairobi provided the Australian film crew with an extraordinary experience, brimming with cultural immersion and natural wonders. From the bustling streets and night shoots to delectable cuisine and comfortable accommodations, Nairobi offered the perfect setting for their cinematic vision. The exploration of Nairobi’s awe-inspiring safari in Amboseli National Park added depth, authenticity, and unforgettable memories to their filmmaking journey. Undoubtedly, Kenya has the potential to captivate the hearts and minds of filmmakers from around the world, offering a vibrant tapestry of stories waiting to be told on screens everywhere.
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