After a long and thorough search of three months, it was decided that the Buffeljagsdam near Swellendam was the ideal place to The Bridgea new South African version of the international reality show, The Bridgeto film.
The Bridge see how aliens join forces in a remote location to build a bridge several hundred meters long to an island. A cash prize of R1 million is hidden here, but only one participant will walk away with the prize and must decide to either share it or take it all for themselves.
The local version, The Bridge, consisting of eleven episodes, was produced by Red Pepper Pictures, which also for programs such as Who becomes a millionaire is responsible.
The first episode will be broadcast on Thursday 26 October at 20:00 on kykNET (DStv channel 144).
“It was a huge team effort to find the right place,” says Freddy Louw, creative director and producer of Red Pepper Pictures, about the search for the destination.
“The executive producer, Cecil Barry, jumped in his car and visited every possible dam and reservoir in Limpopo and Mpumalanga while the rest of the team used Google Earth to comb the land. In the end, with the help of Google Earth and residents of Swellendam, we discovered the Buffeljagsdam. After visiting it three times, we decided it was the perfect place to The Bridge to film.”
The Buffeljags Dam is fed by two rivers: the Buffeljags River and the Tradouw River. It lies just east of Suurbraak, a small settlement in the Overberg, 19 km east of Swellendam and at the foot of the Langeberge.
According to the format of the program, there were specific conditions for the location where The Bridge must be filmed.
“It must have a pond or lake surrounded by untamed wilderness so that it feels like another world to the viewer,” explains Louw.
“The ideal location is an environment where there is no modern technology yet and where there are no urban structures to be seen, but where there is full logistical and emergency access to the film crew and the participants.”
The Buffeljagsdam was therefore the perfect choice because it fulfills all these requirements.
According to Louw, the Langeberge’s “dramatic background” and even the position of the sun and the moon were also a decisive factor.
“The position of the Houthuis, where the participants live and work, was chosen because we could get such breathtaking sunrise and sunset shots. The location of Umshanti, a lodge that was only two minutes away by boat from the participants, and the climate of the region – with both good and stormy weather – also contributed to the final decision.”
RNews reported earlier that this is the eleventh installment of this series and according to Waldimar Pelser, M-Net’s director of kykNET channels, it is the kykNET reality program for which the most entries have ever been received.
It is an original Banijay concept and has already aired in countries like Australia, Brazil and the UK.
“The Bridge is not just a program, it is a global experience that captures the interest of viewers around the world. We are delighted to be producing the local version of this hit series, bringing together the best South African talent and showcasing our beautiful landscapes,” Pelser previously said about this programme.