To get a taste of the shoot check out Sarie’s beautiful behind the scenes video!
It was your typical start to a Thursday morning. 3am wake up call, I roll myself, bleary-eyed and dazed, out of bed and meet up with Donna at the Flat Art Studios building. We load up the gear and head off to Herman’s flat in Seapoint where we join the rest of the expedition team: Melissa, Will, Robin, Nguni and Truffle (the last two being aptly named Beagles rather than the unfortunate result of cruel humoured parents).
Despite our state of semi-consciousness there is a thrill of excitement in the air, a familiar feeling when shooting with Herman. It is half pleasure in the inevitability of the stunning shoot that awaits us and half sheer terror in knowing that, with Herman, anything flies and the unexpected is always to be expected.
After a stop at BP to fuel up the vehicles with petrol and ourselves with coffee, Melissa and I set off at a roaring pace down the gradually lightening road while the Beetle trudges along at a less thrilling pace behind us. It was the slowest Herman had ever driven and the safest Donna had ever felt in car with him. I was amazed when a truck overtook us on an uphill, something that I’ve never experienced before but the amazement faded after it happened for the third, fourth, fifth time… but hey, who was counting!
Having had a couple of pit stops to prevent the Beetle from over-heating we eventually make it into Bradasdorp. The shoot was to take place on a Canola farm named Grootzandrift but despite its promising name we drove up and down, struggling to find it. Really how “groot” could Grootzandrift be? Finally we arrive and meet up with the owner, Oom Pierre, who guides us to the perfect spot.
Quilted squares of yellow and green as far as the eye could see, sunlight dancing off the puddles in the worn country road, the location was magical and Herman could not be happier. After the scene was set Nina and I got on with the glamorous role of modeling. Our delicious padkos spread out in front of the car, Nina pretended to take pictures with an old-fashioned camera while I navigated a map of the Mediterranean – it was a typical all girls’ road trip – all fun and no sense of direction.
Soon the sun was high in the sky and with our sun hats to protect us, Nina and I took a back seat while the food stole the show. Sipping on refreshing lemonade, Donna and I took care of the equipment and Herman set up the food while Melissa sat on the toolbox whisking eggs, “just like a proper boerevrou” as Herman remarked.
At about 2pm we were ready to wrap up. With everything loaded we set off across the farm, dodging cows, back to the main road. The shoot had gone well and everything was running smoothly until Melissa and I noticed on the downhill that the Beetle was going faster than its previous non-thrilling pace. Just outside of Caledon Herman pulls over and we find out that the fuel wire had snapped and he had been unable to brake.
After a couple of minutes poking around under the steering wheel we give up and the owner of the car instructs us to leave the car with the keys under a carpet in the bonnet for him to come fetch later. Of course we all should know that old-fashioned is often just an eloquent term for unroadworthy.
Melissa, determined not to relinquish the steering wheel, packs Donna and Herman into the back of the caddy with the food, props and equipment. With their heads touching the ceiling and my knees jammed into the dashboard we merrily make our way back towards Cape Town. The whole day had been exhausting and we needed to get an energy boost so with a car full to the brim with delicious padkos we head into a farmstall to buy some snacks before carrying on home.
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