JOLIE HEAPS PRAISE
Copyright 2002 The Namibian
[ April 17th 2002 ]
actress Angelina Jolie had a great time in Namibia,
says Lloyd Phillips, producer of the international
feature film Beyond Borders. In an exclusive interview
with The Namibian before the film crew left the
country at the weekend, Phillips said Jolie felt
very comfortable in Namibia "as people respected
her space completely".
Jolie and her two co-stars, Clive Owen and Noah
Emmerich, enjoyed their five weeks in Namibia
and felt very connected to the country. "It would
have been nice if we could've stayed longer,"
he said. The stars, as well as overseas crew members,
used their off days to see more of Namibia. "They
also had a lot of interaction with the people
of Swakopmund," Phillips said.
Jolie was rarely seen in public, many of the crew
members and extras who worked with her or interacted
with her on the movie set commented on how open
and accessible she was. She was not fussy about
the food she ate, she made a point of greeting
people on the set and played with the extras'
children between shoots.
also made a special effort to thank all the people
she worked with during the last week of filming.
Among others, she organised a dinner on the beach
at Mile 4 for the most featured group of extras
and their assistants last week. According to Phillips,
she also bought about 2 000 pizzas for everybody
on the set, and on Friday every extra received
a Beyond Borders T-shirt from her as a farewell
of the international feature film had only compliments
to hand out after his five-week experience in
Namibia. Phillips told The Namibian that the filming
of the Namibian part of the movie was "excellent
as anticipated. It was trouble-free, except for
some strange rainy weather in the first week."
was instrumental in bringing the movie to Namibia
because of his positive experience when making
Running Free at the Roessing mountain about four
years ago. The producer, who was born in South
Africa and lived there for five years, said he
had a special place in his heart for Africa, especially
Namibia. "It is a very user-friendly place with
a fantastic vibe. It is very safe and everyone
from Government downwards was very co-operative.
I'd like to come back and shoot a third movie
in Namibia," he said.
said despite all the stress of making a movie,
he feels very relaxed in Namibia. "It will be
very sad to leave ..." Commenting on the Namibians
he worked with, Phillips was very positive. "The
people here are remarkable. Every person I've
been in contact with, work-related or not, whether
black or white, were incredibly polite, very open,
friendly and hard working." He remarked that people
always looked him in the eye and knew how to have
almost 2 000 extras, he said it was very rare
to find extras as enthusiastic in the last week
of shooting as they were on the first day as it
is often boring work. But, he said, the commitment
and enthusiasm of the Namibian extras did not
waver at all. He described the Namibians on the
crew as very professional and loyal. "Word of
this will end up in Hollywood," he said.
advice to Namibians who want to gain more experience
and better positions is to keep on working on
movies. He said many of the Namibians who worked
on Running Free were re-hired this time because
"we knew they were very good". One Namibian has
been asked to join the crew in Thailand where
the last part of the movie is being shot.
by some Namibian crew members that they were not
given an opportunity to gain more experience on
the set, he said: "We do not have a responsibility
to train Namibians, but to make a movie. If along
the way you can give training, it is fantastic.
I am very keen to work with local people, but
not all producers are." He said people should
remember their main purpose is to make a good
movie. "Other movies are starting to look at Namibia
because we are here. If you bring a big star like
Angelina Jolie here and she has a good experience,
it will count a lot."
other stars would call Jolie to ask her about
her experience in Namibia. "Putting Namibia on
the map depends on the experience and how professional
everyone was." He said Namibia had many positive
factors going for it. It was a safe location with
efficient services, spectacular landscapes and
good Government co-operation. "I will not go to
a country where the government is not interested,"
he thinks the country is under-exploited as a
movie location, he warned that costs are a key
factor and people should not put up their rates
too high despite the exchange rate. "There is
a price to pay for shipping equipment to Namibia,
which can get costly," he noted. The cast and
crew will be shooting the last part of 'Beyond
Borders' in Thailand over the next four weeks.
said a release date had not yet been finalised
but it would be around the end of the year or
early next year in America. Production company,
Moonlighting, will be in the country for another
two weeks for the wrap, which includes dismantling
the set and cleaning up the area.