Oom Hennie says howzit to Hollywood

Cape Peninsula University of Technology students with the krusks they made.

Scenes for the American thriller, The Empty Man, were shot at the house of long-time Goodwood resident, Hennie Heyns on Thursday October 13.

Based on the 2014 graphic novel by Cullen Bunns, the film is described online as a supernatural thriller about a former policeman, battling with the death of his wife and son, who discovers a “sinister presence” around him while searching for a missing girl.

The film by 20th Century Fox is produced with local Out of Africa Entertainment.

Standing on the lawn of his face brick house in AG Visser Street, Oom Hennie said the family moved out for a week as the film company set up for Thursday’s filming.

It was scouted for the film because it has no fencing in front.

The vibracrete wall on the side was clad with old-looking wooden panels to look like a house in the American state of Massachusetts.

Oom Hennie said this was the first time his house had been used as a film location.

He has lived there for 37 years.

“There were no houses when we moved in,” he said, pointing across the field opposite his home.

He said neighbours were supportive of the filming although the short street was closed to traffic at certain times. They were excited, and curious about the activity on their doorsteps.

Strict confidentiality clauses prevented those on set speaking to Northern News, but they referred us to Out of Africa Entertainment’s base a short drive away at the Goodwood sports ground.

But there too, production staff were tight-lipped about the film. However, Northern News heard filming would take place in many other locations.

Durban-born actress Tanya van Graan plays the role of Allison Lasombra opposite American James Badge Dale.

All the extras and supporting crew have been employed locally.

Selling up the province as a location of choice for the film industry, Economic Opportunities MEC Alan Winde, mayor Patricia de Lille and a Wesgro delegation met executives at Universal Studios, Warner Bros and Walt Disney Studios, in Hollywood, on Wednesday October 12.

The City of Cape Town said luring film companies here would boost job creation.

It said Cape Town’s popularity as a filming destination was constantly growing and film spaces were full.

“In the past few years, permit-officeapplicationshave doubled, showing the strength of this industry. We are eager to further increase film production investment in the city by ensuring that we address red tape to create an enabling environment for this sector.

“This industry is important to us because it creates jobs and opportunities to develop the skills of our people,” Ms De Lille said.