The Editor's Cut

To continue providing international coverage which is second to none, I felt it was time for Campaign Screen to escape the confines of its Hammersmith offices for an overseas trip. (And yes, OK, I needed some winter sun.) As one of the world's leading shoot destinations, and with a strong local creative industry, South Africa proved worthy of a Special Report.

With beautiful locations, weather, experienced specialist companies and low costs, South Africa has reached the lofty heights of leading location in just 10 years, since the end of the apartheid regime. Yet many in the UK and Europe are now venturing to new locations such as Argentina and Mexico, claiming that South Africa is not as cheap as it used to be. So is the bubble about to burst?

Meeting a variety of industry representatives to find the answer proved interesting. Many were very honest in their response, admitting that costs had increased for a range of reasons - from less favourable exchange rates to ancillary services cashing in on the boom. Yet there was a willingness to address the issues and ensure South Africa stays competitive.

It was a similar story meeting agency creatives. The passion was palpable and despite all the difficulties of tiny budgets and clients being fiercely conservative, there was a huge 'can-do' atmosphere. This is reflected in the work that you will see in this issue and in the strength of new directing talent.

The fact that the global industry is now poaching South Africa's finest - with Tony Granger and Matthew Bull heading up Saatchi & Saatchi and Lowe's London respectively, and John Hunt appointed TBWA's worldwide creative director - is testament to the talent around.

It is only to be hoped that the region will not suffer a brain drain but that fresh blood will keep creativity pumping.

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