where we come from

scramble prod 001

Scramble Productions started with an initial focus on theatre and TV work.

The first theatre production the company attempted was called ‘Scramble’ (Hence the name Scramble Productions). By fusing different clowning and physical theatre techniques, James and Anel created their first theatre gem. ‘Scramble’ opened at the Krêkvars Arts Festival in 2001. The audience response was so overwhelming that the duo had another run early in 2002 and yet another for the Original Arts Company later that year.

scramble prod 002

With the popularity of reality TV and shows like ‘Big Brother’, Scramble Productions decided in 2004 that the climate was right to try and translate the concept to theatre with a show called ‘Loernooi’. Audiences were thrilled by this black comedy that dealt with the last two remaining contestants of a reality TV show like ‘Big Brother’. ‘Loernooi’ was directed by Anriette van Rooy and starred Anel Alexander and Carmin Coetzer.

During the start-up years of the company, Scramble Productions also ventured into corporate projects servicing clients like SAA and Hollard Insurance while Anel and James were still regularly appearing on stage and in local TV shows on SABC and MNET.

scramble prod 003

In between their TV work, James and Anel decided to keep their love for the theatre alive by creating ‘Discreet, Upmarket, 24/7’. The show was directed and co-written by long-time director and writer friend, Joshua Rous. ‘Discreet, Upmarket, 24/7’ tackled issues of honesty and faith in modern society and opened at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival in July 2005. A couple of stints in smaller theatre venues followed after which the couple translated the play into Afrikaans for the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival in 2006. Appearances of the Afrikaans version, ‘Diskreet’, followed at the Gariep Festival and another run of the English play at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival in 2006.

scramble prod 004

In 2007 Anel and James took the plunge and realized a long standing dream by producing their first independent feature filmDiscreet’, based on their stage play, ‘Discreet, Upmarket, 24/7’. ‘Discreet’ hit the local cinema circuit in November 2008 and opened up to critical acclaim and rave reviews:

'Discreet raises the bar for local film productions by turning in an elegant product...'

‘Discreet is unusual and courageous, as well as gripping. It has a simple self-confidence and total lack of amateurishness that bodes well for the careers of its makers, while standing at a remove from the kinds of films South Africans are often told we should be making.'

'A South African triumph! The SA industry needs more films like this.'

'...this film ups the game, with savvy dialogue, considered performances and keen production values.'

‘The film boasts good performances by both actors. The message is uplifting and the topic challenging. It’s nice to see local productions of quality.’

Since its local release ‘Discreet’ has been picked up by an American distribution company, Green Apple Entertainment, and can still be seen on DVD and local SA TV channels.

The immense learning curve that ‘Discreet’ was combined with their passion for film and developing the local industry, have prompted Scramble Productions to go big or go home and start producing feature films on a regular basis.

scramble prod 005

The next film the team tackled was the Afrikaans Romantic Comedy, ‘Semi-Soet’. ‘Semi-Soet’ released in February 2012 and would go on to be a smash box office hit. The film is one of the highest grossing Afrikaans film ever made and has recently been released on i-Tunes, one of the first 4 SA films to ever make it onto this international platform.

‘Afrikaans audiences haven’t seen a proper, funny romantic comedy in decades. Semi-Soet is good, wholesome fun for everybody!’

‘Semi-Soet is just right: Not too soppy or too slapstick, always exactly how you want it.’

‘A pitch-perfect romantic comedy. It’s charming.’

James and Anel are continually developing new projects, teaching at film and acting schools across SA, working in front of and behind the camera and sharpening their skills as producers and actors. Together they have a sharp acumen for popular opinion, a passion for ground-breaking new entertainment, and all the weight of their combined reputations as two of South Africa's hottest, most successful young talents.

With a focus on quality, broad appeal and a vision to find and tell stories which inspire and bring hope, Scramble Productions is excited about the mark they are making on the South African entertainment industry!


More information about Scramble Productions