Important Facts

Managing the Money


Payment for shoots can take what seems like an interminably long time to be received. Generally, the process works as follows.

  • At the end of the production your agent will send the production company an invoice.  It is your responsibility to inform your agent of the hours your child was on set.  If you don't the agent is not responsible if overtime is not invoiced.
  • The production company accountant will collate all invoices for the job but will only finalise a payment request to the client at the end of the production period. Remember, each job can last ten days or more.
  • The production company then presents all invoices to the client for payment, including accomodation, crew, vehicle hire etc. 
  • Once verified the client pays the invoices to the production company, who then pays the agent. 


Agents earn 20% commission from the model fee.  The booking fee that the client pays the agent does not affect the model fees.  Every casting costs the agent time and money without any guarantee of getting a booking.


Children working in the Film Industry have been determined by SARS to be obliged to pay tax. Clients will not book kids who are not registered for PAYE.  That means your child will be treated as an employee and paid under the Pay As You Earn Scheme (PAYE). This means that they are taxed on their gross total income OF EACH AND EVERY JOB.  The client/production company is deemed the employer and will issue you with the IRP5s.



Since it is unlikely your child's income will reach the annual threshold, all PAYE deducted will be refunded. Visit the SARS website to see how it works. 

Shoots - Facts

Weather Calls

If a shoot is cancelled due to bad weather AFTER the child has arrived on set, then a cancellation fee will apply. If the shoot is cancelled due to bad weather BEFORE arriving on set, then no fee is payable, provided the child is rebooked for another day on the same job. If the child is not booked by the client again for any reason, then a 100% cancellation fee will apply. If, however, the child is unavailable again for any reason of his/her own, no cancellation fee is applicable.

Production Companies have a two hour "window" for weather calls. In case of a full day shoot, the production company may attempt to start the shoot in the afternoon. In this case, another two hour weather call may apply, on consultation with the agency.

Getting Pictures from the Production

This is easier said than done, since most of the images return to the home base of the international client and are not kept in South Africa. Having said that, if you are really keen to get copies of the picture, please contact your agent and ask them to follow up with the production company.

However, stock images are not available to agencies or parents at any time. These images are for sale only and photographers are not permitted to hand them out, even if the child does feature in them.

Preparing your child for a shoot

Here are a few absolutes. Make sure your child:

  • Goes to bed early the night before
  • Arrives with clean hair and face.
  • Has brushed hair
  • Is wearing underwear - preferably neutral colours, boys to have underpants.

The fact that we’re even having to say this is an indication of how frequently this  happens…

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Kids and Castings

Good casting is vital for every photo shoot. Ensuring that the most suitable models or actors are cast requires exhaustive knowledge of the available talent in Cape Town, combined with the creative ability to imagine how the right model can bring a character to life. 


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Key Requirements for Success

Whilst every Shoot aims to run smoothly and enjoyably for all the participants, it is still WORK. Here are some of the personal attributes if you want your child to be a success...

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Children and the Film Industry - Overview

When performing, Child Models typically work irregular hours.  You will have no choice on when the shoot takes place and must be ready for anything.

Child Models should ideally be fit and healthy – the job demands certain stamina and also coordination to move about the set. Child Models must also expect some degree of heat from lights and the weight of costumes.

Formal dramatic training is generally unnecessary for Child Models, and most kids successfully enter the field without it. Child Models should possess a passion for performing and enjoy entertaining others.  Versatility and a wide range of related performance skills, such as dancing, rollerblading, cycling and horse-riding are especially useful.

Physical appearance, such as possessing the right size, weight, or features, is a deciding factor in being selected for particular roles.



Photographers take photographs. But Production companies handle all the logistics and infrastructural requirements that make those photographic shoots possible.

What is a Stills or Commercial Production?

"Production" is a term that encompasses a broad range of services offered to international photographers, television commercial companies and advertising agencies when they conduct shoots on location. Production companies coordinate the equipment hire, hotel bookings, car hire, selection and management of models and crew, the management of permits, visas, carnets and other relevant documentation, as well as the day-to-day production requirements of each shoot.

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Your Child and the Film Production Sector

On-location filming is a critical part of any production, and locations are something that Cape Town has a lot of, in fact the Western Cape presents almost unlimited opportunities for filming.  We also have a diverse population, our faces look like we could come from just about anywhere.

This abundance of variety is supported by an excellent supporting infrastructure. Our production industry is characterised by:

  • Internationally  renowned Production Companies providing exceptional services and facilitation
  • first-class crew with access to top-of-the-range equipment,
  • a "first world" infrastructure of internet connectivity, cellphone coverage, and efficient roads and air links,
  • cosmopolitan English-speaking talent managed by experienced modelling, actor and character agencies,
  • creative post production services including photo labs

Additionally we have the weather. This means that European commercial and catalogue shoots can create their summer campaigns here and have them “on the shelves” in time for the European summer. It’s a win-win situation. 

This fortunate situation has resulted in Cape Town and South Africa being one of the world’s most popular and successful destinations for Stills, Commercial & Feature Film shoots.