Scramble Productions started with an initial focus on TV, theatre and radio work. In the early 2000’s there were hardly any independent films coming out of the South African (SA) entertainment industry and the Alexanders soon realized that if they were going to actualize their long-standing dream of acting in films, they were going to have to produce it themselves.
In 2007 Anel and James took the plunge and produced their first independent feature film ‘Discreet’, based on their stage play, ‘Discreet, Upmarket, 24/7’. ‘Discreet’ hit the local cinema circuit in November 2008 and opened to critical acclaim and rave reviews. Being one of only a handful of local films released that year, 'Discreet' was truly ground breaking work for an entire industry and one of the first films which would help start a wave of new, independent, South African cinema.
'Discreet raises the bar for local film productions by turning in an elegant product...' - THE STAR
‘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.' - MAIL & GUARDIAN - MOVIE OF THE WEEK
'A South African triumph! The SA industry needs more films like this.' - THE BEELD
'...this film ups the game, with savvy dialogue, considered performances and keen production values.' - SATURDAY STAR
The immense learning curve that ‘Discreet’ was, combined with their passion for film and developing the local industry, prompted Scramble Productions to go big or go home. The next film the team tackled (at a budget ten times that of Discreet) was the Afrikaans Romantic Comedy, ‘Semi-Soet’ (Semi-Sweet). ‘Semi-Soet’ released in February 2012. It would go on to be a smash box office hit, one of the highest grossing Afrikaans films ever made. It also made history by becoming one of the first four SA films to ever make it onto the international iTunes platform.
‘Afrikaans audiences haven’t seen a proper, funny romantic comedy in decades. Semi-Soet is good, wholesome fun for everybody!’- LEON VAN NIEROP
"Semi-Soet is just right: Not too soppy or too slapstick, always exactly how you want it.’ – LAETITIA POPLE
‘A pitch-perfect romantic comedy. It’s charming.’ – MAIL AND GUARDIAN
After the success of ‘Semi-Soet’, Scramble Productions was ready to tackle a project with international appeal. Early in 2014 they teamed up with producers Johan Kruger and Brett Michael Innes with a vision to produce a South African film that could play on the international stage. They put together a world class team in front and behind the camera and ‘Sink’ went into production in March 2015.
A year later ‘Sink’ released with press and critics giving the film 4 and 5 star ratings across the board, lauding the film as another benchmark South African production. Since its cinematic release in SA, ‘Sink’ has garnered praise from around the world having won multiple Best Film awards at various international film festivals and most recently walking away with five South African Film and TV Awards including the Golden Horn for Best Feature Film.
'A triumph of a film that explores love and loss so fearlessly that it will leave you breathless and shake you to your core.' - CHANNEL24 (5 Stars)
'A stunning story about that which divides and that which heals.' - PowerFM (4.5 Stars)
'Sink is a gut-wrenching portrait of loss, guilt and reconciliation.'- THE STAR (4 Stars)
'Sink gets full marks because it is brave, extremely brave and honest.’ - THE BEELD (5 Stars)
James and Anel are continually developing new projects, teaching at film and acting schools, mentoring young filmmakers, 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, fostering their reputation as two of South Africa's hottest, most successful young talents.
Their motto - Dream big AND work hard!