LANDLOCKED Entertainment boss, Motheea Mpharoane says shooting of the Moshoeshoe Series soap opera will commence this winter.
Mpharoane’s comments come in the wake of fears by aspiring actors that production of the soapie was dead in the water almost a year after they auditioned for roles in May 2016.
Landlocked Entertainment is a Maseru-based production company which became popular for producing the soapie Our Times, which aired on the eTV continental channel e-Africa from January to March 2016.
The company subsequently planned 26-episode held Moshoeshoe Series based on the founder of the Basotho nation, King Moshoeshoe I.
They held auditions to choose the cast from 28 April to 8 May, 2016 in Maseru, Hlotse and Mafeteng respectively with a view to begin shooting scenes in Thaba Bosiu at the end of May 2016.
However, this did not materialise because according to Mpharoane, there was a lot of infighting that led to the departure of more than 60% of the cast.
“We had planned to shoot Moshoeshoe Series simultaneously with the continuing episodes of Our Times. Our strategy was to divide the crew into two so that others would be based in Thaba Bosiu while others reamined in Maseru to work on Our Times,” Mpharoane said.
“To my disappointment, that was when 60% of the cast we had started demanding very high salaries but we could not come to an agreement and we parted ways in July (2016).
“This left a very huge gap and we had to restructure,” he said, adding this necessitated the training of a new crew.
“Those who left went on to tarnish the image of the company so that the people we approached were reluctant to work with us and those we eventually got were unexperienced, therefore we had to first train them.
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“Since we already had an ongoing soapie, Our Times, we decided to put the production of Moshoeshoe Series on hold while assisting the crew to develop the competency to work on the latter.”
He also said that they had done their best to update those who auditioned about the problems they faced via social media and also reassured them they were still part of the Moshoeshoe Series.
“We could not just take people’s money (M30 audition fee) and disappear so we kept updating people through Facebook and WhatsApp about the problems the company was facing and that the project would still happen.
“We will have a 21-member main cast with extras from the community of Thaba Bosiu,” he said.