Gavin Hood ready to go to war

05 November 2014 - 09:34 By JEROME CORNELIUS

"It's really hard to get your first feature film made. The only thing harder is getting your second feature film made."

South African director Gavin Hood is speaking on the Cape Town set of his seventh feature film, Eye in the Sky, which stars Colin Firth and Helen Mirren.

Hood wrapped up filming in South Africa yesterday.

The thriller, which deals with military drones, will be released next year.

Said Hood: "The script really had me thinking. It's so about how we live now, how we wage war now, how we interact now as human beings in different parts of the world. People with different backgrounds are all connected.

"It's about what people are doing 20,000 feet in the sky. It's so contemporary, and I really wanted to make that film."

As a location, Cape Town once again proved a useful chameleon, doubling for several countries.

Said Hood: "We found an area that looks like Surrey for Helen Mirren. We were able to find clubs that look like Vegas and we were able to find areas in Beaufort West that looked like Nevada."

His love for his birthplace and his countrymen remains strong.

"The crews are beyond world- class," he said.

"I am biased, but they have the enthusiasm. I got to shoot with my own people. Hollywood is very brutal and ego-driven. It was wonderful to come and be with people who treat others well."

Hood studied law but left for the University of California, Los Angeles, at 29 to study film.

"If I wanted to tell stories, I had to study it," he said.

The 51-year-old starred in his first feature film, A Reasonable Man, in 1999. His film Tsotsi won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2006.