Economy Secretary Visits Dragon Studios, Set of Big Budget US Drama
Welsh Government Economy Secretary Ken Skates and Huw have been in Llanharan visiting the set of the biggest budget US TV production ever shot in Wales – the set of TNT’s Will, a high end drama series based on the early life of William Shakespeare where they met members of the cast and production team.
Will is being filmed largely in Llanharan’s Dragon Studios and is due to broadcast in the US this summer with UK dates to follow. It boasts the largest budget and highest spend of any production shot in Wales to date and is anticipated to generate around £18 million spend into the local economy. Ninth Floor UK Productions Limited – the company behind the series – will be based at Dragon Studio in Llanharan for nine months of the year with location shooting in and around South Wales as well as London.
Speaking after his visit, Ken Skates said: “I was so pleased to be able to visit the set of Will, which really is an impressive and quality production with the highest budget of any film or programme to be in Wales so far. The scale of the project is resulting in the largest local spend related to TV and film production even seen in Wales which is great news for the local economy and a real coup for the Welsh film and TV sector more broadly. We are continuing to work hard to attract high end drama to Wales with a specific focus on the lucrative US market and the probability of repeat series. I know the Will production will act as another great endorsement for what Wales can offer the film and TV industry, in terms of our location, expertise and talent. I am delighted that Welsh Government has been able to play a decisive role in bringing this investment to Wales.”
Huw said: “It was a pleasure to see all the film studios and outdoor lots being used at full capacity, and to hear how Welsh Government support for film and TV production in Wales is drawing jobs and talent to the area. Wales has a growing reputation for film and TV production, with its fantastic studio facilities and outdoor locations, and I’m proud that our local Dragon International Studios is playing its part in that success.”
Executive Producer Alison Owen said, “Filming at Dragon International Film Studios has provided many advantages for the production – using Dragon’s four stages and its extensive backlot, we have been able to create a whole world in one place. The streets of Shakespeare’s London spread out on the backlot, whilst the huge Theatre takes up one whole stage, additional interior sets complete the show’s universe. Other breath-taking exterior locations are a stone’s throw away, giving scope and breadth to the show’s visual landscape. The close proximity of so many locations has given us an ease and efficiency enabling us to be ambitious with our show, giving us terrific ‘bang for our buck’ and putting the budget on the screen. With access to the experienced Welsh crew based in the area, in Cardiff and Swansea, while only a couple of hours from London on the train, it has been the perfect choice for us.”