Edwina Hart welcomes production venture to boost international film and TV production in Wales by £100m
The Welsh Government is joining forces with Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner – the former BBC executives responsible for Doctor Who, Torchwood and Da Vinci’s Demons – to support a new UK/US production company BAD WOLF co-sited in South Wales and Los Angeles to produce high-end TV and film for the global television market.
BAD WOLF will have its production base at a permanent studio in South Wales, and is forecast to attract in the region of £100 million to the economy of Wales over the next ten years through an ambitious production slate and partnerships with international broadcasters.
Development deals with US networks and studios are close to being agreed, with discussions also underway with UK and European broadcasters.
Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner were at the helm of BBC Drama until 2008 and together with Russell T Davies they re-ignited the Welsh television industry with Doctor Who and Torchwood a decade ago.
They subsequently moved to Los Angeles to head up BBC Worldwide Productions and over the past six years Jane and Julie have produced over 850 hours of scripted and unscripted programming for the US and international television markets, returning a profit back to the BBC of over £100 million.
During their time in LA they were commissioned to produce three series of historical drama Da Vinci’s Demons for Starz and Fox, which they brought to Swansea, creating Bay Studios. Da Vinci’s Demons has subsequently been sold to over 125 countries and generated a production spend of over £70m across three series, creating more than 1500 full time equivalent jobs in Wales. It has left a lasting legacy with the creation of the Adjacent Education Project to develop film and television skills in the area, working with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and University of Wales Trinity St David’s.
During their tenure at BBC Worldwide Productions their programming output has gone from strength to strength recently culminating in 10 Emmy nominations for Dancing with the Stars, Life Below Zero and Getting On and receiving multiple scripted and unscripted production commitments across premium and basic cable and broadcast television.
With support from Welsh Government, they are now planning to build on that success with a second ten year plan that will transform the economy in Wales and create a long term future for film and TV production in the area.
Minister for Economy Edwina Hart yesterday welcomed the investment. She said:
“Creative Industries is one of our fastest-growing priority sectors. We want to establish Wales as an international centre of excellence for high-end TV drama production worldwide and this investment is part of our plan to create a long-term, sustainable TV industry in Wales.
“Jane and Julie already have strong and established relationships with both US and UK broadcasters and their slate of international productions will play an important role in developing and sustaining a strong crew base in Wales and will ensure global television content is produced from the region for many years to come.
“Bad Wolf has the potential to be a game changer for the creative economy in Wales. The talented Welsh based production company will support one of the largest sustainable TV drama production hubs in the UK outside of London and help increase inward investment, strengthen the supply chain and skills base and create cultural and tourism benefits.”
Bad Wolf co-founder Jane Tranter said:
“TV has changed beyond all recognition in the past decade. Huge international productions made on movie scale budgets have put British TV at the forefront of this revolution. We are delighted to be working with Welsh Government to grow this industry and continue to benefit the economy of Wales. The Welsh Government fully understands that by putting Wales at the forefront of this industry it could be a world leader within the decade.”
Julie Gardner, MBE said:
“Jane and I have filmed all over the globe and know, first hand, that the talent base in South Wales is world class. We are thrilled to be embarking on this new venture surrounded by such shared talent and passion."
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