|Seychelles is synonymous with beautiful islands and exotic sceneries. The Seychelles Islands will once again be featured in an upcoming international television series. A UK-based production house – Baby Cow Productions — has identified some of the islands’ uncrowded and idyllic beaches as the perfect setting for latest edition of its TV series — High and Dry. Rich in wild nature, the beaches’ backdrop will provide the perfect location for their plot — a plane crash survival on a deserted island — to unfold.
The Seychelles Tourism Board is fully supporting the production with the help of other relevant authorities, considering this will be a huge plus for the country and for its tourism industry.
Announcing the new project, the Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Mrs Sherin Francis, revealed that up to now Baby Cow had been selecting possible locations in Asia for such productions and that the Philippines was originally the preferred location for the shooting that will now be done in Seychelles.
“Thanks to the good relations we have with the production company and a few others in the UK we managed to convince them to choose Seychelles for once and see how it goes and we are happy that they finally agreed to film the series in the Seychelles,” said Mrs Francis. It was Sofia and Alex Panagiotaki who sealed the deal for Seychelles to be the filming location. Sofia Panagiotaki was the MC for an edition of the Carnaval International de Victoria and fell in love with the country.
The filming is expected to last four weeks from July 9th to August 4th 2017. The crew will be shooting scenes at some of the well-known beaches on the Seychelles’ main island, Mahé, namely Anse-Major, Anse du Riz, and the Barbarons beach.
Anse Major, which borders the Morne Seychellois reserve in the northwest of Mahé is accessible by boat or a hike by foot, offering gorgeous coastal views which are popular among both the locals and tourists. This is also where key scenes will be filmed mostly during the weekdays.
As the scenario involves a plane crash on a deserted island, Mrs Francis is calling on the cooperation of all stakeholders, namely the general public, boat owners and other tourism operators during the filming period.
“We are aware that a lot of the beaches especially Anse Major are habitually visited by our locals and visitors, reason why filming will take place on one beach at a time. We cannot restrict access to the beaches but we are simply asking for the cooperation of the general public and tour operators bringing clients to these beaches.
For example, at Anse Major you have two stretches of beaches and only one of them will be used for the production at any given time so that the other one can be available to visitors,” said Mrs Francis.
British comedian Marc Wootton will be the lead actor in the series. The total budget for the filming of the series in Seychelles is around £1.7 million. Baby Cow Productions is financing the entire cost of the production. Marc Wootton is an English character comedian. He is perhaps best known for his role as the fake medium and psychic, Shirley Ghostman, on the BBC Three series, High Spirits with Shirley Ghostman and La La Land.
The Seychelles Tourism Board has assisted mainly in getting them the necessary authorizations. Several local companies including small contractors, boat companies and even a local production house are expected to benefit through the production.
Once the series starts airing on Channel 4 in the UK, although it will not be directly mentioning Seychelles, the fact that the beautiful beaches, clear turquoise waters and lush tropical vegetation will be featured this will help to push Seychelles into the UK limelight, which is a market that has been seeing remarkable increase in visitor arrivals to Seychelles over the last two years.
“With our current budget it would have been impossible to acquire such immense publicity for the Seychelles,” said Mrs Francis, adding that STB is also bringing a PR company onboard to feature a “Behind the Scenes” documentary about the filming.
It is customary for viewers of such TV series to be given the chance to follow what went on behind the making of the production, which is an aspect that one rarely gets to see. This also helps to create a forum for viewers to engage and discuss the series and also the location.
To note that Baby Cow productions established in 1999, is an award-winning production house in the UK with a reputation for producing some much-loved comedy series.
Aside from High and Dry, some of its other productions include Hunderby, Hebburn, The Trip, Gavin & Stacey to name but a few.