After Devils Gate, The Blackening finally set to shoot in April, with possibly two more to come from Fresh Paint Pictures
Leslie Lowes, tireless champion of both British indie film and the Shetland Islands should be celebrating a double win with the announcement of a new HiDef feature to be shot on the Islands over the next year after producer Alec Bruce completed financing on The Blackening, with two more films slated.
Development on The Blackening by Leslie's Penultimate Productions and Bruce's London-based Fresh Paint Pictures was funded by Scottish Screen's NewFoundLands scheme four years ago and was featured in the first Film Funding Book (the Banana Book). Now as I'm putting the finishing touches to a new funding book, to see the film finally materialise, alongside a possible further two films is just fantastic news, and a great credit to Lowes and Bruce and indeed the scheme. Funding is coming from Sweden, Norway and the UK with a US major lined up for distribution. The three films will shoot on HiDef, without which the location may have been to remote to be cost effective with the cost of sending daily film rushes back to the mainland.
The films are to be produced at a low-cost production centre in the former RAF base in the northernmost Shetland island of Unst. Shetland producer Leslie Lowes says Penultimate is pleased to have worked closely with Fresh Paint for several years to realise the company’s plans and says it demonstrates that with the right encouragement and support, film companies are keen to locate productions in Shetland.
“Including Devils Gate, which we located to Shetland in 2001 and now Fresh Paint’s slate of The Blackening, Little Dallas and Kinky Cottage, we have managed to attract almost £4m of film production into the islands. This confirms what we have always maintained: Shetland’s landscapes, seascapes and skyscapes are very attractive to international filmmakers, despite the reservations of some agencies that could be helping them locate here,” Mr Lowes said. “Marketing Shetland as a film location is most effective when it is done from Shetland from a base of real local knowledge.