After Showtime's "The Tudors" wrapped, Ireland's famous Ardmore Studios in County Wicklow had no time to exhale. This week carpenters, plasters, painters and electricians have arrived on set in the Bray studios to set up for the next big thing: "Camelot".
Adrmore producer and impresario Morgan O'Sullivan is hoping that the new U.S. television series based on the King Arthur myth will keep Irish stage hands employed for at least the next five months and, he hopes, for a significant period after that.
'I’m expecting that we will run for five years,' O'Sullivan told the press this week. 'We’ve an order for one season - for ten hour-long episodes - from the Starz cable television network in the US but, generally speaking, companies don’t invest in something like this for a single season. To get a proper return on your investment, you need to be thinking in terms of a longer run. We have mapped out a story that will carry "Camelot" through four or five seasons,' he added.
The new drama will be filmed entirely in County Wicklow, on location at Luggala Castle and the Powerscourt estate, while all the interiors shots will be filmed at Ardmore.
The budget for the first season of "Camelot" has been confirmed at 34.7 million Euro, of which 20 Euro million will be spent around Bray. The show will provide work for between 300 and 400 cast and crew.
O’Sullivan's previous production, The Tudors, was a success on the Showtime cable television network over the last four years. Now O’Sullivan is hoping for the same success with "Camelot".
'It amounts to the kind of continuous production we have always wanted. It offers a bigger opportunity to show what you can do while expanding your ability to do it, by increasing the size and quality of your crews,' he said.
O'Sullivan said it was the experience and talent of Irish crews that had become one of Ireland's biggest selling points. 'Countries such as Hungary and Lithuania are cheap. We’re the same as every other industry; we’ve got to be better. We have to be better in all the departments that service top-class film or television production. The great thing about Ireland is that people who work for us have a wide range of experience, and that leads to better quality work,' he said.