Top TV designer hopes Da Vinci's Demons can bring big boost to Swansea Bay
A PRODUCTION designer has said that if a major TV project being shot in Swansea Bay is awarded a second series it will make a real difference to the area.
Swansea-born Ed Thomas, who set up the art department for the Doctor Who and Torchwood shows, said Swansea and Neath Port Talbot were an ideal place to shoot the action-packed Da Vinci's Demons.
He said the show, co-made by the premiere cable channel Starz Entertainment and BBC Worldwide Productions, had already created new job opportunities.
About Leonardo da Vinci's life, it is due to be screened next year.
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Mr Thomas, who was instrumental in bringing the series to the area, said: "There's huge potential — the budget with the show is tremendous.
"If we can get a second series out of it the show will make a difference to the area."
He said the series, which was directed and written by Hollywood scriptwriter David S Goyer, who has The Dark Knight to his writing credits, was weeks away from being completed.
"We have eight weeks left and we have a schedule which says wrap," he said.
"Starz TV expect more punk in their shows and they expect artistic licence.
"There will be lots of blood, gore and action."
Margam Castle has become the Medici Palace as part of the production, and filming is also taking place at the former Visteon site, which is now known as Bay Studios, in Fabian Way, Port Talbot.
Mr Thomas said the area had been a perfect place to film.
"The environment we live in is incredible," he said.
Da Vinci's Demons stars English actor Tom Riley, who has previously appeared in Monroe and Bouquet of Barbed Wire, as the young Da Vinci.
He appears alongside Laura Haddock from Upstairs Downstairs, who will play Lucrezia Donati, the mistress of Lorenzo Medici and lover of Leonardo da Vinci.
Tom revealed the role was a real challenge, but he was enjoying filming in the region.
"I love being in Swansea and I love being in Wales — there's incredible views and locations," he said.
"The Welsh weather has been fun. "It has been brilliant when the sun is out and a nightmare when it is not."
Scriptwriter Mr Goyer said the series was his main focus and that he had no plans to film any Batman movies in the future.
"Chris (Nolan) and myself and Christian (Bale) will not be doing another one of those Batman movies," he added. "Right now my focus is this and the new Superman."