UK-based ABC series Galavant to premiere on Sunday

Sunday sees the US premiere of Galavant, a major new musical comedy produced by ABC Studios. The Medieval-set series follows the dashing titular character’s attempts to win back his true love from the evil King Richard, and filmed extensively in the UK, both on location and at Bristol’s The Bottle Yard Studios.

Medieval setting, cutting edge facilities

One of the UK’s many alternative stage spaces, The Bottle Yard offers over 300,000 sq. ft of stage space, with the Tank House 3 stage also offering productions 65ft of clear height. Galavant is one of several major television series to base itself at the studios in 2014, with major upcoming literary adaptation Wolf Hall (Playground Entertainment/Company Pictures) also having shot at The Bottle Yard.

Talking about the decision to shoot at the studios, UK producer Helen Flint said “we decided to base Galavant at The Bottle Yard Studios in Bristol because we were confident we’d get a first class service from [Client Liaison and Site Manager] Fiona Francombe and her team. The studio is conveniently situated for Bristol and the great locations that surround the city.”

Production talent fit for a king

Flint was not the only UK talent working on Galavant, with the production team including Costume Designers Charlotte Mitchell and Susannah Buxton, whose previous credits include the international hit series Sherlock (Hartswood Films) and Downton Abbey (Carnival Film & Television), Editor Jeff Tessler and Cinematographer Chris Seager. Seager also has significant experience of high-end television production, having previously brought his expertise to HBO’s hugely popular Game of Thrones.

In front of the camera the UK’s renowned acting talent was in full effect: up and coming actor Joshua Sasse plays the eponymous Galavant, and is joined onscreen by Harry Potter (Warner Bros.) alumni Josh Youngblood and footballer-turned-actor Vinnie Jones.

Galavant may be a comedy, but the production recreates the look and feel of the Medieval era in loving detail, thanks in no small part to its extensive location shooting in South Wales. The production made use of the stunning castle locations available in Wales, shooting at both Caldicot Castle and Caephilly Castle, as well as the scenic beaches and cliffs of Southerndown in the Vale of Glamorgan.

The production also shot at Comeston Medieval Village, which offers Medieval-set productions a pre-existing set, and is a stone’s throw from the production bases of Cardiff and Bristol. The BFC, Wales Screen and Creative England were on hand to offer location support, ensuring Galavant’s production ran smoothly.

With other UK-produced series also airing in early 2015 including Fortitude (Pivot/Tiger Aspect) and The Casual Vacancy (HBO/BBC), the UK’s reputation for world class high-end television production looks set to continue.