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Background

Behind the scenes of the boom in TV production in Wales & His Dark Materials 3

Written by on 1st October 2021

With an ever-increasing number of TV productions choosing to be based in Wales over the summer, Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden recently had a behind the scenes tour of Wolf Studios Wales – and saw first-hand the benefits to the Welsh economy, and growth in local employment, that the surge in TV production has brought to the creative sector in Cardiff and beyond.

Filming for the third season of His Dark Materials is currently underway with over 500 jobs being created in Wolf Studios Wales –supported with funding from Creative Wales.

Wolf Studios Wales is one of the UK’s largest purpose-built studios established in 2017 and is headquarters for Bad Wolf Productions as well as the home for BBC / HBO co-production His Dark Materials, HBO / BBC banking drama Industry and Sky’s A Discovery of Witches.

His Dark Materials is currently mid-way through production and receives funding from Creative Wales in return for a commitment to providing trainee opportunities in the form of paid placements and other roles in the TV industry. These are tracked and monitored to help ensure future careers pathways for all trainees and grow a much needed, and permanent, pool of TV talent in Wales.

His Dark Materials has a bespoke training programme created by Screen Alliance Wales, providing high-level training for 15 paid Wales-based trainees across a range of disciplines, to strengthen and future proof the industry.

This is in addition to the 56 trainees who have already received paid work placements with Bad Wolf over the last four years, and over 17,000 young people from across Wales who have visited the studios and taken part in SAW’s outreach schemes.

Deputy Minister, Dawn Bowden AM, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to support the third series of His Dark Materials.  Being the home of productions of this scale enhances our reputation globally as being a region with the crew, skills, studio space and locations that can service a production of this large scale, and clearly aligns with Creative Wales’ long-term strategy.

“The training programmes are a way of making sure that we foster the talent and skills that this growing sector will need in the future.  The trainees on the production of His Dark Material today will be the directors, producers and creatives for BBC, S4C, Sky, HBO, Netflix, Amazon and Disney for years to come.   It’s excellent to see how His Dark Materials 3 will continue to build on the impressive first 6 years of Bad Wolf in Wales in terms of developing crew and supply chain companies.”

Bad Wolf’s Co-founder, Jane Tranter, said: “Continued support from Creative Wales is essential to nurture the pipeline of TV production talent that is needed to keep Wales at the forefront of TV production in the UK.  The current boom in TV production relies heavily on being able to supply crews for productions of this scale.  Without firm commitment to developing the next generation of creatives the current boom could easily lose its momentum.  With support from Creative Wales we are committed to talent schemes, building a creative community and a sustainable long term production base in Cardiff that has benefits to the whole economy of Wales.”

His Dark Materials 3 will be release on the BBC in the UK and HBO internationally later in 2022.