Principal photography has started in the Algarve, Portugal, on writer-director Tim Lewiston’s feature drama There’s Always Hope, starring Colm Meaney and Kate Ashfield.
The project is being co-produced by UK outfits Bad Penny Productions and Eagle Film Productions, and Monte Productions, Spy Manor Productions and Moviebox in Portugal. It tells the story of an author (Meaney) so obsessed with trying to pen his magnum opus that his marriage breaks down, and so he moves to the family villa in Portugal where his daughters try to help.
Filming is taking place in both Portugal and the UK.
Here Harriet Hammond, the film’s co-producer at Bad Penny Productions explains to KFTV about travel and filming logistics, protocols, and the quality of the local crew and locations.
Whereabouts in the Algarve are you filming and for how long?
We began principal photography on Monday 19 October. We are shooting in and around the town of Loule in the Faro district until Friday November 6.
Did you consider shooting in other locations?
No, we didn't. The script was written specifically for the Algarve.
What is it like filming in Portugal at the moment? Have you guys had to quarantine? Was it easy to get into the country and the shooting locations?
Film-making always has its challenges, all the more so now given the logistical problems posed by the covid-19 pandemic. That being said, filming in Portugal is going very well so far. Our travel to Portugal was very straightforward. We were not required to quarantine on arrival and will return for the UK element of the shoot under the UK's film industry exemption. As to the shooting locations in Portugal, they have been easy to source thanks to the Portuguese authorities exempting the film industry from the covid-19 restrictions they have imposed on the rest of the country. This process, however, was certainly assisted by the rigorous covid-19 protocols we put together. We combined the existing UK protocols with the Covid-19 protocols for filming recommended by the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) for the prevention of COVID-19, and issued by the Portugal Film Commission. This gave the local authorities and the locations themselves confidence that filming would be conducted in as safe a manner as possible. We are also very grateful for the support of the Loule Film Office whose assistance has been invaluable over the past few months.
What protocols do you have for the set?
As previously mentioned we introduced rigorous set protocols, overseen by a designated covid-19 officer, in order to keep our cast, crew and the local population safe. Masks must be worn at all times (except by on screen artists and the director), social distancing is rigorously enforced, pedal-operated hand sanitiser stations are set up all around the set, lunch is staggered in order to maintain social distancing, surfaces are disinfected throughout the day and props before, and after, use. Moreover, nobody is allowed on set who has not tested negative for covid-19 (and can prove that they have done so) whilst the temperatures of all cast and crew are taken daily on arrival.
What is appealing about filming in Portugal?
The scenery is stunning. The light is wonderful. The Portugal Film Commission and the Loule Film Office are incredibly supportive and have been great allies throughout the entire process. It is a truly wonderful place to make movies.
Are you using local crew and equipment? What are they like?
Regarding equipment we are using lighting and grip equipment from Portugal, however, our camera equipment came from the UK. As for crew, we are using predominantly a Portuguese crew but with a number of British HODs. Both crew and equipment have been first class to date.
Have you been working with Monte Productions? What support have they provided?
Yes we have been working with Monte Productions who have been phenomenal. They have provided all the production services for the Portugal shoot apart from hiring those HODs which we brought from the UK.
Where and when are you filming in the UK?
We will be shooting in Stratford-Upon-Avon for five days from Tuesday November 10 to Saturday November 14.