People, Places, Business

Creative Castings

Local Casting Agency secures work on Da Vinci’s Demons

Creative Castings Da Vinci's Demons

Creative Casting, Wales’ largest film and TV casting agency, has secured work for the second series of Da Vinci’s Demons, which is being filmed across various locations in Neath Port Talbot over the coming months.

Established in 2007 by business entrepreneur Jacqui Morris, Creative Casting has come to an agreement with the Hollywood producers to supply actors and supporting artists for the second series of the TV blockbuster. The first series is currently being broadcast internationally via BBC Worldwide Productions, Starz Entertainment and Fox International Channels across 200 channels in 120 countries.

Following this agreement, the Neath Port Talbot based company has also reported a 25 per cent year on year increase in turnover over the last two years due to the boom of the creative industry in south Wales. With over 1,800 people on its books, 95 per cent of whom are from Wales, Creative Casting has been involved in a number of major productions coming to these shores including Doctor Who, Casualty, Gavin and Stacey, Stella and Wizards v Aliens.

Jacqui Morris of Creative Casting, based in Pontrhydyfen said: “The recent location of several BBC productions to the new film studios in Cardiff Bay, such as Doctor Who, Casualty and Torchwood, and the emergence of the Bay Studios in Neath Port Talbot, where the first series of Da Vinci’s Demons was filmed, have made an enormous contribution to the success of our business.

“However, production companies are not only coming to Wales because of the world-class facilities we have on our doorstep. Neath Port Talbot and the surrounding area boasts such a varied landscape, all within a short distance from each other including the waterfront, beaches and coastline to the Valleys and Brecon Beacons, all of which make for fantastic film and TV production locations. It’s also much more economical to film here than in potentially more expensive locations such as London or England’s home counties.

“The area is also bursting with talent, which is evident from the likes of Richard Burton, Anthony Hopkins, Michael Sheen and Rob Brydon who have all come from here.”

Councillor Ali Thomas, Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, said: “This is an exciting time for the County Borough. With more and more nationally and internationally recognised film and TV programmes such as Da Vinci’s Demons being filmed in the area, they are not only putting south Wales on the map, but also allow local businesses like Creative Casting to really thrive.

“We are delighted that Da Vinci’s Demons is returning for a second series and look forward to welcoming further large scale productions such as these to the area.”

The Da Vinci’s Demons first series created over 3,000 jobs for the local area, including actors, extras, set designers, costume designers, caterers, drivers and film technicians, helping boost the regional economy by an estimated £20 million.  

The Welsh Government invested in the former Ford factory on Fabian Way to develop the new Bay Studios, as part of its investment in the creative industry in Wales.  Neath Port Talbot Council’s Business Development team also provided specialist business support to the production team to help them deliver their investment strategy, purchase equipment and apply for relevant funding.  The Council also provided funding for site infrastructure which was needed to help secure the first series.

Jacqui continued: “Earlier this year we received £3,000 of funding to go towards the development of the Creative Castings website from Neath Port Talbot Business Development team.  Without the funding we wouldn’t have been able to update the website as required, and it’s since made an enormous difference to the business.  The Council’s Business Development team were fantastic to work with, and extremely helpful in terms giving advice and turning around the funding application. I would highly recommend any existing or new business in the area to approach the team to see what sort of support they’re entitled to.”

For more information about doing business in Neath Port Talbot please visit http://www.npt-business.co.uk/ or call 01639 686835.