There appears to be escalating chaos around the filming of a Judi Dench, Eddie Izzard movie called “Six Minutes to Midnight” – being apparently being filmed partly in Penarth and partly in Llandudno,
Requests by the film crew to carry out “structural alterations” to Llandudno Pier were refused by the firm that owns the pier and filming work is said to have “come to an abrupt end
As a result scenes which were to have been filmed in Llandudno are to be shot on Penarth Pier – further limiting access to Penarth Pier for local residents and visitors.
This morning the Vale of Glamorgan Council issued a brief and unexpected press release saying that Penarth Pier would be closed from today Wednesday July 18th until Saturday July 21st. It’s most unusual for such minimal notice to be given of the closure of a major public facility.
The release also stated that businesses on Penarth Pier would be able to claim compensation for loss of business during the closure . The Vale Council has said that “any businesses affected by this will be compensated by the production company” [i.e not from the council]
Confusingly later today local traders said they had been told by the film company that the pier would be open as usual today and – said that notwithstanding the council’s official announcement, members of the public would still be allowed on the pier today.
It seems however that this is entirely at the discretion of the film company and applies – or may apply – just during times when equipment and props are being wheeled into place.
Meanwhile the Six Minutes to Midnight film crew – a massive caravan of some 40 trucks – is pulling out of Llandudno and returning to Penarth to carry on filming .
Llandudno Pier owner Adam Williams said he was “unable to meet the demands the film crews were asking for in such a short space of time.” and said Llandudno Pier would have been forced to close for at least a week in the peak season.
Mr Williams said of the structural changes proposed by the film company to Llandudno Pier I can’t let that happen, I have the future of the Pier to think about. I need to make sure we can open after the film crews have gone.” Mr Williams’s decision to refuse the film company has been backed by Llandudno mayor, David Hawkins
Nowthe scenes that would have been filmed on Llandudno Pier will be filmed on Penarth Pier – and that – say insiders – is likely to impose further restrictions on public access to Penarth Pier at the peak of the summer season.
The irony is that the production company making the film Mad as Birds Ltd is based in Llandudno.
Small electric golf carts are have been towing trailers loaded with miscellaneous pieces of scenery and props to the end of the pier throughout the day
Some of the props appeared to be pre WW2 restaurant advertising boards, a native American Indian head-dress, a piano
As already reported on PDN, the movie crew carried out two days of filming on Penarth Esplanade last week where – on one of the warmest and driest nights of the year – night sequences were shot in simulated heavy rain .
One PDN source says the fact that two locations in Wales are being used for filming indicates that the production may well be being underwritten by the Welsh Labour Government – using taxpayer’s money. To date PDN has not been able to obtain any confirmation of this, nor any details on how the production is being financed