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Universal Launch The Start Of Production On Netflix Bound 'Nightflyers'
09 Feb 2018 : Nathan Griffin
Universal and the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, today launched the start of the production of ‘Nightflyers’ in Troy Studios Limerick at an event in the Merrion Hotel hosted by Kim Harris, General Counsel at NBC Universal.

The much anticipated Syfy series ‘Nightflyers’, is based on George R.R. Martin’s 1987 Novella and is being produced by NBC Universal & Universal Cable Productions, alongside Wild Atlantic Pictures with Irish producers Macdara Kelleher and Eoin Egan, and will air on the Syfy Channel in the US, and will also be available on Netflix.

Kimberley Harris - Executive Vice President & General Counsel of NBCUniversal, opened proceedings discussing Universal’s long-standing interest in investing in Ireland. Harris discussed how Ireland possessed many of the ingredients for success in the film & television sector globally, and how the company shares the Governments goal to develop Ireland into a ‘International Centre of Excellence for Film & Television Production’.

Speaking at the Launch, Kimberley Harris - Executive Vice President & General Counsel said:

“NBCUnvirsal is happy to be doing our first major production in Ireland. The supportive public policy environment, supportive Government, and skilled local workforce were key factors for this investment and we appreciate the continued support.”

The Vice-President also highlighted that the investment being injected by Universal into the ‘Nightflyers’ production would be the largest ever seen from an international project in Ireland. Harris thanked Minister Madigan and the IFB for their support and partnership in developing the job training programme, stating that 75% of the production crew were Limerick locals. The job training programme, called ‘bootcamp’, which is in association with Screen Training Ireland is said to be a huge success with over 200 applicants for 45 places.

Following Ms. Harris’ introduction, Minister Madigan addressed the room:

“For this fledgling studio - which opens its doors to an international production for the first time - it is great cause for celebration. I wish to congratulate all in Limerick who had the vision to transform the old Dell factory into what is now a major asset for Ireland’s Creative industries.

This project chimes with so much of what this Government is aiming to do:

  • Bring investment to the regions in line with the Action Plan for Jobs;
  • Bring creativity to the centre of everything we do as set out in the Creative Ireland Programme;
  • Bring top quality jobs and training to a whole new generation in Limerick to ensure that Limerick becomes a major centre of film and TV Drama for years to come.”

It is estimated that up to 500 people will be employed during filming of the series at Troy Studios. In turn it is estimated that as much as a €70 million knock on effect into the local Limerick economy.

The production includes Irish talent such as Eoin Macken as Karl D’Branin and Brían F. O'Byrne as Auggie, alongside major international stars such as Gretchen Mol who has previously starred in ‘Boardwalk Empire’ as Dr. Agatha Matheson, David Ajala who was in ‘Fast & Furious 6’ as Roy Eris, Sam Strike as Thale, Maya Eshet as Lommie, Angus Sampson, star of the award-winning ‘Fargo’ as Rowan and Jodie Turner-Smith as Melantha.

The Irish Film Board (IFB) has granted production funding to ‘Nightflyers’, while its training arm,  Screen Training Ireland, has also collaborated with Troy Studios and ‘Nightflyers’ to develop work-based learning initiatives for new entrants, alongside shadowing and mentoring opportunities for more experienced industry practitioners. Since the Troy Studios Open Day in late 2016, Screen Training Ireland has delivered training in areas such as Construction, Set Build, Introduction to the Production Office, Drafting and a P.A. Boot camp.

Speaking after the event James Hickey, Chief Executive of the IFB added:

“The Irish Film Board is delighted to be supporting the production of Nightflyers at Troy Studios in Limerick. A production of this scale is a huge vote of confidence in Irish creative talent and technical skills available in Ireland. It is creating substantial employment in the mid-west and is part of the IFB’s promotion of production in the regions. Attracting an inward production of this type is significant not only for Limerick because of the jobs it creates and the associated spend, but also for the wider industry and economy because it further enhances Ireland’s reputation internationally as a production location.”

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