Toilers of the Sea filming could start by September

TOILERS of the Sea – the movie – is weeks away from being confirmed and filming could start as early as September.

Husband and wife production team David Shanks and Joy Mellins. (29205585)
Husband and wife production team David Shanks and Joy Mellins. (29205585)

‘We are close to getting the green light,’ said David Shanks and Joy Mellins, the husband and wife joint production team who believe they have found the ‘hard equity’ of between £10m. and £12m. to push on with the film.

‘The total budget is £16m. but we can offset some of that,’ said Mr Shanks, who said that ideally they would be looking for a substantial amount to emanate from Guernsey.

‘Guernsey’s overall position is stronger the more we can raise here,’ he added.

The couple have been in the island for nearly a month, including two weeks of self-isolation, and in departing today they do so very confident they have secured the financial backing required.

‘We are extremely confident,’ said Ms Mellins, who also confirmed that a semi-dilapidated cottage at Moulin Huet has even been secured for use as the hero Gilliatt’s home.

The couple have been knocked out by the positive support for the project they have received locally.

‘We have had really good meetings with the States, individuals and institutions,’ said Mr Shanks.

‘People are very keen to help and we are very grateful to them,’ he added.

‘It is all falling into place.

‘We are still hoping to shoot at the end of September. Covid is obviously a potential problem but we have contingencies in place,’ Mr Shanks added.

Moulin Huet is now one of three confirmed Guernsey locations, the others being Castle Cornet and St Saviour’s Church.

Seascapes are also vital to the filming and to that end Pleinmont is a probable location. ‘We obviously need to show the coast of the island,’ said Mr Shanks.

If all goes well the film trailer will be on show in Cannes in 2022.

Earlier this month, the Press reported that A-list actors have been named as potential leads in the planned film of the Victor Hugo classic.

Victor Hugo’s story focuses on a fisherman, Gilliatt, who falls in love with the niece of a local ship owner and ventures into a shipwreck to try to salvage its engine and win her over.

Tom Hardy, Jason Isaacs, Cillian Murphy and Chris Pine are all seen as potential leads, said Ms Mellins.

‘We’ve got an offer out for our lead character but it takes time. All of those actors are on the wish list, an indication of the level of cast that we are looking for.

Film composer John Cameron, who worked on the music for the movie version of Les Miserables, is writing the score.

Top Stories

More From The Guernsey Press

UK & International News