Anglo-French murder mystery The Tunnel films on location in East Kent
New Anglo-French murder mystery The Tunnel filmed on location throughout East Kent in the UK. Adapted from Scandinavian murder mystery series The Bridge, the story begins with a body found midway through the Channel Tunnel.
Co-producers Kudos Film and Shine France Films chose Discovery Park in Sandwich as their production base and the Kent Film Office supported the shoot over the course of nearly 120 days of regional filming.
Just as the killer of the story stirs Anglo-French politics and tensions by deliberately laying his victim across the official England-France border in the Channel Tunnel, producing the actual show as an international co-production was not without its challenges.
“It was pretty complicated actually,” Jane Featherstone, executive producer and chief executive of Kudos, revealed to the Guardian: “[It was] a 50-50 co-production, which means no party has final control, so there was navigating that – it was half in French, half in English, with two French and two British directors, three French and three British writers.
We shot in France and Britain with multiple versions of the script, which was translated left, right and centre, and we shot in the tunnel for real, which is a phenomenal thing to do.
Jane Featherstone, Kudos
“We shot in France and Britain with multiple versions of the script, which was translated left, right and centre, and we shot in the tunnel for real, which is a phenomenal thing to do. In the end it was a true entente cordiale,” Featherstone adds.
While The Tunnel spotlights Anglo-French relations and politics, The Bridge has also been adapted for US television, with the setting switched to the Bridge of the Americas between El Paso, Texas, and the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez.
The original version of The Bridge was a co-production between Sweden and Denmark and was filmed in the Oresund region, which encompasses both countries.
Oresund has become a major exporter of dark crime dramas, having also produced Wallander, Borgen and The Killing. In each case, the setting has been a fundamental element of the storytelling, giving the filmmakers the opportunity to integrate dynamic filming locations into the narrative.
This more cerebral connection between location and story is becoming a trait of the most popular TV dramas. Game of Thrones has filmed extensively in Croatia and Iceland to capture the contrasting climates essential to its storytelling, while the sun-baked locales of Albuquerque in New Mexico became integral to crime drama Breaking Bad.
The Tunnel starts on Sky Atlantic on 16 October 2013 and will be screened on Canal+ in France a few weeks later.
To read more about Oresund's crime dramas click here.
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