Written by Shona Smith on Jan 6, 2020. Posted in On Location

Dracula miniseries shot in horror film hotspots

The three-part series inspired by Bram Stoker’s novel filmed in locations historically tied to the horror genre. The three part series was written and created by Sherlock co-creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss who have noted Dracula’s importance to the genre, saying “what’s special about Dracula, is that Bram Stoker gave evil its own hero”.

The mini-series stars Claes Bang (The Girl on the Spiders Web) as Dracula, Morfydd Clark (His Dark Materials) as Mina and Dolly Wells (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) as Sister Agatha. Produced by Hartswood Films for the BBC, the series is a co-production between BBC One and Netflix, who will distribute internationally.

One of the key locations was Orava Castle in Slovakia. The castle’s exteriors doubled for Dracula’s castle set in Transylvania, Romania. The thirteenth century castle is set on a rock overlooking the Orava River and local village. The BBC production is not the first time that Orava has doubled for Transylvania, having provided the exteriors for cult silent film Nosferatu. The 1922 silent film is widely regarded as an unauthorised adaptation of Stoker’s novel.

Interiors and additional sets were built at Bray Studios, in Berkshire. The studio itself has as much genre pedigree as Orava Castle, having been home to prolific horror production company Hammer Film Productions. The studio hosted production for Hammer’s classic horror films in the mid twentieth century including Dracula, The Mummy and The Curse of Frankenstein. The studios closed in 2012 but reopened for filming in 2018 first hosting Elton John biopic Rocketman before Dracula.

In January 2020, Slovakia increased their cash rebate from 20% to 33%. The incentive is open to international productions spending over EUR300,000 for TV features and series and feature film slates of up to three. Individual feature films, documentary and animated films will having to spend EUR150,000 in Slovakia within a period of three years to qualify.

Image Credit: Hartswood Films

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