Hollow Earth to be filmed in Millport? Islanders are keen

by Rebecca Garrett

Will the adaptation of John Barrowman's children's book be filmed on Cumbrae? The novel's setting is thought to be based on the island, but whilst nothing has been confirmed yet, locals are keen to push the idea forward.

As s1millport first reported back in January, Hollow Earth is a children's fantasy written by Barrowman and his sister Carole, set on the fictional Auchinmurn, which is thought to be Cumbrae.

At the time, one of our contributors Paul Watling, of Isle of Cumbrae Tourist Association, pointed out: "The book is set on the 'island of Auchinmurn' which is so closely based on Cumbrae (it even has a lion rock)."

It has now been announced that Zodiak Kids have acquired the TV rights to a series based on the novel. So will it be filmed on our island?

When s1millport contacted the company a spokeswoman said: "This is just in the development stages. There aren't any filming details yet."

However, from all the comments over the last few months here on s1millport, it seems that many people are keen for the series to be filmed here. Locals are rallying together to make it happen.

Paul Watling - commented on a recent article about Hollow Earth that Edwin Deas had written for s1millport.

Paul said: "The authors have been promoting the island in their media coverage over here."

He also added: "Rest assured that the Tourist Board are not going to let such an opportunity slip by - that is why progress is being monitored and acted upon as required."

Ross Goldie commented on an s1millport Hollow Earth review by Charles Kelly. He said: "It's a potentially HUGE opportunity for the island as a whole. Let's all get together and see what we can do."

Ross also pointed out that some locals had been in touch with the book's publisher and had received very positive feedback to their suggestions.

Some locals met John and Carole Barrowman at their Hollow Earth Glasgow book-signing in February. At the meeting, the group told the siblings how keen they were to promote the island.

We reported at the time: "We truly believe that John and Carole's book will put Cumbrae firmly on the map for all readers and hope, in the event, of a television series that some of the filming may come to the island."

In response Chris Wright commented: "I hope it brings new people to the island and that any prospect of a film or series involves some filming on the island."

Exciting news for Millport! Do you want to help the campaign for filming to take place here? You can also let us know what you think by commenting here on s1millport.


June Allison says

Wow - that was unexpected Rebecca! However, when we saw John and Carole we did ask that Millport be considered in the event of a film location being needed. They asked about ferries and we assured them that Cal-Mac would do all they could to facilitate them. We mentioned how the mobile cinema comes on and off, so large vehicles can be accommodated on the ferry.

I heard them on a radio programme and they mentioned that the book was based on Cumbrae which they visited as children.

Perhaps, it is time for the CCDC and the Tourist Board to contact them again and remind them how much it would mean for Cumbrae for them to film here.

Maybe a few letters from some readers on the island might also be helpful.

I hadn't expected Rebecca's article but do think it might be an idea for the island to be pro-active on this as the benefits to the island could be enormous.

Paul Watling says

Just to let everyone know that I have regularly been in contact with the publishers (& through them John & Carole Barrowman & their agents) over the last 5 months since the first book was published & through that process have come to agreement with them on promoting the Island in conjunction with the books but we are waiting for further details on the TV series, which is being dealt with by Zodiac Uk & Barrowman Barker Productions, before putting any publicity campaign into action, to maximise the impact for the island.

Anybody who has visited the Visitors Centre in the Lodge will have seen the quote given to me by Carole Barrowman regarding their childhood visits to Cumbrae & how this inspired the location for their series of books. The Visitors Centre is open every day between 12 & 4.

Please remember that 'Hollow Earth' and 'Auchinmurn' etc remain the intellectual rights of the authors & unauthorised use could be detrimental to the work that has been put in on behalf of the Tourist Board over the last 5 months.

I will continue to liaise with the relevant parties on behalf of the Tourist Board to try to ensure the Island receives the maximum benefit from the 'Hollow Earth' series.

June Allison says

Hi Paul- thanks for that. I had no idea that Rebecca was going to post the above article and had I'd known, I'd have directed her to the Tourist Board.

As you are in contact with the publishers it seems obvious to me that you should be the point of contact and, hopefully, you'll keep the rest of us up to date with what is happening.

 

 

Charles Kelly says

Well done Paul for ensuring that contact with the Barrowmans is maintained and developed. For anyone that can't get to the Visitor Centre to read Carole's quote, it can be read online at http://millport.org/hollow-earth-book/

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