In a sign of the ongoing pull of the UK as a filming location, Disney Channel‘s new multi-part movie Evermoor is gearing up to shoot in Britain. Disney Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) has co-commissioned the longform live-action mystery/adventure/comedy with Disney U.S. It will air on Disney Channel in 160 global territories from the fall. Liverpool-based The Only Way Is Essex producer Lime Pictures, which is owned by All3Media, will make Evermoor for Disney. The story follows Tara Bailey, an American teen who is uprooted from her city home in the U.S. and brought to a beautiful but isolated village on the edge of some very creepy moors in middle England. As her famous novelist mom and step-dad are busy unpacking at Evermoor Manor, Tara, her brother, and her British step-siblings try to adjust to life in their new home. It’s not long before danger, mystery and intrigue unfurl.
Evermoor breaks new ground for Disney, becoming its first live-action movie produced in the UK for broadcast on Disney Channel in the U.S. But it’s no surprise such a Disney project would land in Britain. Already, the movie studio consistently films big features at Pinewood — including the next Star Wars installment later this year. And Marvel titles are regularly shot at Shepperton. But overall, new and expanded TV and film tax credits have made Hollywood sit up — and in some cases line up — to access the market which has a skilled crew base and great facilities. The high-end TV tax relief — which allows for a 25% rebate on 80% of the production budget spent in the UK for shows that cost £1M+ to produce per hour — celebrates its first birthday on April 1 (no fooling). Since its inception, Fox reboot 24: Live Another Day and ABC’s comedy pilot Galavant have been drawn to Britain. Live Another Day has been shooting in a converted warehouse as well as locations in and around London. Evermoor is taking up residence in a Jacobethan manor in the Cheshire countryside known as Arley Hall. While using a stately olde home for filming purposes lends authenticity (see: Downton Abbey), studio space continues to be an issue in the UK as the industry waits to learn the fate of Pinewood’s expansion permit appeal. Also, last week, the British Film Commission welcomed a report outlining the options for a film and TV studio in Scotland.
Evermoor is created by Tim Compton and Diane Whitley (Nickelodeon’s House Of Anubis) and scripted by Bede Blake. Compton is producer and Rebecca Hodgson (BBC’s Good Cop) exec produces. Shooting starts in the spring.