Could “The Borgias” have been done in Ireland?

In 2011 Showtime will air ‘The Borgias’ as the follow up series to the very successful TV series The Tudors which was entirely done in Ireland over a 4 year period.

“The Borgias” will be filmed at the Korda Film Studios in Budapest, Hungary during 2010 making use of numerous stages and a large backlot at Korda Studios.

“The Borgias” was a Canadian-Irish-Hungarian co-production directed by Neil Jordan, Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons playing the starring role along with Derek Jacobi. The Borgia family, one of whose members became Pope Alexander VI in 1492, was notorious for murder, rape and corruption in 15th century Italy.

Given the current state of the Irish economy and the need to keep people at work it’s a real shame that The Borgias” could not have been enticed to bring the series here, particularly with the involvement of James Flynn of Octagon Films. Given that Ardmore Studios is fully booked with one single production ‘Camelot’ One wonders if we had another purpose built studios available would it have been possible to persuade Showtime to bring the production to Ireland?

In recent years major investment has been made to adapt various warehouses in the Greater Dublin area for individual productions, only to be torn down again at the end of that production. I believe that in the past 3 years in excess of €1million has been spent on temporary measures, would it not be more beneficial if this money was spent on providing a second permanent studio?

Of course there may have been other issues, labour costs particularly in construction costs remain high, and despite reduction in all other sectors in Ireland over the past 2 years there has been no reduction in labour costs or flexibility in this sector. Film production is very competitive we see how important the New Zealand Government viewed film production when it intervened

On a personal level I was happy to get 17 weeks work on Neverland in 2010, but not nearly enough make a living from. I can’t help wondering how different things may have been for Irish film crew members, had The Borgias been done to Ireland.

The reality is if we don’t invest in more modern studio facilities and have greater flexibility in work practices, the future will be more European C0-Production where Irish taxpayers will be funding projects like The Borgias that will be shot outside Ireland.


Categories: Film and TV

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

2 replies

  1. “The Borgias” will be back in Hungary in July to film the second season. Some pictures from the first season shoots you can find here:

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