German Feature Could Bring Tourist Boost For Scilly

Frank Mirbach

Frank Mirbach

Scilly is getting a massive promotional boost with an hour-long, movie-style feature being filmed by a German TV crew for worldwide distribution.

The documentary will highlight Tresco’s Abbey Gardens, boatbuilding at Porthloo, the Sea Bird Recovery Project on St Agnes and Gugh and the World’s Smallest Football League.

Producer and Director Frank Mirbach from production company Mineworks says that an attempt to locate a shipwreck first brought Scilly to his attention.

He was part of the team filming the search for the HMS Romney and also spent time diving off the HMS Firebrand wreck.

The episode, made for networks WDR and NDR, will be broadcast to a potential audience of 85 million TV viewers in Germany in 2016.

Many more people could view the finished programme on Swiss and Austrian TV, online broadcasts and satellite.

Islanders are being interviewed but their voices will be overdubbed by actors. That means that the programme could be sold to non-German speaking countries, dubbed in their own language.

It’s going to be a slick production with an orchestral musical score and it is being shot in ultra high definition television, known as 8k.

Even the highest quality UK TV isn’t anywhere near that resolution yet, although some Asian nations, such as Japan, have adopted the format.

Frank says the working title for the production is ‘The Unknown Paradise’ because so few people know about the islands.

He says even he mistook photos of Scilly for the Caribbean when he first saw them and couldn’t believe they were in England.

The current filming schedule ends on Wednesday and the crew will return to Scilly for more filming in September.

Frank believes German speakers will want to visit when they view the finished programme but feels there will be some challenges for German tourists to overcome, such as finding accommodation in high season.