Behind the scenes: Year of the Sea film

"Our 2018 Visit Wales film captures our epic shores with Welsh actor-turned-pilot, Luke Evans, who takes us on an epic aerial journey along our incredible coastline in just 60 seconds.
So how did we do it? Watch our behind the scenes video to find out…"

The concept

This is the third act to the story of Wales, which started with the Year of Adventure in 2016 and continued with Year of Legends in 2017. Our challenge was the geography and the sheer amount of coastline that we could and should profile; our coastal communities, our wildlife, our culture and our geology.

We needed an idea that showed off our coastal communities, and would take us on an awe-inspiring journey along the whole of the Welsh coastline: from the source of a river in the Cambrian mountains to its conclusion as it meets the sea. This concept of source to sea is important to us – to highlight that Wales’ Year of the Sea isn’t just about our seas but about our shores, inland waterways, rivers and lakes. 

We see Luke Evans pilot a classic seaplane – taking flight from a lake in the foothills of Snowdonia and taking us on a journey that traces our incredible coastline and which ends at sunset in Cardiff Bay.

The star

Luke Evans, star of the Visit Wales Year of the Sea promo film, at the controls of the plane
Luke Evans

We’re so pleased to be working again with Luke Evans, who starred in our successful Year of Legends film last year. Luke has played Hollywood heroes and villains in roles that span fact and fiction, fantasy and reality, from ancient gods to present-day characters. This makes Luke the ideal actor to play the hero of our TV advert - an enigmatic everyman who is both otherworldly and contemporary. As well as being a nice Welsh boy from the Valleys, Luke starred as Gaston in the Disney live action remake of Beauty and the Beast. He also achieved international acclaim for his starring role in the recent hit thriller, Girl on The Train. 

The location

The opening scenes of the advert were shot on location at Llyn Gwynant in the heart of Snowdonia. This is a popular location for canoeing and kayaking. It’s here that we see Luke take off in a sea plane and make his way down to Cardiff Bay, looking back on Wales from above. Here is the full list of all locations featured on the 60 second version of the film:

Llyn Gwynant
Three Cliffs Bay
Ramsay Island
Near Three Cliffs Bay
Marloes Sands
Glamorgan Heritage Coast
Cardiff Bay Barrage
Cardiff Bay

The crew

All the principal crew members were chosen from a rich pool of talent in the Welsh TV and film industry. The director Marc Evans (Resurrection Man, House of America, Hinterland) oversaw the location filming; cinematographer Luke Jacobs is a veteran of music videos and TV ads; the rest of the crew have worked on countless BBC Wales projects including Sherlock, Doctor Who, Torchwood and Casualty. 

The Welsh voiceover

Actress Hannah Daniel provides the voiceover on the Welsh version of the film. Hannah was born in Cardiff and is best known for her role as DS Sian Owens in Hinterland (BBC) and as Beca Matthews in the S4C drama series Gwaith Cartref. Hannah can currently be seen on S4C’s latest Sunday night drama Un Bore Mercher  playing Cerys Jones, with the English version Keeping Faith due on BBC in January 2018.

The music

The campaign is a continuation of the Epic theme that started in our 2016 Year of Adventure. So it made sense to use music that was specially written for us by the composer John Hardy. In 2017 for Year of Legends, John’s musical palate was handed over to Wevie, a music and sound design studio, who’ve given it a thoroughly modern reimagining. Wevie have worked their musical magic for us again this year for the Year of Sea.