SALISBURY CATHEDRAL & TANDEM COMMUNICATIONS ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP BASED ON THE TELEVISION ADAPTATION OF KEN FOLLETT'S , 'THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH'Issued Tuesday 16th March 2010
Ground-breaking television event set to air worldwide this year
Salisbury Cathedral is delighted to announce a new partnership with TANDEM COMMUNICATIONS, who have just completed filming an eight-hour television series of Ken Follett’s epic best-seller The Pillars of the Earth.
Arguably the world’s largest television event this year, the star-studded cast includes Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Matthew Macfadyen, Eddie Redmayne, Hayley Atwell, Sarah Parish, Donald Sutherland, Alison Pill and Gordon Pinsent. With production credits including Hollywood legend Sir Ridley Scott, the film will be completed in the Summer 2010.
The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of the building of the fictional 12th century Kingsbridge Cathedral in the South West of England through forty years of the lives of the main characters. Follett has stated the importance of Salisbury Cathedral as an inspiration for his book and the many parallels between Salisbury and the fictional Kingsbridge Cathedral. An amazing modern day connection is the presence in the film cast of David Oakes, educated in the Cathedral Close and the son of a current Salisbury Cathedral Canon, playing the dastardly William Hamleigh.
Ken Follett said “When I started to look at cathedrals, I wondered: who built them, and why? The book is my answer to that question. I sat down to write Pillars almost 24 years ago and now I am very pleased to see it being brought alive in a new form, with great actors bringing their own interpretations to each character; I can’t wait to see the final result. The historical background in Pillars is authentic but Kingsbridge and its people are fictional. Kingsbridge is located roughly where the present-day country town of Marlborough is because there is no real-life cathedral nearby and the area is within a few days’ horseback ride of several important medieval cities mentioned in the book, especially Winchester, Gloucester and Salisbury. My cathedral was partly inspired by Salisbury Cathedral and in its architecture the finished Kingsbridge Cathedral is like Salisbury, with rows of narrow, pointed ‘lancet’ windows. Indeed, parts of Salisbury’s architecture have been filmed to be reproduced in Kingsbridge Cathedral.”
David Coulthard, Director of Marketing at Salisbury Cathedral, said “Having read The Pillars of the Earth, like millions of people around the world since it was first published in 1989, we are all looking forward very much to seeing its adaptation on the screen. We enjoyed showing director Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (Heroes, Saving Grace, Into the West) around this beautiful cathedral church when he visited us last year. He spent time taking detailed notes about the building and had input from our Consultant Archaeologist Tim Tatton Brown before sending his special effects photographers here in October 2009. We’ve been very impressed by the quality of the sets, the historical accuracy of the medieval furniture and the fabulous photography shot on location in Hungary and Austria.
“Of course we’re delighted about the Salisbury connection with the cast. David Oakes plays William Hamleigh and the revelation that his father Jeremy Oakes is a Canon of Salisbury Cathedral, was described by Rola Bauer, one of the film’s Executive Producers, as a ‘jaw-dropping moment’. The links between the production and Salisbury Cathedral run very deep and we are very pleased to be working closely with TANDEM COMMUNICATIONS, who are keen to provide their support as we seek to maintain our own medieval architecture in the present day.
“We will be featuring updates on the post-production phase of the filming on our website including stills images, monthly blogs written by Ken Follett and short video clips focusing on many aspects of the production.”
“I have loved The Pillars of the Earth for many years,” says Rola Bauer, Managing Director of TANDEM COMMUNICATIONS. “It has been a dream come true to produce our series based on this monumental novel. Salisbury Cathedral was a very important inspiration for Ken Follett as he embarked on writing the story and now that Tandem is working with Salisbury, I have no doubt it will be an inspirational partnership . Canon Oakes has been so supportive of these efforts for which we are very appreciative and it was wonderful to work with his talented son, David. We look forward to a productive collaboration, starting with a direct link between the Salisbury Cathedral website (www.salisburycathedral.org.uk) and the dedicated site for The Pillars of the Earth production(www.the-pillars-of-the-earth.tv/ ).
SALISBURY CATHEDRAL is one of Britain’s finest medieval cathedrals. It offers a warm welcome to all who visit and seeks to strengthen church and community life in the diocese. Salisbury Cathedral celebrates the presence of God through worship, music and art and has a special commitment to challenging injustice and fostering reconciliation, both at home and abroad. Over 250,000 people visit the Cathedral each year to marvel at the peace and beauty of the 750 year old building and admire Britain’s tallest spire. The finest original copy of the 1215 Magna Carta is on permanent display to visitors in the Chapter House.
TANDEM COMMUNICATIONS is located in Munich, Germany and was started in 1999 by Rola Bauer and Tim Halkin. In 2007 Jonas Bauer became a partner in the company and in 2009 Malisa Scott became a partner and Chief Operating Officer. From the beginning, their strategy was to build a vertically-integrated media company whose core business is international production and worldwide distribution. From the Emmy® winner Frank Herbert´s Dune to the Emmy® nominated Dragons’ World to the Golden Globe® nominated The Company to the Nora Roberts Franchise, TANDEM continues to develop, produce and distribute high-quality projects.
TANDEM produced the DIVA Award-winning Ring of the Nibelungs and garnered excellent ratings on the Syfy Channel in the U.S., as well as internationally for its event movie, Lost City Raiders. Impact premiered successfully in the U.S. on ABC Network.
In 2009, TANDEM launched internationally the new Patricia Cornwell movie franchise with At Risk and The Front, based on her worldwide bestselling crime novels.
For further information contact:
Salisbury Cathedral: Sarah Flanaghan, Tel: 01722 555148, email: email@example.com
Tandem Communications: Lisa Pierce, Tel: +188.8.131.52.83.00, email@ firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information on the series can be found on this website and also at: