The making of our 'Black Bart' film

Lights. Camera. Action!

We had a huge amount of fun making a film for our new pirate playground. So, we thought we'd share some more details about the making of it, including the filming locations and the stars of the show! 

Making the film was a barrel of laughs.

Story

The film tells the story of Pembrokeshire-born Bartholomew Roberts, a ship's officer, whose ship was captured and who was forced, reluctantly, into a life of piracy under the name Black Bart, or Barti Ddu in his native Welsh tongue.

The opening scene captures two little boys finding a bottle washed up on a beach in Pembrokeshire. Inside the bottle is a map for our new adventure playground and the little boys set off for Folly Farm dressed as pirates in search of treasure.

Where be Bart's treasure?

Meanwhile, the tale turns to Bartholomew Roberts' life growing up in Pembrokeshire and how his love of the Pembrokeshire coast inspired a career as a ship's officer. But when his ship is captured by another local legendary pirate, Hywel Davies of Milford Haven, he is given two choices - become a pirate himself, or be skewered. He, not surprisingly, went for the second option and eventually became the most successful pirate of the golden age of piracy, capturing 400 ships in just three years.

Back at Folly Farm the boys embark on pirate battles aboard Bart's ship the Royal Fortune and seek treasure amongst Black Bart's pirate cove!

Zoë Wright, Head of Marketing at Folly Farm, said;

"Robin and Polly, of Mother Goose Films, have again delivered a fabulous story to launch our new pirate playground. It was important to tell Bart's story but we also wanted to demonstrate the play value of our new playground. The clever narrative has allowed us to do both and I hope our visitors will be inspired to come to Pembrokeshire and play pirates for themselves!"

Locations

The opening scene was filmed at Traeth Llyfn, a stunning beach nestled between Abereiddy and Porthgain on the north coast of Pembrokeshire. Traeth Llyfn's vast expanse of sand lent itself to the drone shots as the family arrives at the beach and its rockpools were perfect for the boys to find the washed-up bottle.

Zoë added;

"Of course, Pembrokeshire's epic coastline with its stunning beaches, cliffs and coast paths, provides the perfect landscape for filming, making it a popular choice amongst Hollywood directors. But Mother Goose has made the most of our natural assets through sweeping drone shots, breathtaking cinematography and dramatic storytelling."

The scene where Bartholomew Roberts is looking out to sea is filmed on the headland at Porthgain and a corner of its pub, The Sloop Inn, was transformed into a ship's cabin to continue Bart's story.

The battle and rum-drinking scenes were filmed aboard Folly Farm's very own pirate ship and the children were filmed playing pirate in our new playground 'The legendary Black Bart's Pirate Cove'.

Cast

We're very lucky at Folly Farm to have some amazing acting talent. Gareth Morris, our very own marketing officer and yes he of Radio Pembrokeshire fame, played Bartholomew Roberts and provided the voiceover for the film. Gareth trained at the Welsh Royal College of Music and Drama and has been known to tread the boards with Saundersfoot Footlights.

Gareth Morris, a.k.a Bartholomew Roberts, a.k.a Black Bart, a.k.a Barti Ddu!

We are also indebted to Christopher Tilbury, Marc Styles and Kelvyn Lewis from Saundersfoot Footlights, who put in outstanding performances as Hywel Davies and his crew, capturing Bartholomew Roberts and playing drunks!

Christopher Tilbury a.k.a Hywel Davies

Marc Styles, Davies' crew

Kelvyn Lewis, Davies' crew

The marketing department was also able to provide the two little boys, courtesy of their mum. Thank you to Louis and Jody - you were the perfect pirates. Huge thanks also to Betsi, Mia and another Louis for helping to create a swashbuckling adventure.

Louis and Jody Wright a.k.a the two little boys

The pirates in action

Crew

The biggest thanks must go to Mother Goose Films who continue to be a joy to work with. They tell beautiful stories, filmed magnificently. But most importantly, they are super nice people who have the respect of the whole team at Folly Farm.

Zoë added; 

"Polly and Robin were so wonderful with the cast, especially the children who they really put at ease and got the best out of them. They are so professional - their planning is second to none and their edits are perfect. They just get us.

Pirate Polly of Mother Goose

And here's another chance to watch this legendary production;

Credits

Thanks also to;

  • Griggles in Tenby who supplied all of Black Bart's finery.
  • Flights of Fantasy who designed and installed our new playground.
  • The manager and staff at The Sloop Inn in Porthgain who turned out the lights and allowed us to fill a corner of their pub with smoke.
  • Malcolm Murphy, of Scenic Signs and Gilding, who created the treasure map for the children to find and also themed our new pirate play area.
  • The ice cream van at Abereiddy which provided a much needed pick-me-up for the little boys after a long day filming on the beach!