Ian Brodie, award winning photographer and author of The Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook and forthcoming, The Hobbit Location Guidebook, has set his sights on Glastonbury for his next book project, Journey Through Somerset. His recent trip to Somerset had a lot to do with a realization that the county certainly had the cultural landscape to support a full and proper travel guide. The best selling travel guide author, previously published by HarperCollins, believes that the county is rich beyond measure in great physical and cultural beauty.
Originally it was the profound Arthurian myths and legends surrounding Glastonbury that brought Ian to Somerset county, that and the fact that the New Zealander traces his own family heritage to the region. Brodie explains, “I have done some pretty high profile travel books surrounding Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth and Andrew Adamson’s Narnia in New Zealand and while I love New Zealand I have always wanted to go back to the start, as it were, and what better county in Britain to focus in on than Somerset.”
Tourism operator and Visit Somerset director, John Turner was able to confirm Ian’s findings that indeed the county is ripe for more growth. Just this last year the county’s visibility has expanded, emerging as one of the hottest counties in the UK, with their own Visit Somerset brand now trailing right behind Visit Scotland. The significance of these discoveries is magnified even more so by the fact that the US film production company, Galatia Films, along with top international filmmakers, will be producing a movie based on the legends and myths surrounding Joseph of Arimathea and the Holy Grail at Glastonbury.
Galatia Films’ executive director Daniel McNicoll clarifies, “Glastonbury is known for it’s annual music festival, but greater still are it’s phenomenal myths and legends. Glastonbury is Britain’s Jerusalem, it is the clearest ruby in the center of a golden crown that is England.” Ian Brodie agrees and Galatia Films and Visit Somerset are fully backing a new campaign to help Ian raise the funds to produce Journey Through Somerset. Brodie, who has sold over a million copies of his very popular travel guides to New Zealand as Middle-earth and Cameras in Narnia, will be able to visually capture Somerset in a way that it has never before been seen.
The Glastonbury movie, which is now set to begin production in 2014, has garnered the support of Star Wars casting director, Robin Gurland, actor/producer John Rhys-Davies, academy award winning special effects director, Richard Taylor (King Kong, Avatar, The Hobbit), along with star production talent behind some of the decade’s biggest blockbusters. McNicoll continues, “We hope to build awareness for these amazing Somerset legends as a run up to the film, informing the public of such momentous myths that could in fact be very timely and world changing. We’re encouraging people to visit WhatIsGlastonbury.com to learn more.”
Each year sees more and more travelers visiting sites such as Glastonbury Abbey in Somerset hoping to discover the secrets of King Arthur and the Holy Grail. Readers who are unable to visit will also have the opportunity to feel as though they have been on the journey themselves. “This is where it all begins and what these pilgrims and wayfarers need is a solid travel book guiding them through the spiritual and physical journey”, explained John Turner. With the film set to begin production in 2014 it would appear that this is a very good opportunity for both the county and the rest of the world to recognize just how significant Glastonbury and the wider Somerset are.