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Page last updated at 10:39 GMT, Wednesday, 19 May 2010 11:39 UK
DH Lawrence moves from Nottinghamshire to South Africa
Billy Ivory
Nottingham author Billy Ivory has spent six years adapting DH Lawrence

A forthcoming BBC adaptation of DH Lawrence's novels has been filmed 6000 miles from his Nottinghamshire homeland to save money.

The two 90 minute films, that are due to be shown in autumn 2010, were shot in and around Cape Town, South Africa.

They have been adapted by Nottingham writer Billy Ivory. He said it was not realistic to film in Lawrence's Eastwood home.

"It would have cost two and a half times as much [to make it here]."

Mr Ivory started work adapting Lawrence six years ago. The finished films will be an amalgamation of Women in Love, The Rainbow and Lawrence's short story The Trespasser and be shown on BBC4.

They will star Rosamund Pike, Rachel Stirling, Rory Kinnear, Joseph Mawle, Saskia Reeves and Ben Daniels.

Billy Ivory said it was a sign of the times that it was more practical to film abroad than at home.

"There are big incentives from the South African government to get people there to help their economy.

"Effectively we're being subsidised to work there."

The writer said skilled labour was much cheaper and they were able to use the same crew that had worked on the major feature film District 9.

They paid them what they expected and it was still more affordable than in Britain.

Computer art

Many of the South Africa exteriors will be enhanced by the use of computer generated technology although all the interiors have been filmed in Cape Town buildings that boast period fixtures and fittings.

Despite the need to use modern technology to create the right image it was claimed it was still easier to shoot abroad than at home.

The producers said that, although Lawrence locations still exist around Nottinghamshire, they are too close to major developments like IKEA.

"It's all there around Eastwood but not so you could successfully film it," said Mr Ivory.

Rosamund Pike
Rosamund Pike is one of the stars of the 2010 adaptation of Women in Love

"In South Africa, once you've shifted all the baboons off the lawn, you've got the landscape."

Despite the pros there are many cons and the Nottingham writer is disappointed he could not have filmed his re-interpretation in his own backyard, especially as the overseas production became blighted by the volcanic ash that emanated from Iceland in April 2010.

"All the stuff we had with the volcano, it just got ridiculous. Were we going to get actors there on time? Rushes take a day and a half to get back.

"We also had to carry a load of artificial hedge around with us because in South Africa there's loads of fields but no hedges. That's a very English thing."

However, in terms of getting the job done, Billy Ivory said he and the BBC had no choice but to look abroad.

"It's so hard to get period stuff made these days that isn't Jane Austen. You have to run with it or you'll never get it away."

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