RECREATING THE KLONDIKE IN CONAMARA
Central to our series An Klondike is the recreation of a time period and location that is historically and geographically remote. Creating an authentic look calls for painstaking attention to the smallest historical detail and the team behind An Klondike spent months researching historical archives to ensure that the physical environments presented onscreen are as authentic as possible.
"The landscape plays a vital role in establishing the visual tone of An Klondike, and the desolate pine forests and lakes of Conamara are a perfect backdrop for the story we are telling," says series creator and director Dathaí Keane. "I had filmed a documentary series in Canada and as part of the shoot we journeyed into Northern Ontario. I remember being struck by how familiar the landscape there was, and how similar it was to certain parts of the West of Ireland. The geographical features of parts of Conamara are identical to the regions of the Yukon where gold was discovered. That was one of the things that fed into the initial creation of An Klondike."
BUILDING THE TOWN OF DOMINION CREEK
The majority of the action in An Klondike takes place in Dominion Creek, one of many mining towns that sprang up during the Klondike Gold Rush. As part of our production we rebuilt Dominion Creek on a site next to the Glengowla mines, outside the village of Oughterard in Co. Galway.
The series’ Production Designer, Padraig O'Neill, and his team spent months researching the look and feel of a Gold Rush town from the era and designed a town that will transport viewers back to the 1890’s. Crucial details were provided by the Dawson City Historical Conservation Society who were able to advise on the architectural details of each individual building that made up the town. Doors, windows, cornices, balconies – everything that is seen onscreen had to be designed and constructed according to specific criteria.
"The construction of Dominion Creek as a functioning town allowed us to film the series in an exciting and dynamic way. To achieve this style I needed to follow our characters through the streets of Dominion Creek with the camera, shadowing their movements. Most of the buildings in the town were constructed as full 360° structures, not just facades, so that we could track with the characters as they make their way from one part of the town to another. As well as this, a number of the buildings in the town were fully functioning sets, so we able to follow our characters from the streets into the buildings and maintain that sense that this was a real, lived-in town."
- Dathaí Keane