Mill to be star of TV documentary
MACCLESFIELD’S Paradise Mill is to star in an upcoming documentary.
Filming for a short 3D film called ‘Bates of the Amazon’ has been taking place at the mill, which is famed for its jacquard looms, over the past two days.
The documentary will tell the tale of the remarkable life of Henry Bates who followed his dream to the perilous Amazon in the 1850s.
There he discovered thousands of new species and helped prove Charles Darwin’s then controversial explanation for the development of life on earth. The 45-minute film is being made by Canadabased SKK Films for IMAX theatres and museums.
Film crews will also be filming at Quarry Bank Mill in Styal before heading to Brazil for the final leg of its shooting schedule.
Joe Kotroczo, production manager, said: “We needed the backdrop of an 1850s mill and Paradise Mill is perfect for it. There’s aren’t many place like this still around.
“It’s a stunning building inside and out. The people of Macclesfield have been very welcoming and we’ve loved working here.”
The film is directed by Mike Slee, who specialises in 3D films and won accolades for ‘Flight of the Butterflies’, which traces the epic mysterious journey of the monarch butterflies.
Joe added: “The butterfly theme continues in Bates of the Amazon where the insects discovered by Henry Bates are the real stars of the show.”
Bates was pulled out of school in Leicester at 13 to become an apprentice at a hosiery factory.
But with a love of nature and learning he set sail on the adventure of a lifetime to the Amazon rainforest where he stayed for 11 years to make significant contributions to evolutionary science.
Despite yellow fever, treacherous landslides, robbery, starvation, encounters with jaguars, army ants, poisonous snakes and insects, Bates discovered the mindboggling world of animal mimicry and camouflage. He returned to England, to lend, what his friend Charles Darwin called “the beautiful proof” to claims about natural selection made in the controversial book “On the Origin of Species...”.
Paradise Mill has featured in a number of documentaries in recent years including ‘Calculating Ada: Countess of Computing’ and Natural Curiosities, which was presented by legendary broadcaster Sir David Attenborough.
●● Filming has been taking place at Paradise Mill