Ireland’s first ever online soap opera, Covies, set in Westport, Co Mayo, was officially launched last Sunday at a very special red carpet reception held in the Castlecourt Hotel, where the first three episodes of the soap will be shown at a private screening. The first episode of Covies debuted on Monday online on www.tvwestport.com Covies is a unique collaboration between film maker Len Collins, who has written for Eastenders, Soldier Soldier, The Bill, Casualty, and Holby City, Westport Chamber of Commerce and Westport Urban District Council. Shot in high definition over 40 locations throughout the county and with a cast of over 60 actors, it is anticipated that the soap will become a household favourite. “The idea for the project came from a meeting I had with the president of the Westport Chamber of Commerce, Danny McLaughlin,” said Collins. “Danny wanted to encourage both tourists and filmmakers to come to Westport and avail of all the absolutely stunning locations. After my visit I knew that it was definitely a place I wanted to work.”
Each of the eight episodes in season one is 15 minutes long and the entire season was shot on a shoestring budget of €24,000. Covies has interweaving, multi-stranded storylines that are aimed at the mass population, just like any other good television soap. However, broadcasting rules on the internet are different from those that surround regular television broadcasting. Internet broadcasting has no watershed, which allows Covies to push the envelope in terms of style and content and give the viewer a cinematic experience right on their computer screens.