Algarve-based Spy Manor Productions begins filming high-tech, star-studded TV crime drama

The new show, “Cold Mind”, explores the darker side of detective work and Artificial Intelligence (AI) with a star-studded cast from series and films like Return of the Jedi, “Game of Thrones”, and “Transformers”

– April 17, 2024 | Photos Spy Manor Productions
Simon Hunter (right) will be the director of Cold Mind (Photos Spy Manor Productions)
Simon Hunter (right) will be the director of Cold Mind (Photos Spy Manor Productions)

The Algarve will be the setting for the production of “Cold Mind”, a TV crime drama exploring the darker side of detective work and AI, by Spy Manor Productions.

Principal photography has already started on the new show, which stars Niamh McCormack, who has appeared in blockbuster films and shows including “Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves” and “The Witcher”, as well as Jos Vantyler, a multi-award winning stage actor, and Portuguese star actors Joana Seixas and Paulo Calatré.

Niamh McCormack
Niamh McCormack

Director Simon Hunter (“Edie”) will bring to life the “gripping storyline” written by Ross Jameson (“Freefonix”, “Second Origin”).

The talented crew includes renowned composer Debbie Wiseman (“Wolf Hall”, “Dickensian”) for the original score, and cinematographer August Jakobsson, who worked on very popular TV shows such as “Game of Thrones” and movies including “Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”, “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” and “The Northman”, will oversee cinematography.

Stunt design will be in the hands of Vic Strong, who has worked on the James Bond franchise as well as other iconic films such as “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, “Return of the Jedi”, “Blade Runner”, “Mission: Impossible III” and more.

According to Spy Manor Productions, “Cold Mind” is set to “redefine the genre, blending futuristic tech with thrilling detective mysteries”.

Filming began on April 15 and is scheduled to finish by mid-May, marking a “significant leap forward for Portugal’s film and TV industry, presenting an international narrative tailored for global viewers”.

“At Spy Manor Productions, we’re excited to embark on the journey of creating the Cold Mind Universe, where technology and humanity intertwine. Alongside a thrilling detective puzzle, we delve into the evolution of AI agents, mirroring the advancements in real-world technology, and gaze into the future to offer audiences an exciting, edge-of-your seat and elegant detective thriller, inspired by real events, all while showcasing the beauty of the Algarve,” stated producer Vanda Everke.

Director Simon Hunter added: “Cold Mind” is a gripping crime drama with multiple twists and turns, set across two continents. Our talented cast and crew are poised to captivate audiences worldwide with fresh, topical storylines and compelling characters.”

Stunt designer Vic Armstrong has also chimed in, praising the project’s “forward-looking approach”.

“I’m thrilled to be part of Cold Mind, a 21st-century game changer exploring the fascinating world of AI. It’s an exciting new venture, and I’m honoured to contribute to its success,” he said.


The production is also partnering with Dengun, a start-up studio with an AI innovation lab.

“Bringing Cold Mind to the Algarve spotlights our region’s potential for both film and innovation. This collaboration strengthens our commitment to growth, blending creativity with entrepreneurship,” said Miguel Fernandes, CEO of Dengun, describing the production as a “testament to our thriving ecosystem and a step towards global recognition”.

The new series promises not only to entertain, but also to boost the local economy and elevate Portugal’s position as a leading international filming destination, with over 100 cast and crew members involved in its production.

Filming will take place at multiple locations, including the UALG TEC CAMPUS, the Algarve’s University business accelerator, which “strongly supports the project”.

The first location for the filmmakers is the historic Tavira Atalaia Barracks, “perfectly suiting the film narrative where the army extends its support to the local police forces”, according to Spy Manor Productions.

Spy Manor Productions says this is the “first major step” in their journey to dedicate themselves to “driver further the creative entertainment ventures like this one”..

Article originally published by Michael Bruxo on Portugal Resident.

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