The big screen version of the global smash hit musical “Mamma Mia” was filmed in Damouhari, the September of 2007. It was a great experience, for all of us in Damouhari, to watch, from so close, how such big movies are being produced and executed.
Everything started on May 2007 when two people from a greek film-production company appeared in our village, speaking about the possibility of filming a movie here. A few weeks later a British crew came for a day, watching around and taking photos. Later we have been informed about the director’s decision to shoot here and that everything was about “Mamma Mia” and the famous music of the group ABBA!
According to the script, Damouchari is the harbour of the island where the story is supposed to take place. It is the place where Meryl Streep is receiving her two old friends, who come for the wedding of her daughter. That is also the main setting of the “Dancing Queen” song’ s choreography.
The shooting in Damouhari lasted three days and about three hundred (300) people were working together during these days. It was really impressive to see all those people being perfectly coordinated. All shootings took place in the harbour (where they built a kind of wooden marina) and around the big abandoned building that is there. In the meanwhile, our guesthouse, Ghermaniko Traditional Hotel, was in the center of the whole story, serving as the Mamma Mia production base.
All preparations, started about a month before, end of August. A crew of 10-15 people (British and Greeks) worked for a month to make everything look like the British director, Phyllida Lloyd, wanted. That was, probably, the most impressive part, watching them at the moment everything were being built. The people were genius; they made fake changes look so real, that were convincing even us that have lived in the place all our lives. Congratulation guys!!!
Meryl Streep was absolutely great! She was very very fit; working long hours; jumping and dancing like a teenager. In no case you could say that she had a remote profile. Exactly the opposite; she was very approachable, modest and kind to all of us; she wanted to speak to the locals and was interested to know the history of Damouhari, that really touched her. She never denied a photo, sitting on the same table with everybody and participating fully in the partys that were taking place every night in a local Taverna. She seemed to have a great time and be excited and impressed with our village.
All Mamma Mia crew respected our village and local community, and left us with many beautiful memories. They deserve maximum respect from our side.
Thank you guys!