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The show is filmed almost entirely in Bristol; scenes at Roundview College were shot at Henbury School for series four, having formerly been set at the John Cabot Academy and SGS WISE Campus. and multiple scenes are located around College Green. Special locations for individual episodes have included the Gower Peninsula, Sharpness Docks, the University of Exeter and New York City. The series was shot entirely in High Definition, using Sony HDW-750P cameras for the first two series, and Sony HDW-F900R thereafter, both supplied by Panavision. It was edited at BBC Studios and Post Production in Bristol, using Autodesk Lustre and Autodesk Smoke. “The trip to Russia” episode was actually shot in Lithuania, near the capital Vilnius. This episode was shot in co-operation with Lithuanian Film Studios and professional Lithuanian actors.
It was announced in April 2008 that all of the original cast (except Kaya Scodelario and Lisa Backwell) would be replaced for series 3. Creator Bryan Elsley said: “There are risks associated with dumping a cast, but we just did it. There was some disquiet at the channel, but then they told us just to go with it.” Speaking at Broadcast’s television drama conference, he also confirmed the show would stick to its pattern of introducing college-age characters, moving them on in the next series, then letting them go. “The first year is about getting to know the kids, and the second gives us the advantage of being able to explore their psyches a little more,” said Elsley. Brittain said that the new cast would be quite different from the original characters, although people may still spot some similarities. Open auditions for the second generation of cast members were held in Bristol, which attracted 1,500 16- to 18-year-olds, followed by a further two days of auditions in London.
A variety of videos have been released on the Skins website, including character profiles, and “Unseen Skins” mini-episodes that interweave with every aired episode. In addition to character profiles on the official E4 website, accounts for the lead Skins characters are maintained on popular social networking website MySpace. Each series is launched on MySpace, with previews of the first episodes a few days before they are aired on television. There is also an official Skins Internet bot for Windows Live Messenger, which allows users to receive automated messages throughout the airing of each episode with music credits, trivia, and behind-the-scenes gossip.