The city's adaptability is a key ingredient in its remarkable recent success as it emerges as Britain's second film-making hub, after London. Kevin Macdonald's saga of the Roman army north of the border, The Eagle of the Ninth, starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell and Donald Sutherland, was filmed last year in Glasgow, as well as in more rural parts of Scotland. The natural beauty of the country has, of course, long been beneficial to the Scottish film industry, attracting production of blockbusters such as Highlander and Braveheart. But Glasgow has now moved beyond that, offering good quality studio and post-production facilities.
Film City also has four casting agencies under its roof, one devoted to supplying actors of ethnic minority backgrounds. "It's not just the tartan and chocolate box stuff anymore. Glasgow is quite a gritty, urban, cool city now," says Tiernan Kelly, Film City's general manager, highlighting recent international recognition of the city's achievements in music and art. "This all adds to the cachet of Glasgow, that it's a good place to work."
Film City, a £3.5m redevelopment of the old town hall building, includes several film and television production companies, including KEO, the team behind Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage on Channel 4. Also being made in Glasgow is the romantic drama The Last Word, directed by David Mackenzie and starring Ewan McGregor. It is a co-production involving Sigma Films, based in the same building. Meanwhile another Romans in Scotland movie, The Centurion, starring yet another actor from The Wire, Dominic West, was shot largely in the Highlands and is due for release at the end of this year.
There is also discussion of Valhalla Rising which was based at Film City too. While not the same, late last year there was much ado about the hiring of Mr. Butler as spokesperson to help effort awareness of the fantastic Scottish film industry; just hope this piece is one of many many we can see in the coming days and months.
You can learn more about Film City Glasgow at their official site here, and Sigma Films here.