What better way to celebrate 15 years of Glasgow Film Office (GFO) bringing stars of screen to the city than having the latest film which has used the place for locations, up for an award at Cannes Film Festival.
‘The Angels’ Share’ directed by Ken Loach, will know on Sunday 27 May whether it wins an accolade or not. It will have its UK premiere in Glasgow next week.
The producer, Rebecca O’Brien, said: ‘Ken Loach, Paul Laverty and I have made four films in Glasgow in the past 15 years and have had the support of the Glasgow Film Office on every one. They’ve been terrifically helpful and often made difficult things happen for us. So we salute the GFO on their 15th birthday and will raise a glass in celebration!’
Offering a free service to all types of productions from feature films to tv commercials, the GFO works closely with other council services, Strathclyde Police and the productions to make sure their activities have minimum impact on local residents and businesses while delivering maximum economic impact to the city.
Established in 1997, the GFO has attracted around £200 million worth of film business to Glasgow.
Last year was a vintage time when major productions World War Z, Cloud Atlas and Under The Skin alone, brought in £20.15 million with stars such as Brad Pitt, Halle Berry and Scarlett Johansson working in town.
Other notable film which have used Glasgow for a backdrop included: Burnistoun, Gary: Tank Commander, Lip Service, My Name Is Joe, Rab C Nesbitt, Red Road, River City, Sony Bravia ‘Paint’ commercial, Still Game, Sweet Sixteen, Taggart, The House of Mirth.
Gerard Butler was named GFO’s Ambassador in 2009 to help raise the city’s profile and demonstrate its capability as a production base. Around 50 organisations have now signed up to the Glasgow Film Partnership – to promote Glasgow’s ‘film-friendly’ reputation – details at : http://www.glasgowfilm.com/filming_in_glasgow/film_partnership.asp.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: ‘Glasgow Film Office has been a tremendous success over the past 15 years, bringing more than £200 million to our economy. The list of familiar productions, shows how it has been an industry hub since 1997. We look forward to its continued success in bringing many more productions here.’
Seeing Scotland on film or television was important in the decision of 1 in 5 visitors to come here. With more than 530 locations in its database, the city can serve all types of companies.
Senior figures in the film industry – such as Jeremy Kleiner, the producer of World War Z – have praised the work of the GFO in facilitating the smooth running of their productions.
For more information on the Glasgow Film Office, see: www.glasgowfilm.com.
Bad Pitt and Halle Berry are in danger of being upstaged by a class of 10 year olds thanks to £30,000 funding to Glasgow Media Access Centre (G MAC). The children from St John’s Primary in Ayr have written scripts which will be the basis for two films to be produced by 82 young people aged from 13 to 21 in Glasgow and South Ayrshire and shown next year at the Glasgow Youth Film Festival.
Said Beth Armstrong, Project Manager at G Mac: ‘It is very exciting. One of the scripts from St John’s will be produced by a group of 16-19 year olds who are not, currently, in education, employment or training. The other script is similar to an idea already commissioned so a separate group will create an animation in partnership with the Deaf Youth Theatre and Solar Bear Theatre.’ The outcome will be a film with no dialogue which can be followed and enjoyed by anyone who is deaf or who has a hearing impairment and making it more accessible globally.
Said Beth: ‘First Light, the funding body, is a key partner. They support film making across Britain. This enables us to create opportunities for children from all walks of life so that they can aspire to become an active part of the film and media community, not just be consumers. By developing their creativity and giving them skills, we can raise the hopes and expectations of these young people who might be disadvantage or socially excluded otherwise.’
First Light funding – which comes from National Lottery money – enables young people to work with industry professionals on high quality, youth led, digital media projects. They will be involved with every aspect of the production process from drawing storyboards and writing the scripts to directing and lighting the films alongside industry professionals.
Said First Light’s Chief Executive Officer, Leigh Thomas: ‘The fantastic ideas we receive are grown from the young film makers’ own imagination and innovation and tackle some very important issues relevant to them.’
Another partner in the creation of the First Light productions will be The Arches venue in Glasgow. Based at 103 The Trongate, Glasgow Media Access Centre will celebrate 30 years of innovative work next year. These films by young people will be part of the year long celebrations.
by EVELYN MCKECHNIE
After Brad Pitt, Glasgow will have a visit from super star, Halle Berry, She will be in town in the next two weeks and filming at the Necropolis among other locations. The film she’s making is the Tom Hanks’ movie, ‘Cloud Atlas.’
While most of it will be shot in Germany, some of the scenes will be located in and around Glasgow.