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Film Edinburgh reveals future hopes on 25th birthday

Film Edinburgh reveals future hopes on 25th birthday

Edinburgh has made it onto the silver screen many a time in the last 25 years as filmmakers continue to pick the capital as their blockbuster backdrop.

The film office which helped bring the likes of The Da Vinci Code, Sunshine on Leith and Trainspotting to Edinburgh celebrates 25 years in the business this month.

Since Film Edinburgh was founded in April 1990, it has dealt with over 8000 enquires, helped with more than 4000 productions to come to the region, which has led to an economic impact for the city which is estimated to be worth in excess of £65m.

The vision for the future

Film manager Rosie Ellison says the industry has come a long way since the days of having to post location images to LA filmmakers.

Looking ahead, she says the proposed Pentland film studio would be key in attracting even more big blockbusters to Scotland.

“If the film studio gets the go ahead, it would have a tremendous impact here and would allow filmmakers making use of that studio facility to access all of the locations in Edinburgh, Lothians and the Scottish borders much more easier,” the film manager at Film Edinburgh said.

“It would mean they can come up and base here. They tend to need to have access to locations within half an hour or an hour tops from their base in order to maximise the amount of time - you can only film for so many hours in a day.

“If the studio does go ahead, it will allow filmmakers the chance of putting locations around here on the screen an awful lot more."

Productions which put Edinburgh on the big screen

Trainspotting (1996)

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Jude (1996)

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Gideon’s Daughter (2005)

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One Day (2011)

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The Wicker Tree (2011)

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Cloud Atlas (2012)

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The Railway Man (2013)

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Filth (2013)

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Sunshine on Leith (2013)

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Outlander (2014)

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Film Edinburgh is the first port of call for filmmakers on the hunt for locations in Edinburgh, Lothians and the Scottish Borders with a mission is to attract and facilitate filmmakers to the region by helping filmmakers find locations, crew and facilities in the area.

Even today, a film is being shot in the capital.

The first breakthrough came for Film Edinburgh four years in.

“In 1994, there was a real flurry of big films," Rosie said. "Shallow Grave and Rob Roy [in 1995] and then Trainspotting in 1996.

“There were the really big ones that put Edinburgh and around on the big screen.”

Edinburgh on film tour

Visit Britain’s research shows that 40% of visitors choose to come to visit a destination after seeing it on screen.

“The thing Edinburgh has played quite regularly is period dramas,” Rosie said. “The Old Town and New Town can play - and have played - London quite regularly in the old world so that is something that comes up.

“The other thing that has been on the screen quite a lot is the outskirts of the city where you could be in quite a lot of locations. Having a degree of versatility is important.”

Most recently, Outlander has put a lot of Scotland’s landscape on the screen but for Rosie, she has two productions she has loved watching being based here.

“Sunshine on Leith does it for me,” she said. “It makes me smile all the way through. The scene on the Mound is so cheerful and wonderful.

EFDFilms

“Every time I watch it, I am reminded of how wonderful it was when they were filming it because so many people were involved in it.

“You could travel by on the bus and suddenly 500 people would break into song and dance.

“The other one I really love is Cloud Atlas. The Scott Monument is so prominent in it and it is the only location in the whole film which looks like that now.

“The funny thing about Cloud Atlas was that they filmed the scene just when the tram works were going on.

“They closed Princes Street which worked for the film because to film that scene, they would have had to close Princes Street in order to control the traffic but they didn't have to because of the tram works.”

Article by pamela.tulloch@stv.tv

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