Thursday, 6 October 2011

America in Glasgow

World War Z.

I don't know. Zombies and me just don't get along.

No offence, there are great zombie movies out there, but I am no big fan of the horror genre. It just, does not entertain me.

Unlike fried chicken, which most definitely does entertain me.

But the reason I mention this film is that they closed off half of Glasgow's city centre to make this film.

That's right, one of Britain's major cities decided to close off a large chunk of its cityscape in order to make a movie.

Now if you are a local resident, this may be a pain in the neck for you.

If you are a visitor to the city, then this is fantastic!

I had no clue this was happening while I was visiting Glasgow last month, but I was well impressed when after wandering round the city in search of the perfect Haggis, I came across...Philadelphia!

And I was not the only surprised visitor. Lots of the local Glaswegians came to view their city transformed into a film set. To be honest, I did do a double take when I wandered through this part of town. I really did not think that the local authorities would authorise such a closure, but money talks, and why not? Movies are far more fun than banker's bonuses or government parades or something tatty like that. Oh go on, here is a another shot of America in Scotland!

To wander through this part of Glasgow was astounding. Of course unexpected, but amazing to see how the city really did look like Philadelphia. And as a film geek myself, it was great to see how realistic some of the details actually looked. Ripping out the old lights and signs to be replaced by their American counterparts:

Film sets are busy places and to be honest, the larger they are, the more dull they can seem. A lot of people standing around, getting paid to do very little. The flip side is that most of these guys are freelancers. Once a job comes in, they have to milk it, as the next paid job could be many months away. Being on the film crew is not easy or forgiving financially, but when the opportunity arises, then go nuts!

Part of the reason for allowing the city to be taken over was cash inspired, of course. But also, there is a certain bit of savvy marketing for Glasgow in allowing the city to be taken over for the best part of a month. It allows Glasgow to be shown in a different light. Probably the most famous film to come out of GLasgow in recent years is My Name is Joe, a beautiful film, but it really did not portray the city in any positive light. And yeah, Glasgow is not the prettiest place in the UK (more to come later) statistically, it is also f**ked. So allowing a big Hollywood production to be shot in the city gives Glasgow something else to shine with. And more importantly, could this be the start of a beuatiful relationship with some of those big film companies?


magiceye said...

surprisingly the glasgowians take this crap!

el director! said...

cash is king ;)