Why Film And TV Lovers Should Flock To Glasgow

Glasgow | © GHutt / Shutterstock
Tori Chalmers

When it boils down to film and TV buffs choosing a holiday destination, Glasgow isn’t necessarily the first place that springs to mind. It should be! Put preconceived ‘Glasgow Kiss’ notions at the wayside and instead focus on the enduring lustre of Scotland’s glistening largest city as a prime filming location.
Inspired and humbled by the unaltered display of beauty, Scotland and Glasgow have received many first-class reviews from crews picking out places to shoot the next scene. Glasgow’s distinct mix of architectural styles — think a string of Art Nouveau Mackintosh-designed buildings, multiple Victorian edifices, medieval cathedrals, magical cloisters, and even a space-ship shaped Zaha Hadid-designed number — create a wealth of possibilities for movie sets.

Cloisters at University of Glasgow

The street grid system in the city centre mirrors that of American cities, making it a handy substitute for places like San Francisco (think of the few hilly streets). This grid layout worked wonders for filming World War Z, as George Square was transformed into an apocalyptic Philadelphia! All it needed was a slew of American-made cars and shop fronts for the viewer to be none the wiser. And yet, the most exciting part was the arrival of Brad Pitt and clan.

George Square

Joining Brad Pitt as the flurry of actors to film in Glasgow are Ewan McGregor and Eva Green for the love story attached with dire consequences, Perfect Sense (spot areas of Clydeside and Partick). Similarly, Scarlett Johansson turned many heads when in town to film trippy minimal sci-fi type thriller Under The Skin (there are Glasgow shots a-plenty) and Halle Berry came in hot when filming Cloud Atlas. The cast of Outlander and crew behind Fast And Furious 6 have also taken advantage of Glasgow’s diverse cityscape.

The recent return of Trainspotting in T2 brought the cast and director Danny Boyle to Glasgow locations, including the Douglas Hotel in Clydebank, Glasgow University and Finnieston.

This film attention didn’t just emerge from thin air. The Glasgow Film Office (GFO), who do a tremendous job promoting Glasgow as a desirable filming location, deserve all the credit. According to a BBC article, the Glasgow City Council calculated that GFO brought in £16 million to the local economy in 2016 and £275 million since the office was formed in 1997. Once more, the city is fully equipped with all the necessary paraphernalia and manpower, like production crews and cooperation from the City Council.

So next time you’re thinking of a film related staycation or cheeky getaway, don’t rule out Glasgow, with its ever-burgeoning film hotspot status and eclectic mix of cityscape scenery. Besides, who knows who you might bump into.


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