Tuesday, 27 October 2021 09:26

New film locations guide published by VisitScotland

Charlie Mullen (7) and Cameron Walton (6), both pupils at Cluny School in Aberdeenshire, recreating a scene from Local Hero, in Pennan.

With starring roles in everything from Disney blockbusters to Royal dramas, Aberdeen City and Shire’s silver screen highlights are to be celebrated in a new film locations guide created by VisitScotland.

Available free of charge in VisitScotland Information Centres throughout the country and for download at visitscotland.com, Set in Scotland, A Film Fan’s Odyssey contains details of more than 100 different films and TV programmes either shot or set in Scotland. It is the first Scotland-wide film locations guide VisitScotland has produced.

Featuring everything from Local Hero, the 1983 Bill Forsyth film which features the iconic red telephone box at Pennan, through Chariots of Fire and Gregory’s Girl to Harry Potter and Prometheus, right up to 2015 movies Macbeth and Sunset Song, which were partially shot in Skye and Aberdeenshire respectively, Set in Scotland capitalises on the growing trend of set-jetting.

There are special sections on James Bond – the spy with the Glen Coe ancestry – and Bollywood, as well as honorary mentions for popular television series such as Outlander, Downton Abbey and Balamory.

It also details some of the more surprising places that Scotland has stood in for on the silver screen, including Turkey (From Russia With Love), San Francisco (Cloud Atlas), Vermont (Flash Gordon) and even the surface of Jupiter (2001: A Space Odyssey).

Specialist research and consultation was provided by David Martin-Jones, Professor of Film Studies at the University of Glasgow, including dedicated input with regard to Gaelic filmmaking, Bollywood location shoots and filming in Orkney and Shetland.

With 40 per cent of visitors to the UK inspired to come here after seeing it on film or on television, VisitScotland hopes the new guide will tempt visitors to set-jet to Aberdeen City and Shire and follow in the footsteps of their favourite film stars.

Set in Scotland, A Film Fan’s Odyssey includes details about Aberdeen City and Shire’s starring roles in:

Local Hero (1983)
Hamlet (1990)
The Queen (2006)
Brave (2012)
Sunset Song (2015)
Victor Frankenstein (2015)

Aberdeen City and Shire’s appeared on the big screen in 1983 when the region’s stunning coastline and the picturesque fishing village of Pennan were viewed as the perfect location for the fictional village of Ferness in Local Hero.

Mac MacIntyre (Peter Riegert) makes a pining call to the famous red phone box situated in the idyllic Scottish village with which he has fallen in love. The phone box, which was actually a prop, comes to embody a simpler way of life for Mac, an American yuppie who comes to Ferness in an attempt to build an oil refinery on behalf of his boss Felix Happer (played by veteran screen legend, Burt Lancaster).

Aberdeen City and Shire is home to more than 300 castles, ranging from striking cliff-top ruins to grand fortresses and sumptuous royal residences. Castle Fraser, near Sauchen, served as the exterior of Balmoral in scenes for The Queen, a film which saw Dame Helen Mirren bag an Oscar for her portrayal of Elizabeth II. And Dunnottar Castle, near Stonehaven, was used as the inspiration for Dunbroch Castle, in Disney-Pixar’s Brave and Elsinore in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It also attracted a film crew shooting Victor Frankenstein, in which Scottish actor James McAvoy joins Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe for a new spin on the Mary Shelley classic.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said:
“Scotland’s towns, cities and countryside play their own show-stealing parts in the stories being told here for production firms across the world. VisitScotland’s new film locations guide details more than 100 films shot in Scotland over the last decades and provides an opportunity for us to showcase not only Scotland’s internationally renowned heritage but also the wealth of natural beauty that our country has to offer.”

Philip Smith, VisitScotland Regional Director, said:
“Aberdeen City and Shire’s beauty has long cast its spell on visitors and film-makers are no exception, with our breathtaking landscapes and stunning castles inspiring a wealth of Hollywood talent. Although the guide is not an exhaustive list, it is fantastic to have so many of Aberdeen City and Shire’s golden movie moments highlighted as part of this new film locations guide.

“Whether it’s exploring the region’s rural treasures or visiting its historic attractions, Set in Scotland is a must for any set-jetting film fan who wants to retrace the steps of their Hollywood heroes or explore the real life locations that they once admired on the screen. We look forward to welcoming movie enthusiasts from across the world to Aberdeen City and Shire as a result.”

Copies of Set in Scotland, A Film Fan’s Odyssey will be available at VisitScotland Information Centres throughout the country, from branches of Waterstones or to download a copy visit: http://www.visitscotland.com/about/arts-culture/films/locations

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