With such a strong and unmistakeable accent, it isn’t hard to spot Scottish actors and actresses. Many famous screen stars were born and bred in Scotland, including Gerard Butler, Sean Connery, Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy and Ewan McGregor. However, it can but more difficult to spot Scottish locations. So while I was doing some research around my address on www.pcapredict.com, I was pleasantly surprised to find just how many famous films and TV shows have been filmed here.
You can’t write a blog post about how Scotland has been featured on the screen without mentioning Harry Potter can you? Throughout the Harry Potter film series, hundreds of different locations were used to make up the jigsaw of the wonderful wizarding world but Scotland featured heavily throughout. It’s no wonder with its vast landscapes, eerie nooks and gothic crannies.
So when you are switching on for your next Harry Potter marathon, keep a close eye out for the setting of Hagrid’s hut, the train journey the students take from Platform 9 and ¾ to reach Hogwarts and the sky that the famous Quidditch matches are filmed against. These sequences and film features all used Scotland as a backdrop and are still bringing tourists in by their dozens every day.
James Bond: Skyfall
Glen Coe has attracted more than just Dumbledore and his school of witches and wizards; it was also the setting for 007’s ancestral home in the 2012 James Bond film, Skyfall. In the film, Bond’s fictional home is known as Skyfall Lodge and is set in the stunning landscape of the Glen.
You might remember that shot of Bond and M with their backs to the camera, looking out across the loch? Since the release of the popular film, countless of tourists every year visit that exact spot in Glen Coe to recreate the iconic scene. While this is great for pulling in tourists, the National Trust has reportedly since been battling with the consequences of the increased traffic and the rubbish they bring with them!
This one may be cheating a little bit because it’s a work of animated fiction but Pixar’s recent blockbuster, Brave was hugely inspired by traditional Scottish heritage and landscapes. Although the ‘Scotland’ portrayed on screen is a fabricated version of medieval Scotland, producers apparently took great inspiration from the real thing. In fact, Pixar animators spent a great deal of time in Scotland during 2006 and 2007 in order to achieve authentic influences for their fictional scenes and characters.
World War Z
When doing my research, I was also intrigued to find that Glasgow was also used as a shooting location during the filming of World War Z. As a gory zombie film starring A-lister Brad Pitt, you would probably never expect producers to come all the way across the pond but George’s Square was actually used as a double for Philadelphia in the movie.
The big budget blockbuster brought filming crews to Glasgow’s Merchant City to film that blood pumping crash scene back in 2011 before the film’s release in 2013. Apparently the collaboration came about after location scouts working on the film noticed that part of the M8 looked a lot like a US-type freeway!
Has your hometown been #SeenOnTheScreen?