Written by on Sep 19, 2013. Posted in On Location

New musical Sunshine on Leith could boost Edinburgh location filming

New musical feature Sunshine on Leith could help boost location filming in Edinburgh. Based on a stage production and featuring music from The Proclaimers, the film tells the story of two soldiers adapting to life back in the Scottish capital after returning from Afghanistan.

“Without a doubt, having Edinburgh used as a location in big films sparks interest in those who see the city on-screen and think ‘Oh, we can do this in Edinburgh’,” said Rosie Ellison of Marketing Edinburgh Film Focus in comments to Edinburgh News.

Director Dexter Fletcher filmed on location across Edinburgh, including a huge musical number with a cast of 500 that was shot on city landmark The Mound. Production here needed to be carefully co-ordinated as it’s the home of the Scottish National Gallery and the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA).

“These places have to keep functioning while filming is ongoing,” Ellison added, “so there’s lots of conversations about how the cafe can run while Peter Mullan is there shooting a scene and how it might affect the normal clientele."

Without a doubt, having Edinburgh used as a location in big films sparks interest in those who see the city on-screen.

Rosie Ellison, Marketing Edinburgh Film Focus

“The RSA was putting together a major exhibition while filming was happening," she adds, "and although the artworks are behind screens, it meant dealing with the gallery and liaising with the artist to make sure he was happy. It’s all quite complicated and can take a long time to set up in advance and of course there are always lots of last-minute conversations.”

Sunshine on Leith is one of a range of very different films opening in the coming months that will feature Edinburgh. Oscar winners Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman came to the city for historic drama The Railway Man, Scarlett Johansson and director Jonathan Glazer filmed parts of Under The Skin locally and James McAvoy filmed on location for gritty crime drama Filth.

Glasgow arguably has Scotland’s highest profile as an international filming location, partly because its grid street system makes it an easy double for US locations. The city doubled for Philadelphia in Brad Pitt’s zombie apocalypse movie World War Z, London in Fast & Furious 6, and both London and San Francisco in Cloud Atlas.

Scotland's production industry is working with the government to address the lack of large-scale studio facilities. In the meantime, major new TV drama Outlander is filming at retrofitted studio facilities just outside Glasgow.

Sunshine on Leith is out in the UK from 4 October 2013.

(Edinburgh photo: Oliver Bonjoch)


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