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Hollywood film productions boost Glasgow's economy by £20m

Upcoming films Cloud Atlas, Under The Skin and World War Z all shot in Scotland

Hollywood stars boost Glasgow's economy

Scarlett Johansson, who was in Scotland to film Under The Skin

Big-budget films starring the Hollywood elite helped generate more than £20m for Glasgow's economy in 2011, with several film production companies choosing the city as a location.

A-listers Brad Pitt, Halle Berry and Scarlett Johansson have all recently graced the streets of Glasgow during the production of their new films.

The Glasgow Film Office stated that film, television and advertising productions including World War Z gave the city this significant economic boost last year, with the zombie war movie, starring Brad Pitt, being the largest contributor, generating an estimated £3.3m. The film production took over the city centre for 17 days during August 2011 and transformed the iconic George Square and surrounding streets into downtown Philadelphia. Hundreds of fans flocked to the streets of Glasgow city centre to catch a glimpse of Pitt and witness the city's stateside makeover. Around 1200 cast and crew members were involved in filming World War Z, with spending including hotel stays (8,500 bed nights), local extras and location costs - which included the city's transformation.

Other productions which had a notable economic impact on Glasgow during 2011 included Cloud Atlas, starring Halle Berry, Under The Skin, starring Scarlett Johansson and the BBC television production Young James Herriot. Together they generated almost £5.5million.

David Brown, Scottish line producer for sci-fi Cloud Atlas, said: "The principle reason for coming to Glasgow is the welcome that the city gives to film makers. We are overwhelmed by the support and encouragement we have received from everyone in the city."

However, Scarlett Johansson later revealed another impression gleaned from her stay in Scotland when she said Glasgow was a "community of drinkers" along with other derogatory comment on the US Late Show with David Letterman.

Research by the Glasgow Film Office suggests that 20% of visitors to Scotland say that seeing the country on film or television was important in their decision to come here on holiday.

World War Z filming in Glasgow - August 2011

Cloud Atlas filming in Glasgow - 16 September 2011

World War Z

  • 3 stars
  • 2013
  • US/UK
  • 116 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Marc Forster
  • Written by: Max Brooks (novel), Matthew Michael Carnahan (screenplay)
  • Cast: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale, Matthew Fox
  • UK release: 21 June 2013

Glasgow fills in for Philadelphia in this adaptation of Max Brooks' post-apocalyptic horror novel.

Under the Skin

  • 5 stars
  • 2013
  • UK
  • 108 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Jonathan Glazer
  • Written by: Michel Faber (novel), Walter Campbell (screenplay)
  • Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Paul Brannigan, Robert J. Goodwin
  • UK release: 14 March 2014

An alien in human form picks up unwary travellers in Scotland.


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