THERE’S A REBELLION NORTH OF THE BORDER.
For nearly two decades Scotland’s film and TV sector was struggling without a proper studio to house major tv & movie productions, but not anymore.
New facilities in Edinburgh and Glasgow are finally up and running, joining an existing facility in Lanarkshire. The origins of the current boom period can be traced back to Wardpark Studios which was used to film Outlander and more recently scenes for Avengers: Infinity War. Outlander has become so successful that it is still being made – filming has just begun on a sixth series, with a seventh confirmed for next year.
The success of Outlander has sparked calls for new studio facilities to be created but it was not until 2017 when another massive site emerged in the shape of a former wave turbine plant in Leith, First Stage Studios.
Four years later, the old Pelamis building has become a permanent studio facility, after Sir Sean’s actor-director son Jason and producer Bob Last struck a £1m deal with the Scottish Government to run the facility. What is affectionally known as the “big blue shed” has now been transformed for the filming of The Rig, a supernatural thriller for Amazon Prime which will see scenes set on a North Sea oil rig filmed in the heart of Leith’s docklands.
The upsurge in streaming services producing their own content for both tv & film, the East of Scotland is set to benefit from a £50 million investment from Amazon for three new shows that the entertainment behemoth is filming across the region.
Word from Amazon is that due to that investment they have created over 750 jobs, 60 per cent of those have been Scottish, and have actually created 60 traineeships directly into those productions- The Rig, Anansi Boys, and season 2 of Good Omens - all of which went into production over the last year.
Glasgow entered the studio fray in January 2022 when the city council revealed that part of the historic Kelvin Hall was being converted under a £12m deal with the Scottish Government.
It has recently emerged that a major drama series will start filming there – although interestingly the details of the show are being kept firmly under wraps.
BBC Studioworks who operate Kelvin Hall realise Glasgow is a key creative hub, laying the foundations for their expansion outside London, it will provide much needed purpose-built studio space in Scotland, meeting growing demand from broadcasters, production companies and SVoDs-subscription video on demand to produce there.
With the decades of expertise and unparalleled history that BBC Studioworks brings, they will help grow the local workforce to deliver more local productions and support the continued development of sector-specific skills in Scotland.
Batgirl has been filming in Glasgow since January 2022 and the city has been bustling for the last few months and production will bid a sad farewell to Scotland's biggest city as it wraps up the DC movie; Batgirl has become the first major film to be entirely shot in Glasgow. Many areas of Glasgow have been entirely transformed during the film of the movie, including many city centre locations and disused railway tunnels. It has been exciting for Glasgow to be at the forefront of a major film which is set to be released in December 2022.
As the tv & film industry flourishes North of the Border we continue to bolster crew numbers in those regions, grow alongside it and are pleased to help and support the wide range of sites currently shooting there.
I know it’s something you don’t hear very often but tomorrow, and the days that follow are looking bright in Scotland! If you are in need of Gallowglass event crew in Glasgow and Edinburgh, please get in touch with us now.