Glasgow can be UK movie capital

GLASGOW should become the centre of film production in the UK, it was claimed today.

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Following the success of the city being used as an outdoor location for Hollywood big-budget movies World War Z, Cloud Atlas and Fast and Furious 6, MSPs called for greater investment in post production facilities.

The prize would be a major studio to rival Pinewood, near London, where movies including the James Bond, Harry Potter series and The Da Vinci Code were shot.

And Glasgow's Pacific Quay has been put forward as a possible home.

Now calls have been made for it to be possible for big-name global hits to be made almost entirely in the city, where the Scottish Government has designated a creative industries Enterprise Zone.

Cash has been set aside to investigate the possibility of a Scottish studio and two city MSPs put Glasgow forward as an obvious contender.

The financial impact of hosting film crews was spelled out with three weeks of filming the Fast and Furious 6 estimated to be worth £20million.

MSPs said they welcomed the cash bene-fits that location filming can have, attracting visitors to the city, but wanted to capitalise on that and develop studio facilities for indoor filming and post prod-uction so the entire film could be made in the city.

John Mason, Shettleston SNP MSP, said that last year the Glasgow Film Office received 311 location inquiries, which led to 225 productions being shot in the city.

Of those, 46% were TV projects, 7% films, 14% commercials, 6% short films and 26% miscell-aneous projects.

He said "It is clear from these figures that the majority of the work is still coming in from TV projects, which is perhaps complemented by the investment in sites such as Pacific Quay, which is home to STV and the BBC.

"Surely investment in post-production facilities will reap similar rewards."

Bob Doris, SNP MSP for Glasgow, called for Pacific Quay to be promoted as a site for a studio.

He said: "The single most significant boost to the industry would be the establishment of a purpose-built facility which integrates all aspects of film production.

"The development of Film City Glasgow in recent years is a step in the right direction, but its capacity is limited compared to some other major facilities, such as the recently opened Pinewood Studios."

MSPs were debating the benefits of Scotland being used as a movie location, with productions down the years from Local Hero and Gregory's Girl to current hits Brave and The Angels' Share mentioned as home-grown movies and also Hollywood films like those recently seen in Glasgow.

Mr Doris added: "Glasgow can become a film production hub to rival similar facilities in Europe. I would like to see Pacific Quay being mentioned in the same way as Pinewood for film production."

The MSPs argue the city is the best location for a studio with Glasgow City Council having set up the Film Office to attract film makers to the city and the Enterprise Zone giving tax breaks for businesses in the creative industries.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said the possibility of a studio complex is being investigated.

She said: "Scotland has become a sought-after location for filming. It encourages tourism. One quarter of visitors visit a film location while here, what's known as set jetting.

"The public sector is working with industry to promote its growth. Creat-ive Scotland has £75,000 to work on a feasibility study into how it could be achieved and more if it is taken forward."

stewart.paterson@ heraldandtimes.co.uk

Arts and Entertainment

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