Film office for Edinburgh, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders

2018: it's a wrap

20/12/18

Another year in the can. There have been highs and lows, dramatic tension, tears and laughter. Here's our top 10 highlights of the year.

1. Edinburgh, City of Superheroes
Edinburgh has a glorious starring role in the biggest movie franchise in the world, Avengers: Infinity War. Watched by millions, the film made over $2billion at the box office in only 2 weeks. Edinburgh celebrated its involvement by donning its cape and mask. Free travel on buses & trams for 'super-kids', half price entry to city attractions for superheroes, superhero themed cocktails, menus and shop windows.

2. The Bruce
Sigma's long-awaited feature about about Robert the Bruce, Outlaw King, was released in November on Netflix and a few screens around the UK. Craigmillar Castle in Edinburgh features prominently as Robert The Bruce's castle, while Seacliff Beach looks amazing as the location for a launch and a reunion. The film had it's Scottish premiere in Edinburgh in October, and Sigma & Netflix were good enough to give the Lord Provost of East Lothian Council a special screening as part of Haddington 700.

3. Death By Magic
As well as drama, Netflix came to Edinburgh with their new show 'Death By Magic'. Magician Drummond Money-Coutts tries to recreate the stunts that were the death of the great magicians. He retraces the steps of the Great Lafayette in Edinburgh, taking him to Festival Theatre, Greyfriars Cemetery, Spoon. The 'Beast from the East' eventually got the better of him - check out the beautiful snowy Edinburgh scenes. On Netflix now.

4. Agnieszka Holland
OSCAR award nominated director Agnieszka Holland came to Edinburgh in the spring to film Gareth Jones, co-produced by Angus Lamont of Crab Apple Films. It was a great honour to have such an acclaimed director in our midst and we look forward to seeing the film next year.

5. Clique 2
Returning for a second series, Clique follows the antics of Holly, a university student in Edinburgh, who despite trying to put the past behind her, gets caught up in another campus-wide scandal. It's a great coup for Edinburgh as a university-city (4 universities in the city) to have this drama, particularly with its intended audience of 16-26 year olds, target audience of universities. Only, please don't think expect university life to be quite as 'dramatic' as Holly's! You can watch it on BBC three.

6. Council support
The support of the local authority is critical in a film-friendly destination. Councillors are the first to hear about issues within the community caused by filming so, with this in mind, Film Edinburgh has been speaking to elected members of the City of Edinburgh Council about the opportunities from, and threats to filming in the city. We want to make sure Edinburgh retains and builds on its filming reputation, so it's important that we manage filming in a way that is sustainable for everyone. This has resulted in an update to the city's Code of Practice for filmmaking which is clear and practical. Due to be debated in the new year.

7. Scottish Parliament
After an introductory evidence session to the Scottish Parliament's Culture & Tourism committee last year, Film Edinburgh was back in front of the committee again this year talking about the need for a film studio. The committee's report Making Scotland A Screen Leader was published in June and debated in October, putting the impact and benefits of a thriving film industry well and truly the table for members of the Scottish Parliament.

8. Film studio
We have lift off! In December Screen Scotland announced that they have taken the lease on the Pelamis building in Leith Docks and put out a call for tenders to operate the site as a viable film studio. A film studio here in Edinburgh is a game-changer in terms of our ability to host large-scale film & TV productions, putting the city in the mix to accommodate major productions from start to finish rather than only the location filming elements: more work for local crew and services, more opportunity to attract more crew and services to live and work in the region, more sustainable opportunities for young people, and more opportunities to showcase the region on the screen.

9. Enquiries
2018 has brought us over 500 production enquiries from the whole gamut of possibility. Many of these have been high end TV dramas and feature films, with Avengers having shone a spotlight on Edinburgh as a film-friendly destination. We look forward to working with some of these productions as they come to fruition in 2019 and beyond.

Edinburgh's Production Guide
The Edinburgh city region is home to over 300 production crew and 200 facilities companies based in the Edinburgh city region, providing services to drama, factual TV, commercials and corporate shoots. As the region's film office, Film Edinburgh is proud to be able to host what has become the annual 'freelancer's Christmas party', this year in partnership with the wonderful Driven Scotland, in the beautiful environment of Epicurian. 'Tis enough to say a good night was had by all.