Film office for Edinburgh, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders
Make Your Home a Film Location
Film office for Edinburgh, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders

Make Your Home a Film Location

The following is an excerpt from an article in the 19th of May 2016 edition of the ESPC

Filming Sunshine on Leith

2015 proved to be the busiest year Edinburgh has ever had for filming in the city, generating £6.9 million worth of economic impact through the twelve feature films and TV dramas filmed here, along with dozens of commercials. With a recent survey showing that 40% of visitors to the UK are attracted to what they see on screen, film production in Scotland is also incredibly valuable to the tourist industry.

It’s the job of Film Edinburgh, the local film office for Edinburgh and the Lothians, to attract productions to the city by offering up a choice of great locations and properties for production crew to choose from, and they rely on ordinary people to submit their properties as possible locations, no matter the size.

Rosie Ellison from Film Edinburgh is keen for as many property owners as possible to sign up to their location matching service. She says: “We need as many properties as possible to attract production companies, and anyone can get involved in this. You don’t necessarily need to have a big country house, it could be a family home, a flat, and on any scale or size, so don’t be put off because you think that film companies are only interested in mansions or New Town flats.”

Filming Sunshine on Leith

When Sunshine on Leith was shooting in Edinburgh, one of the requests from the location manager was for Film Edinburgh to find a flat where a nurse could live. “Not many nurses live in stately homes, they live in normal flats and houses, so a second floor flat in Polwarth was chosen and the experience was very exciting for the owner. She got to meet Dexter Fletcher, who was very charming to everyone, and she had a great story to tell,” says Rosie.

One home that has been used for a number of productions is Arniston House, a grand Georgian mansion in Midlothian. Henrietta Dundas is the daughter of the owner of Arniston, and helps to co-ordinate productions when they come to shoot.

Arniston House

While some people might worry that all the equipment and crew could make a mess of their home, the production crew will always make sure a property is put back in exactly the same way. “People in the industry are very mindful of private homes.” Henrietta says.

“The production and location manager are amazing and extremely resourceful. They take all the photos and they’ll remember where everything goes. If there was any damage they would fix it,” says Henrietta. “Watching it back, it’s surprising the detail that goes into making one little scene, but it’s exciting to see the property up on screen, especially when it’s fantastically lit.”

Rosie says: "The location manager will always look after them - they may not get the chance to meet the actors, but it depends on what's happening in the scene. For the filming of The Railway Man, Colin Firth was great, he was out shaking hands with people who had come to see the filming and he wanted to meet the owners of the house."

"2016 is already getting off to a cracking start with drama productions, and it's looking like a very busy year. We do everything we can do to persuade productions to come here, so sign up because we need you. You can register free of charge. Just contact Film Edinburgh and we would be happy to register you.”

Read the full article on ESPC here:

Contact Film Edinburgh for free to register on or alternatively visit