THE islands of Scotland may be regular stars in major film and television productions. But the release of a Hollywood adaptation of a much-loved children’s book could prove to be their biggest role yet.
Skye and Orkney are featured prominently in Steven Spielberg’s latest movie, The BFG, which is released across UK cinemas on Friday.
The islands double up as ‘Giant’s Island’, the mythical home of the Big Friendly Giant, which is based on the character created by children’s author Roald Dahl.
The digitally enhanced shots of Skye include the Quiraing, the Old Man of Storr, the Cuillins, the Faerie Glen and the Shiant Islands, while an aerial unit filmed at the Old Man of Hoy on Orkney. A section of the A1 at Haddington also makes an appearance.
David Broder, locations manager on The BFG, said: “Scotland provided The BFG with very dramatic mountain and island locations that became our Giants Land, a place of wonder and awe.”
The film is the latest in a series of productions to be partially shot on Scotland’s islands.
Skye has appeared in numerous movies in recent years, including Macbeth (2015), starring Michael Fassbender; Keanu Reeves vehicle 47 Ronin (2013); Sir Ridley Scott’s Prometheus (2012); Snow White and the Huntsman, starring Chris Hemsworth and Kristen Stewart (2012); and the romantic fantasy film Stardust (2007), which counts Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer among its stars.
“Scotland’s islands play a vital role in this country’s tourism industry, welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors every year,” said Malcolm Roughead, chief Executive of VisitScotland.
“It is fantastic to see The BFG join a long list of memorable movies to feature our incredible offshore locations, which have been seen in everything from science-fiction classics to fantasy blockbusters. With 40 per cent of visitors to the UK inspired to come here after seeing a location on film or on television, the appearance of Skye and Orkney in Steven Spielberg’s latest movie can only be great news, not only for the islands themselves, but for Scottish tourism as a whole.”
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, said: “Our island communities serve as a unique backdrop for TV and film productions, with dramatic landscapes and seascapes. These movies shine a spotlight on some of Scotland’s greatest assets, icons and hidden gems, which helps attract tourists to our island and rural communities.
“We know that investment in screen, through Initiatives such as Creative Scotland’s Production Growth Fund, can bring more jobs, further growth and a provide an economic boost for destinations that feature on screen.”