Let’s give filmmakers a break

FROM the craggy landscape that dominated Highlander to the white sands of Local Hero and the nostalgic Edinburgh recreated in the Oscar-nominated animation The Illusionist, Scotland has had its share of Hollywood moments. But none has surpassed the extraordinary goings-on in the centre of Glasgow during the current filming of the zombie Armageddon movie World War Z.

Putting aside for a moment what possible train of thought brought it to the city (“Hmmm, we need somewhere to kill zombies – I know, Glasgow!”), the presence of the film – not to mention its star Brad Pitt, his wife Angelina Jolie and their children – in Scotland’s biggest city is an unalloyed good.

Not only do Glaswegians get the glamorous frisson of being in the presence of Hollywood A-list royalty – with much of the city’s female population rendered giddy by the mere proximity of Pitt’s smile – there is also the financial benefit of so much US cash being spent in the city by the cast and crew.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The exact value is a matter for debate, but the wider point is that such a venture adds lustre to Scotland’s image and produces a feel-good factor at home. The agencies, local and national, that brought the film to Scotland are to be congratulated, especially for the coup of snatching the filming of a scene set in Philadelphia from Philadelphia itself. Currency fluctuation undoubtedly had a role in securing the deal, but the lesson here is that tax breaks work, and that more tax breaks could work even better.