Edinburgh’s film office has insisted movie-makers will not be allowed free reign to shoot on the streets of the city in future – as it admitted closing 52 roads for the shooting of a blockbuster Fast & Furious franchise film over the next month is “a big ask for the city”.
Film Edinburgh, which is charged with attracting major productions to the city, says the team behind Fast & Furious 9 had pledged to be “good guests of the city”.
Rosie Ellison, manager of the film office, insisted the city had a “duty of care” for residents and businesses affected by filming and said every effort would be made to ensure filmmakers did not have to “firefight” the future. She said it was essential for filmmakers to “continue to respect and care” for Edinburgh if the city was to remain a “film-friendly destination.”
An 800-strong crew will be working on the production – around double the number involved in the night shoots on Avengers: Infinity War two years ago, which was worth an estimated £10 million to the economy.
However the Fast & Furious 9 shoot will cover a more extensive area, with Victoria Street, the West Bow, Cockburn Street, Parliament Square, St Giles and parts of the Royal Mile closed to pedestrians at some point, while Waterloo Place, Calton Road, Chambers Street, George Street and the Cowgate are among the streets set to close to traffic.
Ms Ellison said Fast & Furious 9 would be an “action film” like no other ever shot in the city. But she added: “Filmmakers are sharing the city with everyone else and need to find a way to achieve the goals of the production while minimising disruption. It is easier for filmmakers to achieve their goals if they are not having to firefight unhappy residents & businesses.
“Something to bear in mind is that filming in a location usually only lasts for a day or two, but the benefits are great.
“We get to showcase our city in a variety of situations to people all over the world. Our local crew and services gain employment on a range of productions. The economy gets a boost from the production company hiring services and people and booking accommodation.
“Those behind the latest blockbuster coming to our doorstep have voiced a desire to be good guests of the city. The filmmakers are well aware their presence is a big ask and that the city has not had an action film like this before.
“It’s going to be exciting, and the city can be very proud that it has managed to attract and host a film like this. If we want to continue to be a film-friendly destination for filmmakers, one which welcomes filmmakers of all shapes and sizes, filmmakers need to continue to respect and care for the destination.”