George Square looking west
Since I started my blog a couple of years ago it has always been my intention to write a post about my home city of Glasgow but for some reason, until now, I have never done so. I usually carry a small camera with me wherever I go and over time I have taken loads of photographs of Glasgow, and its wonderful architecture, but have yet to post about any of them here.
Anyway, I am prompted to write about Glasgow today because there's been a bit of a buzz in the city centre for the past week and a half. It all began last Monday (15 August), when a small but very nice part of my home city was taken over by the makers of an upcoming Holywood Movie, World War Z starring Brad Pitt.. George Square and a number of streets close by have been transformed to look like downtown Philadelphia, USA. I know nothing about the film, or the book, and even less about film making, but I do think it is fantastic that Glasgow has been chosen to play host to big budget Holywood movie makers and it is a feather in the cap for all who made it happen. It seems that Glasgow's architecture and our grid system contributed to the success of hosting the movie - plus the fact it would appear to be less less expensive to recreate Philadelphia in Glasgow than to actually film in the city of Philadelphia! I believe UK tax breaks for the film industry also played their part in the decision to film here. Part of the deal, correct me if I am wrong, is that some local people must be recruited to work on the movie and as far as I know around 1,200 have been employed in various roles throughout filming so far. The local economy is expected to benefit by up to £2 million over the period and hopefully Glasgow will be shown in a good light and will benefit even more after the release of the movie.
George Square on West George Street, Tron Church ahead
Having hired an entire train to transport Mr Pitt's cavalcade/circus from England (where he had also been filming) to Scotland - he apparently arrived at Glasgow Central Station two days after the film set began to go up in the city centre. By all accounts the station platform his train arrived at was cordoned off, blackout screens were erected, vehicles were allowed on to the platform concourse to whisk this one guy and his entourage away from public gaze. He'd apparently arrived in Glasgow, with body double in tow(!) plus more security than would accompany a head of state! And all of this so that the 70! or so fans that his impending arrival managed to muster - who had waited some hours to catch a glimpse of this well-kent face - couldn't!
Nice touch Brad. You're an actor - you're here to work! (I'm never quite sure if it is the fault of "celebs" and their self-inflated egos when such a fuss is made over them - or if it is their puffed up "people" who make something out of nothing very much. Makes you wonder how other high profile folks get around without causing a stir.......?
Anyway, weekend before the big movie is about to get going I lose my camera so during the first week of filming I could only manage photographs from the camera on my mobile phone. Hopefully I have managed to take enough pics to give a flavour of some of the goings on.