Wednesday, 24 August 2011

When Holywood and Brad Pitt's "World War Z" came to Glasgow and took over George Square and other parts

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.

Glasgow City Chambers


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.

Views of the general area where filming is taking place - before the cameras arrived:

George Square from George Street

George Square at night

Photographs from the scene to follow.......

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Too busy to blog

Since my last blog life has been just a bit hectic! Sooo many things going on in the one month that I just had to take each one at a time and do my best not to lose the plot.

There was still the sudden and yet to be finished request for wedding invitations, plus, plus..... (from a family member, so a rant about lack of organisation in one of my previous posts was allowed!) to attend to.

Preparation, making for, and attendance at, two large craft events in Glasgow (Merchant City Festival - which was fab - plus World Pipe Championships, which was less fab but still good).

Making time to catch some of the berry picking season, then jam making - lots of lovely raspberry jam making - from my hand picked berries (with the hope of returning at the end of August for blackcurrants, strawberries, goosberries and red berries, plus, plus, plus but unfortunately time got the better of me).

Fulfilling, with pleasure, a long-time special request for one dozen specially made cards from two lovely fellow bloggers - who always make me smile.

Catching up with old friends visiting Scotland from the USA and meeting new ones who came along with them made for a fantastic few days exploring castles , cathedrals and abbey ruins; Holyrood Palace (again!) and Arthurs Seat - in and around Edinburgh and St Andrews.

Time spent exploring and talking, eating and walking, shopping and taking in some of the most breathtaking views over Edinburgh on a clear, fresh, sunny day and exploring Mary King's close in the evening.

Staying at the Fairmont Hotel with wonderful views over St Andrews town and beach and having the best time ever in the best summer weather conditions we had had at up to that point!

Attending a special family birthday dinner;

Attending a fantastic farewell to US friends dinner at Lochgreen House Hotel in Troon before friends headed back across the Atlantic.

Day before wedding mentioned above spent frantically searching for something to wear at said wedding; got something in the end (phew!) and the following day attended the wedding - which turned out to be a great do!

And all of this was captured in pictures - only some of which I would have loaded here had I not, the night before Holywood was due to arrive in Glasgow, discovered that I have lost/misplaced (I know not) my trusty wee camera. I have searched, and searched, but cannot find my little friend who has travelled with me every day over the last 3 years - this is the longest time we have been apart and I am having withdrawal symptoms.

There's nothing else for it - I will have to buy another, though I live in hope that we will be reunited one day - if only for recovery of the memory card and its contents. In the meantime I have used my mobile phone to capture images of how a tiny, but very nice, part of my home city of Glasgow is this week being transformed into a part of the city of Philadelphia for an upcoming movie called World War Z starring Brad Pitt - will blog about that later.

Exhausted, but happy, I will recharge and enjoy the lull over the coming weeks.

If I don't find my camera I will post some pics from previous visits to St Andrews and Edinburgh another time.