City homes in demand to star on the silver screen

Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman
Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman
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EVER wanted to be in the movies but can’t act?

Well, thanks to a new initiative you could now settle for second best and have your home appear in a big-budget Hollywood blockbuster or popular television series.

The Proclaimers appear in Sunshine on Leith

The Proclaimers appear in Sunshine on Leith

The popularity of the city’s historic cityscape and period properties with filmmakers is at an all-time high, prompting one group to issue a “call to arms” to homeowners.

Edinburgh Film Focus, on Glenfinlas Street, which is behind more than 350 film and TV projects completed in the Capital last year, has been inundated with requests for locations with 1930s, 50s and 70s interiors and has asked any Evening News readers who think they could help to get in touch.

A spokesman said: “Unusually we’ve had a flurry of requests from filmmakers for period interiors. These are what we’re looking for and we’d encourage anyone who thinks they fit the bill to contact us.”

The organisation is celebrating its best year ever after 356 projects were successfully completed in Edinburgh, bringing an estimated £5.09 million into the city.

Irvine Welsh on the Filth set in the Grassmarket

Irvine Welsh on the Filth set in the Grassmarket

Big-budget projects have flocked to the city, with stars such as Scarlett Johansson, Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Jeremy Irvine, Stephen Fry and James McAvoy spotted in town.

While we still have to wait to see films such as Under the Skin, The Railway Man, Cloud Atlas, Irvine Welsh’s Filth and Sunshine on Leith, our fair city can already be seen in films such as The Angels Share and had a starring role in the Olympic opening ceremony, where the iconic Trainspotting opening scene of Ewan McGregor and Ewen Bremner running down Princes Street was featured as an example of British culture. In addition, Doors Open, starring Stephen Fry and based on the Ian Rankin novel, is on STV at 9pm tonight.

Ros Davis, of Edinburgh Film Focus, said: “We are in friendly competition with the rest of Scotland, but by working together messages about what Scotland offers are stronger.

“Cloud Atlas, starring Halle Berry, Tom Hanks, Ben Wishaw and James D’Arcy, has a script set across six different eras, in locations around the world. The production began their worldwide location search by looking to Edinburgh as a city whose architecture can play many eras, offers a tower in the form of the Scott Monument and could also stand in for scenes set in London.”

Rosie Ellison, location liaison manager at the firm, added: “Filmmakers are very demanding customers and the facilitation team at the film office work with Edinburgh City Council roads, parks, NSL parking and Lothian and Borders Police. They are brilliant and very experienced.”

The team said they couldn’t wait to see the fruits of all their hard work on the big screen.

Ms Davis said: “My favourite moment of this year was standing beside The Shore watching Sunshine on Leith shoot a section for the Proclaimers’ song Letter from America. The atmosphere was electric.”

Ms Ellison said: “I would have to choose watching Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth on the beach at North Berwick while filming the Railway Man. A stunning location and the weather was perfect.”

• If you think your property could be a star in the making, email