The country’s longest-standing regional film office Film Edinburgh marked the UK launch of one of the biggest blockbusters in movie history, Avengers: Infinity War, by bringing together the city’s off-screen superheroes.
A hundred of the people who were involved in the production of the movie last week gathered at the City Chambers on the Royal Mile, one of the filming locations, to commemorate Edinburgh’s role in the latest Avengers instalment.
Rosie Ellison, film manager at Film Edinburgh, said: “We live in an inspiring and beautiful city where each street looks like it could be the backdrop to a movie set. In fact, most of them can be.
“The architecture and the atmosphere of the city creates a truly unique location.
“Not only is the city a unique location for film production, but it is more than capable of facilitating big blockbuster productions. The people of Edinburgh have shown that they are willing to support filming in any way possible, proving the superheroes aren’t just the ones on screen.”
Ian Pearce – Film & TV industry equipment supplier
From generators to bin bags, 4x4 vehicles to make-up mirrors – Ian Pearce at Supply 2 Location Scotland makes it his prime responsibility to provide anything and everything needed on a film set.
No mission is impossible and when Marvel arrived in town, Ian was ready to roll.
Together with his small team of five, they put themselves at the disposal of the director and location managers night and day to provide any equipment they needed to make the filming a success.
Ian set up the business after working for Supply 2 Locations in London.
He used to commute from Hawick to London and decided to start a sister company to provide the same service in Scotland, where there was a gap in the market.
“Marvel was my first job,” Ian laughed. “I didn’t have day off last year. We did Marvel and then Outlaw and we’ve been working with various independents including the new series of Clique.
“The Avengers work was full on. We had to be available 24 hours a day, as most of the filming took place at night.
“All day we would be fulfilling the requests and during the night we could get a call from the locations manager asking as to move the water douser from one street to another.
“It was exhausting, but it was amazing. No mission is impossible is our motto.
“Whatever is requested, we say ‘yes’ first and then ask ourselves how we are going to make it happen.”
The company supplies anything crews ask for to any set regardless of cost.
And one of their own 4x4s ended up being the vehicle of choice for a chase scene with the Incredible Hulk, played in the film franchise by Mark Ruffalo.
Ian explained: “In the film there is a scene where they are chasing an old Land Rover and the Hulk is sitting on the back.
“They realised our vehicle was more suited to being used by the camera chasing the vehicle than the one they had.
“So director Joe Russo jumped in with my driver Colin and they zoomed around for an hour-and-a-half.”
Graham Wallace – Locations marshal
GRAHAM Wallace had just pitched up to visit his parents in Nairn when he got the call asking him to work on the film set.
He did a quick about turn and zoomed back to Edinburgh to start his job as a locations marshal.
He said: “I received a message saying a company called Mary Lou were looking for location managers for a shoot in Edinburgh.
“I was like, ‘The only thing I can think of that is getting shot in Edinburgh is the Avengers and you definitely can’t say no to that’. Within an hour I had jumped in my car and set off back to Edinburgh.”
Graham recalls one of his roles during filming which landed him on top of the City Chambers.
He said: “I ended up on the flat area above the arches where a wooden platform had been built for the camera rig to sit.
“It had to be manoeuvred into place with a crane.
“But the JCB wasn’t allowed to drive on certain stones on the Royal Mile, so along with other locations marshals we had to try and co-ordinate moving it into place as well as maintaining crowd control.”
Graham said the buzz around the project was intense.
“When you get the biggest film ever made coming to Scotland, it is quite exciting, especially when you’re out filming in the city centre,” he said.
“There was the buzz of the crowd and of being part of it.
“And it wasn’t just in one place. Filming took place on Cockburn Street, but also down to Market Street and Waverley Station.”
Graham, who studied film and media at Queen Margaret University,
said that he was lucky his CV, which he had left with film industry experts during a course, had been passed on to the Avengers team.
He said: “In Scotland this is a very hard business. It’s about who you know and everyone knows each other, but Avengers has definitely been a good stepping stone to other jobs.”
Graeme eadie – parking attendant team leader
IT was a dream gig for Edinburgh Avengers fan Graeme Eadie.
He spent seven weeks co-ordinating the logistics of traffic and vehicles in the busy city centre to ensure the Marvel film crews could get to their locations and film the crucial scenes for Avengers: Infinity War.
Graeme, who is a parking attendant team leader and works for NSL on behalf of Edinburgh City Council, was in charge of street enforcement.
He described himself as a “big-style” Avengers fan and enjoyed the buzz of his role during the filming.
“The locations for filming were very busy, from Cockburn Street up to the High Street and Parliament Square as well as East Market Street down to Market Street,” he said.
“We had to make sure the areas were marked off with adverts in the local press, on the streets and with cones, so they were clear for filming.
“There was this huge buzz during the whole time and it was amazing.”
Graeme, who has also been involved with shoots for Trainspotting 2 and BBC Three thriller Clique, said he sadly didn’t get the chance to meet any of the stars as his role was very much in the background, but he is looking forward to seeing the city on the big screen.
In the spring of 2017, around 200 of Edinburgh’s production services and crew donned their invisible capes to work on Avengers: Infinity War alongside the international crew.
From traffic managers, glaziers, and production equipment suppliers to drivers, extras and location marshals, Edinburgh’s superhero crew worked with director Joe Russo to facilitate one of the biggest star-studded movies to ever be released.
The blockbuster third instalment of the Avengers franchise was filmed in Edinburgh over seven weeks, following three months of pre-production. It was the only filming to have taken place outside of the US studio.