"They may take our lives, but they will never take our FREEDOM!!!!
Mel Gibson made this infamous speech in the movie Braveheart. What I noticeably observe here, is that the storyline, amidst much controversy, may not be completely accurate. Apparently, the events aren't accurate, the dates aren't accurate, the characters aren't accurate, the names aren't accurate and the clothes aren't accurate, but the movie itself is a great tribute to Scotland and how passionate they are about it.
Scotland is becoming a much sought after destination for filming Hollywood blockbusters. For me, after a heart wrenching redundancy, and a chance encounter with a man in a suit and me pushing my CV under his nose, I landed a job as the Location Coordinator for the Hollywood Zombie movie "World War Z” starring none other than Mr Brad Pitt himself. Worth the fifteen hour days, seven days a week.
Ordering a marquee for (ahem) Brad, food for 1000 extras, toilets for 1000 extras, mirrors for the makeup artists and playing in the wardrobe of the costume department were all part of daily life. Referring to "Brad” and "Angelina” was every day chat at work. Glasgow city was transformed into downtown Philadelphia overnight. Swat vans, Yellow cabs, U.S traffic signals and road markings, buildings re-named, fake trees and fake dead people were all part of the Zombie scenes. They shipped in American cars, trucks, buses and ambulances. They have a fantastic rule that they have to employ Location and Production Companies from within the country they are working in, to create revenue for them.
To film one small ten minute scene took two weeks, replaying the same scenario over and over, all day every day. The extras certainly worked for their money. If the weather turned bad then the entire scene would be moved to a pre arranged abandoned supermarket to film. All that setting up for nothing.
They left as quickly as they arrived. All done within 6 weeks. I finished the gig the week they started filming, having completed the budget and went back to help out at my old job, which coincidentally was the main building for the actors, extras and wardrobe department. My desk was perfectly positioned, overlooking George square where filming took place, binoculars, camera, action! Brad Pitt was outside my office for two weeks! I have never been so happily distracted from work.
Scotland can boast about being a great attraction for filming, with such movies as Chariots of Fire, The Da Vinci Code, Entrapment, Mission: Impossible and many many more under its belt. Like New Zealand it has some of the most beautiful countryside but also fantastic historical settings. Its nothing to be traveling on a train through the countryside thinking I could easily be in New Zealand, when suddenly up pops a castle!
But! And that’s a big But! The film industry has seemingly changed peoples perceptions of countries and cultures. For good? Bad? I cant be sure, but I am constantly asked if the portrayal of our fantastic "Once Were Warriors” is really how the Maori people of New Zealand really are, or is New Zealand as beautiful as the countryside in Lord of the Rings.
And just as iconic for the Scottish is the film "Trainspotting” which seems to have labelled them with violence and drug addicts. Which of course, is'nt true.
All in all, we cant judge a book by its cover?
Except when it’s a beautiful tartan one! NZNewsUK