Shetland Arts yesterday confirmed it is in talks about plans for a further three film productions before the end of 2014 as the islands’ appeal as a location for shooting fiction continues to mushroom.
This week it was announced that a film adaptation of S J Bolton’s Sacrifice will be partly shot here (see story, page three). It follows hot on the heels of the BBC commissioning a full series of Ann Cleeves’ Shetland for primetime TV.
Wildlife and nature documentary makers have long seen Shetland as fertile territory, but the wave of interest in making fiction here is a more recent phenomenon.
Shetland Arts director Gwilym Gibbons told this newspaper the islands stood to “reap huge rewards from the growing interest in Shetland as a film and TV location”.
He added: “I am currently in conversation [with] directors and producers of a further three feature films who are all planning to film in the isles over the next 18 months,” he said.
Mr Gibbons pointed to added benefits through “location tourism” – the Harry Potter films resulted in a 120 per cent rise in visitors to Northumberland’s Alnwick Castle, while 30 years on Jersey still gets visitors hunting for the location of the Bergerac TV series.
Davie Gardner, who has worked as a local “fixer” on projects including the pilot for
Shetland, said there was likely to be a “word of mouth” element to Shetland’s growing popularity.
He paid tribute to the SIC economic development department for its efforts to promote the islands as a film destination.
For more on this story, and an interview with author SJ Bolton, see today’s Shetland Times.