The Streets of Philadelphia
Published by Anne Marie Hughes on Sat 09 Jun 12 @ 22:10
Glasgow has been gripped by zombie fever after filming for Brad Pitt's latest blockbuster got underway in the city.
George Square and the surrounding streets have been transformed into the post-apocalyptic US city of Philadelphia for the Hollywood movie World War Z.
Glaswegians and visitors to the city, including thousands of tourists, flocked to George Square to star-spot and watch filming get underway.
The huge $120-millon production will be based in Glasgow until the end of August and will help boost the city's economy by £2 million.
Dozens of American cars and yellow cabs littered the streets in and around the Square, while US-style 'Don't Walk' crossing lights and American street signs turned Glasgow into Downtown Philly.
The City of Brotherly Love's flag has also been raised from the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce rooftop, while the Stars and Stripes also featured on top of the Millennium Hotel in George Square.
To mark the selection of the city as central film location for the movie, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce will host a special 'Night of the Living Dead' event on Tuesday 30 August, to celebrate the importance of our film industry.
The event will feature speakers including Film Commissioner Jennifer Reynolds and Marketing and Communications Executive Beverley Murray - both from the city council's Glasgow Film Office.
Guests will also get the chance to visit the rooftop of the Chamber building on George Square to get a first-class view of the production while networking with light bites and a glass of wine.
Glasgow Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Stuart Patrick: "The arrival of this major film production, and of course a movie star of Brad Pitt's calibre, has been really positive for Glasgow.
"The work that has gone into turning Glasgow into a Philadelphia under siege from zombies is very impressive indeed.
"Having a film on the scale of World War Z shoot on location in Glasgow can only be positive for the city in both economic and tourism terms.
"Hopefully, the success of the shoot will go on to attract future productions to the city and cement Glasgow's place as a top international filming location.
"The creative industries play an important role in the city's growth across all sectors as they attract talent to or retain talent in the city by making it a more attractive place to work and live."
The city council said the film shoot is the biggest ever to be staged in the Glasgow. Around 1200 people will be involved in the production as extras after more than 7000 joined open casting auditions in July.
Glasgow Film Office worked with the film's producers in the months leading up to the shoot to help secure locations in the city and to ensure that arrangements were in place with council departments.
Michael Harm, location manager for World War Z, said: "The production spent many months looking for the perfect city centre location to play an important part in the film.
"Glasgow's architecture, wide roads and grid layout proved the ideal setting for director Marc Forster. The production team is delighted with the support they received."
Glasgow is at the centre of the film and television production industry in Scotland, one which has contributed £150 million to the city's economy during the last decade.
It has consistently been the best performing city and region within Scotland, providing approximately half the annual total national spend.
Brad Pitt isn't the only major screen star to film in Glasgow. Scotland's own Hollywood hero Ewan McGregor also filmed scenes from his movie Perfect Sense in Glasgow in September 2009 with Casino Royale Bond Girl Eva Green.
Other productions to film in the city recently include Hattie, the biopic of Carry On actress Hattie Jacques, and Peter Mullan's third feature Neds.
Numerous TV productions including Lip Service, starting Laura Fraser, and David Tennant's Single Father have also filmed on location in Glasgow.
The 'Night of the Living Dead' event will take place from 6pm at the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, 30 George Square, Glasgow, G2 1EQ.
Ticket prices cost £20 plus VAT for members and £30 plus VAT for non-members. Book your place here.