Outlander producer welcomes ‘filming boom’ in Scotland

Michael Wilson said two other 'major high-end' series are expected to start filming in Scotland soon.

Outlander producer welcomes ‘filming boom’ in Scotland SWNS via SWNS
Boom: Filming for the new Indiana Jones movie has helped boost Scotland's film industry.

The producer of Outlander welcomed a filming boom in Scotland which he attributed to the pandemic.

Michael Wilson, who has worked on the hit TV series since 2013, has revealed two other “major high-end” series are expected to start filming in Scotland over the next few months.

He said new studio facilities which have been created in former industrial buildings were fully booked up as a result of soaring demand for shooting space.

The producer predicted new sites in Leith, Edinburgh, and Bathgate, West Lothian, could emulate the success of the Belfast factory where Game of Thrones was filmed and Outlander’s base in a converted warehouse in Cumbernauld, South Lanarkshire.

Mr Wilson, who has worked on Outlander since it went into production eight years ago, also cited the filming on new Star Wars and Indiana Jones productions as evidence of the growing boom.

Other films included Ken Loach’s My Son, starring James McAvoy and filmed in the Highlands, Vanessa Hudgens’ Netflix film Princess Switch, videogame biopic Tetris, and The Lost King, about the discovery of Richard III’s remains beneath a car park.

Line of Duty star Martin Compston has been making two series in Scotland in recent months – supernatural thriller The Rig and Trident submarine drama Vigil – while marine murder mystery Annika and black comedy Guilt have also been in production.

Mr Wilson said: “Scotland was doing OK, but suddenly what has happened coming out of the pandemic is that there is a line of projects which should have shot a year ago, plus all the others which need to be shot now.

“The industry is unbelievably busy at the moment.

“As Outlander has come to the end of filming for the sixth series, Star Wars and Indiana Jones have both just arrived in Scotland.

“There are two other major high-end television shows prepping and filming in Scotland over the next few months.

“By hook or by crook, more spaces are being taken over and turned into film studios.

“Jason Connery’s place in Leith is booked up for the next eight months or more and the Pyramids Business Park in Bathgate is booked up for the next six or seven months.

“They are not film studios, there are spaces where you can build sets, but inevitably, just as happened in Northern Ireland with Game of Thrones, the companies that go into those spaces will pump money into them and improve them.”

Brodie Pringle, head of the screen commission at government agency Screen Scotland, said: “Scotland’s screen sector has worked through much of the pandemic and we’ve just had the busiest winter for production on record.

“With a pro-active skills strategy strengthening our already excellent crew base and increasing studio infrastructure, we’re confident of attracting more high-value, returning productions, creating an increasingly sustainable, year-round industry.”