Belfast’s Movie Business

Several years ago, I had the good fortune to be selected as an extra for the movie, City of Ember, starring Saoirse Ronan, Bill Murray, Tim Robbins and Toby Jones. The story is based on the science fiction/fantasy novel by Jeanne Du Prau. For my part, dressed as a shopkeeper, I would stand outside the shop during filming, to watch Saoirse dash down a cobbled street past me. I always recall the memory when I watch her latest movie.

 It was a wonderful experience that lasted over three months, and a useful one as I was doing some research at the time that would help me to write The Timecrack Adventures series.

The production took place in the Paint Hall film studio, in part of what used to be Harland and Wolff’s old Titanic shipyard. It was also used for much of the production of Game of Thrones.

But the latest good news for Belfast’s fast-growing film industry, in the same area, is the establishment of 340 acres on the Giant’s Park North Foreshore, of which, the Belfast Harbour Studio will occupy 8 acres. The site will include 120,000 square feet of studios, workshops and offices. The drone photo shows the new studio as part of an ongoing £45 million expansion scheme.

My thanks to Jenni Barkley at Belfast Harbour for the photo.

Current filming is well underway with the shooting of the Netflix movie The School of Good and Evil, based on the best-selling series of young adult novels by Soman Chainani.


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