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There's very little for me to do in Belfast, mainly because I'm broke. Must say if I were on big money, I'd also find very little to do as I've heard the ladies of the night aren't in the phone book, the drug dealers don't specialise in cocaine and the footballers' wives wear knickers. Or in the case of the Gaelic footballers' wives, they would punch you quicker than their menfolk.

I've had interesting days and nights in Belfast at restaurants, cafes and the cinema. These are things I can do in any city in the western world, with or without me being a playboy.

Perhaps we should be able to better publicise our offerings but I get the feeling that businesses can't do that as they are still struggling with onerous rates and rents (plus electric charges). Maybe rate relief for Sunday opening businesses would boost things for non-locals, rich or not, to do? Or perhaps a reduction in VAT for hospitality industry? Or maybe better public transportation at the weekend? Or a helipad or two?
 

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I think Belfast is fine for a city of its size. I live in the Cathedral Quarter and it's generally always busy but ever though I live in the city centre and I'm a shameless social butterfly I'm not out every night, that's not what most people do.
 

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Poor them, having to spend half their year in a non-cosmopolitan city. Life is tough! It's not like they're being asked to live here! Im sure they could always hop on the train to Dublin now and again for their cosmo fix!
 

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I imagine if you're stinking rich Belfast can be a pretty boring place.

Let's be honest the Merchant hotel is no Savoy, House of Fraser is no Harrods. Even Dublins offering are boring compared to London, Paris, New York etc
 

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True, with the demands of the show, in needing quick access to rural locations, it's unlikely they would ever have filmed in London. Maybe Manchester or Glasgow, but even then your limited in cosmopolitan lifestyle. (Compared to London)
 

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True, with the demands of the show, in needing quick access to rural locations, it's unlikely they would ever have filmed in London. Maybe Manchester or Glasgow, but even then your limited in cosmopolitan lifestyle. (Compared to London)
They considered Scotland and even filmed a small amount of the first series in Scotland but the country lacks significant film production studio and stages and so they moved it to Northern Ireland.
 

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It's true Belfast isn't cosmopolitan but I forgive the two Executives comments on Belfast considering the fact they're partly responsible for bringing employment and revenue to the city...
 

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If I was one of the executives and found out this was said I wouldn't be happy. I think a few heads will roll at HBO. The money spent on tourism and I think HBO themselves even won an award for attracting more people to NI I think it's a little embarrassing for them.

The production won't move because Belfast isn't cosmopolitan enough, that's just silly. It has a lot of pro's and con's but to be honest you can't compare it to New York or London.
 

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It's unfortunate for the producers that HBO set the bar so high with their earlier filming locations for Sopranos & The Wire. Belfast was always going to seem humdrum compared to the cosmopolitan delights of suburban New Jersey (great industrial estates and some car parks of real character) and working class Baltimore (Heroin without prescription is never more than a five minute walk away).

Thing is all this local fury over two sentences said by a man just makes Belfast seem parochial, i.e. less cosmopolitan. I would hazard a guess that these were throwaway comments selected from a one hour interview, with the interviewee likely homesick. There's been more than a few American tv shows filmed in the middle of nowhere like a desert but they're still a quickish plane ride away from their family home in LA or the east coast.

Still they've got a point, few peacetime countries reserve the best time of the year for weeks of community tension. Even if American producers (and tourists) aren't on the ball enough to realise what's going on their ears are definitely going to prick up over Pastor McConnell debacle. What grates is the fact that Game of Thrones received government funding and has been paid for co-operation with the tourist board, though the producer maybe didn't know about the boring corporate stuff like that.
 

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From high seas to High Rise ... Belfast's old ferry terminal a quay location for big movie shoot

It was once used to store stone ballast for sailing ships, but this summer the former Stena ferry terminal quay at Belfast Harbour was transformed into a film set. Filming has just wrapped on the Ben Wheatley-directed movie High Rise with Jeremy Irons, Thor star Tom Hiddleston, Dracula Untold lead Luke Evans and Sienna Miller.

High Rise is based on the dystopian novel by JG Ballard, set in the pre-Thatcher era, and follows life in a modern tower block in London's Docklands, which has been designed as a luxury bolthole from a decaying city.

The book focuses on a young doctor, Robert Laing, who discovers a world of complex loyalties and unravelling society within the luxury apartment block.

Filming at Ballast Quay in the docks area of Belfast led to the transformation of the former Stena terminal into sets including a lobby, penthouse suite and roof-top garden.

The movie joins an increasing number of productions filmed in the Harbour Estate, including television hit Game Of Thrones and films such as City Of Ember, both based in the Titanic Studios.

Other productions such as Mo, a biography of Mo Mowlam, and Killing Bono have taken advantage of the surroundings of the nearby Harbour Office.

Roy Adair, Belfast Harbour's CEO, said: "Given the history of Ballast Quay this really is a transformation from the high seas to high rise. Although the building was purpose-built as a passenger terminal, its high ceilings and wide, open spaces made it an ideal location in which to build a variety of sets and accommodate an in-house props department.

"Although we knew that the harbour's development of a new £40m terminal for Stena would open up new possibilities for Ballast Quay, we didn't imagine one of those would involve Sienna Miller and Jeremy Irons.

"It's a far cry from the days when the quay was used as a store for sand and stone ballast for sailing ships, but we're happy to work with Northern Ireland Screen to look at similar projects in the future."

Location manager Andrew Wilson said being able to use the old terminal "gave us the freedom to create a wonderful set that matched the vision of the director Ben Wheatley and production designer Mark Tildesley".

High Rise is due for release in 2015.

Factfile
The plot: In London in 1975, before Margaret Thatcher's ascent to political power, Robert Laing (Tom Hiddleston) is a young doctor seduced by the lifestyle of a high rise, an isolated community cut off from society in their luxury tower block, and its creator, the architect Anthony Royal (Jeremy Irons). After Laing befriends Richard Wilder (Luke Evans) a dangerous social situation develops.
 

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Sean Bean stars in Frankenstein Chronicles filmed in NI

ITV has commissioned a six-part drama series, The Frankenstein Chronicles, which will be shot in Northern Ireland.

The lead actor is Sean Bean, who also starred in the Northern Ireland-shot Game of Thrones.

The series will be produced by Rainmark Films, whose director Frank Doelger is one of the Game of Thrones showrunners.

The production will be part financed by NI Screen, the Northern Ireland state film agency.

'Dark corners'

Set in 1827, the series is a reworking of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein that combines a detective drama with a horror thriller.

Bean will play Inspector John Marlott in the show, which begins filming in January

One of the series' creators, Benjamin Ross, said: "Marlott's investigation takes him into the dark corners of Regency London.

"He discovers an underworld of prostitution, drug smuggling, bodysnatching and murder for profit."

The series has been commissioned for ITV Encore, its subscription drama channel.

ITV director of drama Steve November said it was "an epic re-working of one of literature and cinema's most iconic stories".
 

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Lost City of Z begins filming in Northern Ireland

Production has commenced on James Gray’s Lost City of Z starring Charlie Hunnam, Sienna Miller, Robert Pattinson, and Tom Holland. The film will shoot across various locations in Northern Ireland for five weeks and continue filming in Colombia throughout September and October.

David Grann's acclaimed New York Times best-selling book serves as the basis for the movie which MICA Entertainment is financing. Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner are producing via Plan B Entertainment along with Anthony Katagas and Dale Johnson. MadRiver Pictures’ Marc Butan is executive producing as are MICA Entertainment’s Julie B. May and Glenn Murray. Sierra/Affinity is representing international sales of the title with CAA overseeing domestic rights to the film.

The film, which received funding through Northern Ireland Screen, is being serviced in Northern Ireland by Mark Huffam (Exec Producer) and Aidan Elliott (Co-Producer) through production company Bounder & Cad.

Lost City of Z follows Percy Fawcett (Hunnam), the last of the great Victorian explorers, who developed an obsession for the Amazon. Convinced that he had discovered a lost civilization in the jungles of Brazil, Fawcett disappeared in the 1920s while searching for the mythical city deep within the unchartered interior.

Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Screen, said; “We are delighted to welcome Plan B Entertainment to Northern Ireland to film Lost City of Z. With films including the Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave and critically acclaimed titles Selma, World War Z, The Departed and many more in its back catalogue, Plan B’s reputation precedes it. This is another strong vote of confidence in our local film industry and further cements Northern Ireland’s reputation as a world-class production location. We wish the entire team all the best for their shoot.”
 

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Shackleton army base, Ballykelly: Film studio firm would like to buy site

A film studio company that has recently started renting the former Shackleton army base in Ballykelly has said it would like to buy the full site.
The base has been on the market since it was given to the Northern Ireland Executive by the Ministry of Defence in 2011. There has been at least one failed attempt to sell the site. Demolition has taken place in a corner of the site that the Department of Agriculture plans to move into. However, most of the 720 acre site is open spaces, empty offices, and aircraft hangars, and there are two airstrips.

Jo Gilbert brought the first films to studios in east Belfast which incorporate Harland and Wolff shipyard's former Paint Hall building. Her company has now leased the Shackleton base and is turning it into production office and studio space to rent out to production teams for film and television shoots.

"We are here for the long term," she said. "This site is absolutely tailor made to develop a whole new centre of excellence for the media and creative industries."

Tax breaks

The army left the site in 2008, and much has become overgrown, but Ms Gilbert is using old army accommodation to house cast and crew. One production is currently on site and will begin filming next week. The film called Property of the State, is the first in a line of productions already on the books.

Generous tax breaks, access to locations both north and south of the border, and space to film pretty much anything you want are what Ms Gilbert thinks are the key attractions to Ballykelly.

"There's lots of interests from the States, this is a place with so much potential, we will have five productions running concurrently on this site," she added.

A British production of Jeffery Archer's prison diaries is one of a number of films that will arrive on site in the next few weeks.
 

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Studio proposed in Belfast Harbour

This is the third separate proposal for a new film studio in recent weeks. One in Ballykelly, a second at North Foreshore, now this in Belfast Harbour. And TQ studios still have approval for the expansion of their operations.

Fresh tenders have been issued to find contractors to build at least one 40,000 sq ft development with a "potential 20,000 sq ft extension".

The development - which is being termed the Belfast Harbour Studio - is set to be built on the Belfast Harbour estate.

It is understood the contract is worth around £10m, with construction due to take around eight months. Those behind the project haven't yet specified where the latest studio development will sit on the harbour estate's vast 2,000-acre site.
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/b...lfast-a-boost-to-movie-industry-31515043.html
 

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North Foreshore Studios

Some images of the proposed North Foreshore Studios:


http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/b...ew-10m-movie-studios-in-belfast-34332177.html

North Foreshore Film Studios are being built by Belfast Harbour and will be located on the soon-to-be redeveloped 340-acre former landfill site.

The development will feature a 66,000sq ft film studio and sound stage, along with a 23,000sq ft workshop and 32,000sq ft production space.

Now a full and detailed application has been submitted to Belfast City Council for the ambitious plans.

It is understood the contract is worth around £10m, with construction expected to take around eight months.
 

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I heard through the grapevine that a semi-permanent Game of Thrones exhibition is being planned for the Titanic Quarter. Plans are at an early stage, but could involve turning one of the Paint Hall stages into a GoT visitor attraction once the final season has been completed.
 

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I heard through the grapevine that a semi-permanent Game of Thrones exhibition is being planned for the Titanic Quarter. Plans are at an early stage, but could involve turning one of the Paint Hall stages into a GoT visitor attraction once the final season has been completed.
Makes sense and incredibly lucrative. Look at the permanent Harry Potter studio tour in London @ £40 a ticket and booked out months in advance.
 
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