Scotland had always been the landscape of choice when advertisers needed an iconic winding road to promote the new Mazda. But it was 1990s movies such as Mel Gibson’s Oscar-winning Braveheart (1996) and the cult classic Trainspotting (1996) that proved that Scotland and its indigenous industry had a lot more on-screen potential.
Since the ‘90s, the Scottish film industry has grown to blockbuster proportions; worth £95 million in 2017, up from £23m in 2007. You’ll recognise the breathtaking Scottish Highlands in many Hollywood productions and big-budget franchises. The Glenfinnan Viaduct stars in several Harry Potter movies as the spectacular viaduct that the Hogwarts Express train crosses. James Bond was here in Skyfall (2012), Batman in The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and most recently Marvel superheroes in Avengers: Infinity War (2018). Netflix production Outlaw King with Chris Pine was the biggest ever feature production to be shot in Scotland. The time travel drama series Outlander was another recent boost to the industry.
None of this rapid growth is a coincidence. Creative Scotland has worked hard to make Scotland an attractive location for big productions, and their dedicated screen unit Screen Scotland was set up after considerable investment by the Scottish Government.
Beyond the world of production, Scotland has a lively film festival circuit. The Edinburgh International Film Festival, the longest continually-running film festival in the world, runs for 10 days each June. It has premiered many big features since it started in 1947. The Glasgow Film Festival is a smaller affair with a big personality, while the Loch Ness Film Festival celebrates grassroots styles of filmmaking.
If you’re trying to pick a location for a film or tv production internship, Scotland may well be one of the most exciting places you can base yourself.