An award-winning north-east film director plans to show off the area where he grew up in a major Hollywood movie.
Jon S Baird, who secured a Bafta for Stan and Ollie, has told the Press and Journal he is aiming to shoot parts of his next project in his native north-east if he gets the cooperation of the local authorities.
The Peterhead-born film writer and director described the new venture as a “major Hollywood film” and confirmed he has recruited a starry international cast and crew for the movie, which is a thriller based on a real-life story from the 1980s.
I’ve always been proud of my roots and I want to show the world that Aberdeen has so many advantages for film-makers.”
Jon S Baird
He and his production colleagues have already made arrangements with councils in Glasgow and Edinburgh to film in the central belt.
But Mr Baird said he was determined to broaden his horizons and bring actors and crew to the Aberdeen area as a means of showcasing the region where he grew up in the 1980s.
“After the damage inflicted by Covid-19, it’s important to promote the Scottish film industry and there have been plenty of instances in recent years where Hollywood movies have been shot in Glasgow and Edinburgh – but there’s no reason why Aberdeen can’t be on the radar as well.
“I was asked about whether we should go to Europe or different parts of Britain, but I’m determined to showcase Scotland, work with the authorities in the north-east, and put the results on film.
“My profile has increased since Stan and Ollie and I’m keen to use that as an opportunity to send the message that Aberdeen has everything you need in cinematic terms.
“I want to put that on the big screen and I’m excited about returning to where I first started going to the films as a youngster and falling in love with them.”
Mr Baird previously wrote and directed a much-praised celluloid version of the controversial Irvine Welsh novel Filth, which had previously been regarded as unfilmable.
And his reputation was enhanced after he lovingly recreated the exploits of legendary comedians Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, played by Steve Coogan and John C Reilly, in his most recent work.
The new venture will start filming in early December and Mr Baird is hoping to discuss the prospect of filming in the north-east with Aberdeen City Council in the days ahead.
He said: “There are logistical challenges and other issues which have to be resolved – a big film crew can’t just arrive and temporarily close roads for example without working closely with the council.
“But I am convinced this could have major benefits for people in Aberdeen, it would put the city in the spotlight, and this is the right time, as we all try to get ready for life after what has been an unprecedented year.”