Glasgow’s Global Visitors: Channing Tatum

channing tatumName: Channing Tatum

Born: 26th April 1980 in Cullman, Alabama, USA

Credits include: 21 Jump Street, The Vow, Magic Mike

Reason for visiting Glasgow:

Channing Tatum spent time in Glasgow in 2009 during the making of The Eagle, which had Film City Glasgow in Govan as its production base. During his time in the city, Tatum and actress wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum attended club night Club Noir’s Halloween party in the O2 Academy on Eglinton Street – both getting into the spirit of the night’s burlesque theme, and with the G.I. Joe star sporting Clockwork Orange style eye makeup. The actor was also photographed arriving at the hotel One Devonshire Gardens on Great Western Road.

Studio Time: Hallam Foe

hallam foe 2hallam foeThere is a handful of actors who are neither Glaswegian or Scottish, but who have nonetheless found themselves working on films in Glasgow on more than one occasion. Emily Mortimer (Dear Frankie, Young Adam) is one, Bob Hoskins (Doomsday, Unleashed) another. Then there is Jamie Bell – the Teesside-born actor who first shot to fame at a young age in Billy Elliot. As previously documented here, Bell spent time in Glasgow during the production of The Eagle and more recently was in the city to shoot the forthcoming Filth. Like The Eagle, 2007’s Hallam Foe features Jamie Bell, was directed by David Mackenzie and used the fantastic Film City Glasgow in Govan as a production base and to shoot some scenes.

Bell plays the titular character in this charming and quirky film and is joined by a strong cast that includes Sophia Myles, Ciaran Hinds (who made his acting debut on stage in Glasgow), Jamie Sives, Claire Forlani and – no stranger to this blog – Ewen Bremner. Hallam is a somewhat troubled young man with a penchant for spying on people and serious stepmother issues following the death of his mother a couple of years previously. He leaves his father (Hinds) and the stepmother (Forlani) behind in their countryside home and heads to Edinburgh, where he spots and follows hotel HR executive Kate – who happens to be a dead ringer for his late mother – and ends up being employed by her. As the film progresses we see the eccentric Hallam come of age in various ways.

While all outdoor scenes and key indoor scenes were filmed in Edinburgh and Peeblesshire, studio filming for parts of the movie took place at Film City Glasgow, and in the DVD commentary David Mackenzie mentions that a staircase seen as the entrance to Kate’s Edinburgh flat is in fact in Glasgow.

Studio Time: The Eagle

the eagleThis 2011 “swords and sandals” (a great term used by one of the contributors in the making of segment on the DVD) film is another production to have employed the wonderful Film City Glasgow as a production base. Being set in Roman Britain, even the most creative minds would struggle to dress 21st century Glasgow as that time and place but Film City was a hive of activity during the rural Scottish leg of the shoot (parts of the film were also shot in Hungary) and indeed some of The Eagle‘s stars were spotted around the city.

Speaking of stars the film boasts an impressive cast, headed up by the increasingly ubiquitous Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell, and also including Donald Sutherland and Mark Strong. Based on a novel by the late author Rosemary Sutcliff, The Eagle is directed by Glasgow-born Kevin Macdonald, whose significant contribution to cinema will be a future subject on this blog.

The story takes place in 140 AD, where Tatum’s centurion Marcus Aquila sets out to solve the mystery of the disappearance 20 years earlier of his father’s legion in the mountains of Caledonia. Bell takes on the role of a British slave who accompanies him on his mission. The Eagle did not quite achieve the “bigger than Braveheart” status that some commentators were predicting for it prior to its release, however it should still be regarded as a significant production for Scotland. The scenery is striking and, unlike many historic epics of recent years, its use of CGI effects is limited – something that Macdonald indicates was important to him while commenting in the DVD extras, and that gained praise from respected American film critic Roger Ebert. Glasgow on Film has to admit to not being a huge fan of historic films – certainly not those set this far back – but in fact found the pace of this movie agreeable. Furthermore it offers some welcome contrasts throughout – there are beautifully sunny sets and dark, depressing, rainy ones; there are violent scenes, but upbeat ones too.

Studio Time: Outpost

outpostoutpost 2So far Glasgow on Film has covered movies filmed and set in Glasgow, movies filmed on the streets of Glasgow but set elsewhere and even those filmed elsewhere but set in Glasgow. This new GoF category – Studio Time – has been created for films shot within the four walls of the Film City Glasgow studio in Govan, so therefore not using Glasgow’s streets, parks or any other distinguishing features as a backdrop but definitely Clyde built productions nonetheless.

Before going into the plot of Outpost, a little bit on Film City Glasgow…

Film City Glasgow is quintessentially Glaswegian, housed in the red sandstone former Govan Town Hall and just a stone’s throw from the River Clyde. Central to the complex is a 5,000 square foot studio and build space and there are production offices, workshop areas and rehearsal and meeting rooms. On its website Film City Glasgow is described as “the heart and soul of Scotland’s film and television industry”, a title justified by the impressive list of both television and film production companies who reside there, have used it as a base or both. In film, The Eagle, Perfect Sense, Red Road, Legacy, The Decoy Bride and Neds are among the productions in which Film City Glasgow has played a part. Film City Glasgow is currently leading proposals for a new, bigger studio scheme on the Clyde waterfront just next to the existing premises – this would include two studio sound stages, with one at around 20,000 square feet in size. If approved the new complex would have the potential to lead to even more movie making in Glasgow, a prospect which of course Glasgow on Film relishes.

Back to today’s subject matter Outpost, which had internal scenes shot in Film City Glasgow, with external scenes filmed on location in Dumfries and Galloway. Starring Ray Stevenson, Julian Wadham, Richard Brake, Paul Blair, Brett Fancy, Enoch Frost, Julian Rivett, Michael Smiley and Johnny Meres, Outpost sees a team of mercenaries and the scientist who hired them head to an underground bunker in a remote part of eastern Europe. The scientist, Hunt (played by Julian Wadham), has knowledge that the bunker was used by the Nazis during the second world war to experiment and develop an army of super soldiers, and is particularly interested in an anti-matter device housed within. The team discover what appears to be a survivor, and from then on in the film develops into its horror territory as the mercenaries are killed off one by one amid mysterious goings on. The film is classed as low budget – it was in fact the first release from Black Camel Pictures, founded by couple Arabella Croft and Kieran Parker who mortgaged their Glasgow home to finance Outpost – yet the quality surpasses that of many other movies made on budgets of similar or even higher amounts. Another contrast that does the film and the people behind it credit is that between its background and its plot – the story of a Glasgow couple mortgaging their house to fund a business sounds like it should be leading up to the opening of a new coffee shop in the west end, not a genuinely creepy and gruesome movie about undead Nazis.