Local talent urged to step into spotlight

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Shot of Peaky Blinders filmed at Stanley Dock. Pic © BBC

Shot of Peaky Blinders filmed at Stanley Dock. Pic © BBC

The Liverpool Film Office has encouraged up and coming actors to look out for local film and TV opportunities on Merseyside, as the filming of the Harry Potter prequel in the city was announced.

The organisation hoes that the filming of ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ in the city will encourage young talent.

Its manager Lynn Saunders told JMU Journalism: “To anyone thinking of developing a career in the film and TV industry I would urge them to have a look at what is currently happening on their doorstep.”

BBC Two’s gangster drama, ‘Peaky Blinders’, has already begun filming its third series in the Wirral, bringing Hollywood star Cillian Murphy to Merseyside. Locations such as Port Sunlight, Stanley Dock and Powis Street in Toxteth are being used in the filming.

Saunders said that between January and August, the Liverpool Film Office has facilitated 151 different types of film and TV programmes to shoot on location in Liverpool, producing 642 film days and generating £7.5m into the local economy.

This represents a 22% increase on the number of film days compared to last year.

She added: “With a full production schedule till the end of December, which includes Peaky Blinders, it is expected that production output will be doubled by the end of 2015.”

Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts chief executive Mark Featherstone-Witty said his students had enjoyed a number of successes since graduating.

He told JMU Journalism: “A show created, directed and produced by one of our graduates, played for a month in the Liverpool Royal Court Theatre with 13 other LIPA graduates either in the cast, technical or music teams. This may be repeated with another home grown show in 2016.”

Merseyside is selling itself to a long list of noteworthy productions according to the Liverpool Film Office.

BBC One’s new drama, ‘Reg’, written by award-winning Liverpool-born writer, Jimmy McGovern, will be filmed in his home city, while TV series, ‘Cilla’, which is based on the career of TV legend Cilla Black, was shot in Liverpool last year.

Saunders added: “This is surely inspirational, demonstrating the calibre of locally based talent in addition to the high end drama and feature film production filming on location in the city.

“The development of a sound stage at the former Littlewoods site with a skills strategy underpinning the development will only provide more opportunities and links with the industry for new entrants and graduates.”

About Tiernan McGee, JMU Journalism