Tomorrow sees the premiere of film by another acclaimed director who has (very wisely if you ask me) chosen our beautiful nation as a stunning and atmospheric backdrop for his newest work.
A Lonely Place to Die joins the ranks of other notable films, such as Dog Soldiers, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Monty Python and the Holy Grail and, who could forget, the legendary Braveheart, which have taken advantage of the unique landscape the Scottish Highlands offer as a location for filming.
The film follows a group of five mountaineering friends as they scale their way up rugged rock faces and hike through ancient forests, it is during one of these woodland hikes that they discover something out of the ordinary. An oddly placed pipe pokes out from the forest floor and through it a child’s voice can be heard. After a bit of digging, the group of friends find a young girl buried in a small underground chamber. The child is petrified, dehydrated, half-starved and unable to explain why she is there due to her inability to speak a word of English. The friends take it upon themselves to get the girl to safety embarking on a dangerous and nerve-racking descent to the nearest village. In doing this they become involved in a deadly game of cat and mouse which not only pits them against treacherous conditions but also some uncompromising and brutal villains.
Director and writer Julian Gilbey says that he wasn’t content just to go to small walls or small rock faces in the South of England, instead he chose the “extremely dramatic locations” provided by the Scottish Highlands to ensure the cinematography looked amazing and the incredible climbing stunts appeared as realistic as possible. And it has to be said, he definitely manages that, perfectly complementing the suspense and fast paced action of the storyline, with magnificent aerial shots which show off some of the country’s most magnificent rock formations and demonstrate the solitude and remoteness offered by the area.
During filming the cast and crew of A Lonely Place to Die literally took over a whole valley amidst the brooding landscapes of Glen Nevis and Glen Coe as well as a nearby village in which they staged an eye catching pagan festival in keeping with the colourful plot (I’m pleased to say that, contrary to popular belief, here in Scotland we really don’t have many pagan festivals which are still celebrated ‘Wickerman style’ as Hollywood would make you believe).
Some of the most dramatic climbing scenes were filmed on the famous Rannoch Wall on Glencoe’s Buachaille Etive Mor, a popular destination for climbers in the area, and when you see the film, climber or not, you will understand why it is such a Mecca!
But it’s not just climbers who can enjoy the grandeur of this awe inspiring region. In fact the area of Lochaber has something to offer everyone, from ski-ingin the winter to the less strenuous matter of sitting back and enjoying your surroundings from the comfort of the mountain gondola on Aonach Mor or taking a boat trip along Loch Linnhe to see the basking seals. And for film buffs the numerous film locations in the area mean you can visit various familiar places and even take the Jacobite train from Fort William to Mallaig crossing the Hogwarts Viaduct!
Or why not have a brief preview of the film starring our noble country by watching the trailer below?