I was on an in-depth walking tour of the TQ today (the reason why will become obvious within a week or two… I’m being very mysterious recently eh!) and got to see around the back of the Paint Hall (the huge shed which is now being used as a movie studio).
Standing there, you can see the past and future of Belfast in one glance. The past is represented by old steam cranes, tracks in the ground, half-buried foundations – the evocative remains of the docks that built Titanic. The future lies in the huge new visitor attraction towering above the slipways on one side, and the movie studios on the other. The last time I was down in this part of the TQ, the Titanic Belfast signature project didn’t exist (other than some foundations and an architect’s vision). Today it’s well on the way to being ready for its opening next year, filled with high-tech 3D theatres, banqueting venues, exhibitions and all sorts of cool stuff. It will be the biggest Titanic attraction in the world – high time that Belfast had something to mark the fact that all the best Titanic heritage is found here!
Beneath the prows of Titanic Belfast, the movie studios are gearing up for another season of production on the huge HBO fantasy epic ‘Game Of Thrones’. Some of the production crew have already started moving into the Arc Apartments (we met some of them at the deckchair cafe last week). The second series has been given the official green-light, meaning many more months of production here in Belfast. And the first series is about to premiere on Sky Atlantic – I think it looks fab!
If you want a fun ‘Spot The Location’ game, have a look at the ‘Making Of’ video below and see how many Northern Ireland locations you can recognise! I know the crew spent some time in Tullymore for the forest scenes and Magheramorne for the rocky backdrops – but plenty of other familiar-looking views can be seen in the background as well. And it’s good to know that any scene set in a smoky castle interior was actually filmed right here in the TQ…
(if you don’t want to watch the whole video, the bit about the NI locations starts at about 11 minutes in)