Despite being such a small country Northern Ireland has quickly become a favourite location for TV and film companies the world over.
American TV company, HBO has been shooting Game of Thrones here since 2011 and seasons 1 to 3 are estimated to have seen over £65million being spent on goods and services across the country.
Last year Hollywood filmed Dracula Untold, with a cast and crew of hundreds and armed with a $100m overall film budget.
Laura McCorry of Tourism Northern Ireland said it’s just the start with many more big budget productions expected in coming years.
She said: “When Hollywood comes to town you know you’re doing something right”.
Big screen movies filmed in Northern Ireland over the last number of years include Good Vibrations starring Richard Dormer, Your Highness starring Hollywood names James Franco and Natalie Portman and City of Ember starring Bill Murray.
The places and attractions which can been seen on screen include everywhere from the Giant’s Causeway, Downhill Beach and Tollymore Forest to Ballintoy Harbour and grand estates like Castle Coole, Mount Stewart and Castle Ward.
And 2015 is just as exciting as The Frankenstein Chronicles, a re-imagining of the Frankenstein myth as a six-part ITV period crime drama, has begun filming, starring Sean Bean (a regular here now after his starring role in Game of Thrones).
Also this year Jamie Dornan and Gillian Anderson will reprise their starring roles in a third season of The Fall for the BBC.
To catch a glimpse of Northern Ireland check out soon-to-be released productions such as High Rise, featuring Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller and Luke Evans and a drama set in Fermanagh and filmed entirely on location at Castle Coole, Miss Julie starring Colin Farrell and Jessica Chastain.
Here are 11 fantastic Productions Helping To Put Northern Ireland On The Tourism Map:
1. Game of Thrones (2011 – Present)
An epic fantasy television series created for HBO. This production is an adaptation of George R R Martin’s series of fantasy novels, and is filmed at the Paint Hall Film Studios in Belfast as well as a number of locations around Northern Ireland including Ballintoy Harbour, Tollymore Forest Park and Castle Ward Estate.
2. Boogaloo and Graham (2014)
Bafta-winning and Oscar-nominated short film Boogaloo and Graham, set in 1970s Belfast, follows the story of Jamesy and Malachy who are over the moon when their soft-hearted dad presents them with two baby chicks to care for. Raising their tiny charges, declaring themselves vegetarian and dreaming of running a chicken farm, the two boys are in for a shock when their parents announce that big changes are coming to the family.
3. Robot Overlords (2013)
Directed by Jon Wright and starring Gillian Anderson and Ben Kingsley, Robot Overlords is a home-grown homage to the action adventure films of the ’80s, packed with incredible special effects and rebellious excitement for all ages. The film, which stars Gillian Anderson and Ben Kingsley, takes a look at a fictional Earth which has been conquered by robots from a distant galaxy. Survivors are confined to their houses and must wear electronic implants, risking incineration by robot sentries if they venture outside.
4. The Fall (2013 – Present)
Made and set in Belfast, The Fall starred Gillian Anderson, better known for her role in cult TV series, the X files and Belfast-born Jamie Dornan who this year appeared in the role of Christian Grey in the feature film adaptation of bestselling novel ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. In the gripping psychological thriller Belfast born Dornan played serial killer Paul Spector who stalked his victims at random in and around Belfast with Anderson portraying the talented Detective Superintendent brought in on the case.
5. Dracula Untold (2013)
Vampire mythology combined with the true history of Prince Vlad tell the origin of Dracula starring Luke Evans. Filmed at many locations across Northern Ireland including: Tollymore Forest Park, Roe Valley Country Park, Mount Stewart House and Gardens, Giant’s Causeway, Divis Mountain and Scrabo Country Park.
6. Blandings (2013 – 2014)
The series is based on author PG Wodehouse’s hilarious accounts of the life and times of Lord Emsworth of Blanding Castle. It was filmed at Crom Castle, Co. Fermanagh and stars well-known actors such as Timothy Spall, Jennifer Saunders, David Walliams and Mark Williams, just to name a few.
7. Keith Lemon – The Film (2012)
Comedy starring Celebrity Juice host and comedian Keith Lemon and Kelly Brook, Keith Lemon The Film is filmed in various Belfast locations including Linenhall Street, Titanic Drawing Offices, House of Fraser (Victoria Square), The Waterfront Hall, W5 at Odyssey, The Merchant Hotel, Bedford Street, Linen House Hostel, Old Northern Bank on Waring Street, Café Vaudeville, Donegall Square North.
8. Philomena (2012)
Philomena is the true story of one mother’s search for her lost son. Starring Judy Dench and Steve Coogan with filming in various County Down locations including Bryansford, Killyleagh, Rostrevor and featuring the Mourne Mountains.
9. The Shore – Short Film (2011)
This Oscar winning film (best live action short) is the story of friendship and reconciliation starring Ciarán Hinds and Conleth Hill as childhood friends, Joe and Paddy. The film won Best Live Action Short Film at the 2012 Oscars. Written and directed by Belfast local Terry George, and produced by his daughter Oorlagh, the film was shot entirely in Killough, County Down.
10. Good Vibrations (2012)
The film is a chronicle of Terri Hooley’s life, a record-store owner, played by Richard Dormer, instrumental in developing Belfast’s punk-rock scene. As a way to forget about The Troubles in Belfast in the 1970s, Terry galvanises young musicians into action and becomes the unlikely leader of a motley band of kids and punks who join him in his mission to create a new community, an alternative Ulster, to bring his city back to life.
11. Starred Up (2013)
Starred Up is a prison crime drama filmed in former prisons HM Prison Crumlin Road in Belfast and HM Prison Maze in Lisburn and stars Jack O’Connell. The film is based on the experiences of a voluntary therapist working at HM Prison Wandsworth, with some of the country’s most violent criminals. The film’s title is a term used to describe the early transfer of a criminal from a Young Offender Institution to an adult prison.
If you want to check out some of the locations used in these productions Tourism Northern Ireland have recommended a few tours and locations.
Among them is McComb’s Coach Travel Game of Thrones locations tour, recently awarded 5* status by Tourism Northern Ireland under their Quality and Grading Scheme. They have worked on the first four seasons of Game of Thronesproviding transport to filming locations.
Clearsky Adventure which operates Winterfell Tours experiences is also transporting tourists into the world of Westeros, having created a replica of the Winterfell Archery Range in the courtyard of Castle Ward on the spot where Game of Thrones filming took place. Visitors can dress up in character costume, step into the movie set and experience the home of one of the show’s families.
Last Halloween, the team at Tourism Northern Ireland also released a map to guide visitors around the Dracula Untoldfilming locations.
For more information log onto www.discovernorthernireland.com