Movie shoot at scenic Portmuck

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The production company behind the epic box-office hit Gladiator have been given the green light to film at Portmuck during April.

Scott Free Productions - founded by British director Ridley Scott and his brother Tony - will use the harbour and pier as a location for a new horror film which has been given the working title of ‘Salvage’.

The company has been responsible for several blockbuster movies, including Black Hawk Down, Prometheus, and most recently Exodus: Gods and Kings, starring Christian Bale.

A report prepared for Mid & East Antrim Council assures members that there are no sensitive or controversial scenes associated the scenes proposed for Portmuck.

Scott Free Productions say that their use of the picturesque harbour will also provide a boost to the local economy.

The company also stated that it is in negotiations with local business owners for the supply of goods and services.

To facilitate the filming, the harbour and car park will be closed to the public for three weeks in April.

During this time, which will be scheduled to avoid the Easter period, the company has undertaken to provide diversion signage at the location to minimise disruption to visitors and residents.

MEA Councillor Paul Reid has welcomed the council’s decision to approve the request and described it as a “wonderful opportunity to put Islandmagee on the map”.

The DUP representative for Larne Lough told the Times: “This is a win-win situation for Islandmagee and the wider area, as it will no doubt attract more visitors and have a positive impact on tourism and the local economy, especially with the upcoming opening of the Gobbins cliff path.

“Scott Free Productions is a major studio with a very impressive filmography, and the fact that the company has chosen to a film at Portmuck shows that we have something special to offer.

“Portmuck harbour is a real hidden gem; it is a very picturesque location with stunning views of the Antrim coast, so it should come as no surprise that someone would want to shoot a film there.”

The Larne Lough area has already proven to be a popular filming location.

HBO’s wildly successful fantasy series Game of Thrones, which is due to return for its fifth season next month, has been partly filmed at Magheramorne Quarry.

The location was used as the setting for the daunting Castle Black, home to the Night’s Watch and The Wall, which protects the northern border of Westeros.