Everyone at Belfast International Airport was as much on a journey as the cast and crew of ‘The Journey’, and we passed the Hollywood test effortlessly.
We’ve got the space … we’ve got the facilities…. and we’re more than willing to help the movie-makers to transform a script into scintillating, must-watch scenes on the silver screen.
‘The Journey’, with Timothy Spall playing Ian Paisley and Colm Meaney as Martin McGuinness, is all about how the First and the deputy First Ministers got on, and it’s packed with humour.
It’s the work of acclaimed local novelist and screenwriter, Colin Bateman, and we were chosen as the location for a few crucial scenes in the big budget Hollywood movie.
The Hollywood ‘caravan’ rolled up early in the morning and remained on site for more than fourteen hours. Most of the day, they used state-of-the-art facilities at Woodgate Aviation to record some scenes – all facilitated by our Operations and Police personnel as well as staff from ICTS.
A Hawker jet, which was also used in a previous James Bond movie, landed on Runway 25 in plenty of time for a crucial on-board scene with the two politicians dubbed ‘The Chuckle Brothers’.
Under the ever-vigilant eye of Belfast-born director, Nick Hamm, the day seemed to pass off with the minimum of fuss as riggers, wardrobe, lighting technicians, camera people, sound personnel and, crucially, caterers, got on with the job.
Airport Security and Operations Manager, Rod Haskins, said: “This was a great opportunity for us. We’ll obviously do a debrief, but from our perspective, the airport came through sporting the equivalent of an Ops ‘Oscar’.
“I think what’s important is we haven’t done something as big as this before, and we’ve shown we’re more than capable of facilitating a multi-million pound production, and meeting quite exacting demands.
“We’ve put down a marker: if you want an authentic airport location, then look no further than Belfast International. Our track record is established, and we’re saying to movie scouts and researchers, come to us for a professional and authentic location. We’ll make it happen!”