STEVEN SPIELBERG has used Skye, the Outer Hebrides and Orkney as locations for “giant country” in his movie version of children’s book The BFG.
The Hollywood director, known for blockbusters including ET and Schindler’s List, is collaborating with Disney for the project, based on an original story by British author Roald Dahl.
Scenes were filmed at The Quiraing, The Storr and the Fairy Glen on Skye, as well as in the Outer Hebrides, Orkney and the Highlands.
Shooting started in late June and continued for two weeks into early July.
Crews worked under the name Big Valley Productions and appear to have gone largely un-noticed.
Supervising location manager David Broder confirmed: “We filmed scenes for the BFG on Skye as plate shots to be part of our Giants Land.
“We also filmed on the Shiant islands and aerial work was filmed from a helicopter through the Highlands
“We also filmed at the Old Man of Hoy in the Orkneys.”
Asked why Scotland was chosen, he said: “It was picked because it looks great – it was perfect for us.
“It’s supposed to be a magic island north of the UK. We had a couple of locations in mind and we just kept coming back to Scotland.
“We love it, that’s why we filmed there. It’s all positive.”
British actor Mark Rylance, 55, will star as the BFG alongside 10-year old newcomer Ruby Barnhill from Cheshire as Sophie.
In the classic 1982 book, a little girl called Sophie makes friends with a “Big Friendly Giant” and helps to save Britain from being invaded by evil child-eating giants from another world.
The eccentric BFG calls himself “the only nice and jumbly giant in Giant Country” and embarrasses Sophie with his love of breaking wind, or “phizz popping”.
The Disney/Dreamworks collaboration it is now in post-production with the same digital effects company that worked on The Lord of The Rings and is set to be released next summer.
Roald Dahl’s grandson Luke Kelly, managing director of the Roald Dahl literary estate, said: “We are so thrilled and excited at this collaboration between two story telling giants – Roald Dahl and Steven Spielberg.”
Jenni Steele, film and creative industries manager at VisitScotland, said: ”In recent years Scotland has taken a starring role in many well known films.
“It’s fantastic to see that this trend is set to continue.”
Scotland has long been a favourite location for movie directors and has been used as a backdrop for films including James Bond movie Skyfall and Harry Potter in recent years.
‘The BFG’ is set to be released in the UK on 22nd July 2016.