A brief history of filmmaking in Westport - Political Quote

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A brief history of filmmaking in Westport

Filmmaking in Westport


Westport Town Council took the decision during its 2006 Budget to provide funding to begin marketing the town to Irish and International filmmakers as a location for their production.


The allocation under the town's budget to promote filming was later incorporated into the Multi Agency Job Creation Taskforce and established as part of the Film Promotion and Broadband sub-committee of the Taskforce.


The sub-committee is comprised of the Cathaoirleach of Westport Town Council, Cllr Martin Keane, Cllr Keith Martin and Westport Town Manager Peter Hynes.  Cllr Keith Martin is also the Mayo liaison officer with the Irish Film Board.


The purpose of the committee is to market Westport to filmmakers as a location for all kinds of productions from feature films like 'Heart's Desire' which is currently filming in the area to adventure programmes such as RTE's 'Celebrities go wild!'


The sub-committee also liaises with filmmakers before and during production to see how the production can be assisted by Westport Town Council and other local authorities such as Mayo County Council, and also provides a liaison and information service to the producers.


Westport Town Council is regarded as one of the most film friendly local authorities in Ireland and has worked very successfully with a number of productions to put Westport on the map. 


According to Damien Devaney publicist for the Guinness Ad 'Pat's Bar' shot in Westport in 2004, "It just makes everything a lot easier when there's a welcoming mind set in a town and Westport Town Council staff and management certainly reflected that. It was a very positive environment to work in, even when we had to stop traffic, the Gardaí were so co-operative and the crew were all treated so well,"


From the very successful 'Pat's Bar' Guinness advert to films like 'Return to the River' and 'Heart's Desire' these high quality productions put Westport on the map with tourists from all over the world. 


According to Cllr Keith Martin "these productions entice people to come and visit the places they see in the film.  One only has to think about the impact that the Quiet Man has had on tourism in Mayo to appreciate how powerful these productions can work as an advertisement for our town.


"There are also the great benefits directly derived from having productions shot in Westport.  For example on the current shoot of 'Heart's Desire' there is a crew of 40 people being accommodated, fed and entertained in the town along with all the other necessary provision purchasing for the production and the use of local locations and local talent in the form of additional crew members and those cast as extras."


According to Cllr Martin Keane, Cathaoirleach of Westport Town Council, "Filmmaking is a great asset to our town and I welcome it for the employment it provides in tourism and for the investment which the filming itself makes in Westport and in Mayo.  We have a beautiful tidy town and it will be great to see it showcased all over the world. I hope that it will attract many of those people to come and visit us in Westport. They will be most welcome."


Productions recently filmed and assisted in Westport include


Feature Film Heart's Desire
RTÉ's Celebrities Go Wild!
TV3's Ireland Am (Live Broadcast)
RTE's About the House
Famine Ship (Documentary)
Guninnes Advert "Pat's Bar"
Calvin Klein Advert
Townlands "The seven wonders of Westport" (Documentary)
RTE comedy series "The Final Furlong"
History Channel's "Pirate Queen Grainne O'Malley" starring Lucy Lawless (Documentary)
Gaelforce Outdoor Adventure Competitions
TnaG's Carta Posta (Documentary)
TnG's Irish Gangsters (Documentary)
Feature Film "Return to the River"
TnaG's Treasure Hunt

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