From High Seas to ‘High Rise’

A new movie starring Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans and Elisabeth Moss has completed filming in the unlikely surroundings of a former ferry-passenger terminal in Belfast Harbour.

The film, ‘High-Rise’, is set in a 1970s apartment block and filming led to the transformation of the former Stena terminal at Ballast Quay into sets including a lobby, penthouse suite and roof-top garden.

The movie joins an increasing number of productions filmed in the Harbour Estate, including ‘Game of Thrones’ and films such as ‘City of Ember’, both based in the Titanic Studios.  Other productions such as ‘Killing Bono’ and ‘Mo’, a biography Mo Mowlam, have taken advantage of the surroundings of the nearby Harbour Office.
Roy Adair, Belfast Harbour’s CEO, said:

 “Given the history of Ballast Quay this really is a transformation from the ‘high seas to high rise’.  Although the building was purpose-built as a passenger terminal, its high ceilings and wide, open spaces made it an ideal location in which to build a variety of sets and accommodate an in-house props department.
“Although we knew that the Harbour’s development of a new £40m terminal for Stena would open up new possibilities for Ballast Quay, we didn’t imagine one of those would involve Sienna Miller and Jeremy Irons.
“It’s a far cry from the days when the quay was used as a store for sand and stone ballast for sailing ships, but we’re happy to work with Northern Ireland Screen to look at similar projects in the future.”

Directed by Ben Wheatley and produced by Academy Award-winner Jeremy Thomas, ‘High Rise’, is an adaptation of JG Ballard’s classic British thriller of the same name.

Location Manager Andrew Wilson, added:

 “During my 16-year career as a Location Manager, Belfast Harbour has always been hugely supportive of the Film and TV Industry.  Being able to use the old Stena terminal at Ballast Quay gave us the freedom to create a wonderful set that matched the vision of the director Ben Wheatley and production designer Mark Tildesley.”

“Without the continued support and foresight of the Harbour and like-minded bodies, Northern Ireland would simply lose out on these fantastic projects and the economic and cultural benefits that they bring.”

‘High Rise’ was produced through Jeremy Thomas’ Recorded Picture Company, with the involvement of the British Film Institute and FilmFour, Scope Invest Producteurs, Embargo Films, Ingenious, and support from Northern Ireland Screen. HanWay Films are handling international sales.  It is due for release in 2015.