Blog: Lights, camera, action! Bringing Scottish Water assets to the big screen

21 May 2021

Kenneth Dalziel is our resident Hollywood correspondent…well not quite, but there is a glamorous side to the work we do at Scottish Water Horizons – leasing out some of Scottish Water’s incredible locations to film and TV crews – something Kenny oversees.

Kenny Dalziel, Project Manager, Scottish Water Horizons

“It’s no surprise that we get lots of enquiries from location companies.  Scotland’s scenery is some of the most beautiful in the world and with Scottish Water proudly laying claim to some of it, it’s easy to see why it’s a popular filming destination!

“Scottish Water’s reservoirs, lochs and landscapes are a real draw for film crews. From Hollywood blockbusters to local photoshoots, our assets have played host to various productions and advertising features.

“And it’s not just Scotland’s natural beauty that film crews are interested in – we often get requests to film at some of our more industrial and grittier sites.  That can be anything from atmospheric redundant treatment works and quirky, futuristic architecture to eerie underground tunnels.  Just recently I was approached by the team in charge a new BBC thriller who were looking for a site that resembled the inside of a submarine.

Here’s looking at you, Scotland!

It’s easy to see why Loch Katrine is one of our most requested locations.  You might have even spotted it in What We Did On Our Holidays, starring Billy Connelly, David Tennant and Rosamund Pike.

“My job is to ensure that these assets can be accessed safely.  Most of our properties are operational in nature and the health and safety of everyone involved is crucial.  Reservoirs may look beautiful but can be dangerous if the right precautions are not taken. My main priority is making sure the correct risk assessments have been completed and that operational teams have been engaged with before any new project starts on site.

“I also have to ensure we know exactly what is required of the site so that it doesn’t affect the essential water services we provide to our customers. For example, I’ve been asked a few times if filming on reservoirs can include the use of fuelled boats. For obvious reasons, this is a big no-no – we can’t take any risks where water might get contaminated.

“I’m really proud to help share some of our most picturesque assets with the rest of the world whilst raising Scotland’s profile and supporting our economy (and I’m still holding out for my 15 minutes of fame!).

Kenny Dalziel, Scottish Water Horizons

“The biggest project we’ve had to date was for the massive TV hit Outlander, starring Sam Heughan and Catriona Balfe, and included 50 people filming over three days. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to make a cameo, but it’s really rewarding to see some of our spectacular locations on the big screen.   

If you’re interested in a Scottish Water asset or site for your next film, tv or photography project, it would be great to hear from you.  As long as it’s safe to access, I can make it available!

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