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Image of Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

The Blue Fin Building in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Date posted: 01.04.2012

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a new romantic drama starring Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt, and will be released in cinemas on Friday 20 April. Although the bulk of the story is set in Yemen, this contemporary fable utilized various locations around London, most notably The Blue Fin Building in Southwark.

Directed by Lasse Hallström (Chocolat) and adapted for the screen by Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire), Salmon Fishing in the Yemen tells the story of an unhappy scientist charged with overseeing a project that he believes is utterly ridiculous.

Fred Jones (McGregor) is appointed by the UK Prime Minister's spokesperson (Kristin Scott Thomas) to work on a project with fly fishing-obsessed Yemeni Sheikh (Amr Waked) who dreams of achieving the seemingly impossible - introducing salmon to the wadis of the Yemen.

Fred, a logical and conservative scientist, believes the idea to be ludicrous, but is slowly won over by the charismatic Sheikh and his mystical worldview. He also falls for the Sheikh's representative from the Harrison Price Consultancy, Harriet Chetwode-Talbot (Emily Blunt), and embarks upon a journey of self-discovery and late-blooming love.

For Harriet's workplace, the London-set fictional consulting firm, producer Paul Webster selected the bright and modern Blue Fin Building. Webster describes the glass and chrome building as "a beautiful place" and "a wonderful space to work in".

The Production Designer Michael Carlin was already familiar with the Blue Fin Building and hoped to shoot as many scenes there as possible.

With its stunning location on the banks of the Thames in central London, Location Manager James Grant, stated that "the Blue Fin Building is a very dynamic building whether you are in the foyer on the glass bridge or on the balcony" he continued "its good news for Film & TV Productions that London can be showcased here."

While Blue Fin Building is used to accommodating filming, the Salmon Fishing in the Yemen shoot demanded more planning than previous productions as the schedule called for shooting to take place during the week, when the building is in use.

Blue Fin Building Facilities Executive Anne Lynham and her colleague Julie Rawling were in charge of ensuring the three-day shoot went smoothly while the building continued to operate very much as usual. The team accommodated both the film crew and the building residents with aplomb.

Some of the more challenging logistics of the shoot included raising 12 helium canisters up to the 11th floor for the helium balloon used for lighting. According to Anne Lynham, up to 80 crew members were on site at time and they had "fallen in love with the Blue Fin Building and its versatility".

The Blue Fin Building is covered in 2,000 aluminium blue fins that keep the building cool. It boasts an all-glass façade and a huge central atrium. There is a large external landscaped terrace, a winter garden café bar and a restaurant with views over the Thames.

These unique features to the Blue Fin Building have inspired other productions to utilize this distinctive space in Southwark including the feature film Page Eight, long running drama Spooks, the recent TV remake Minder, and commercials for Expedia, Orange and Walkers Crisps.

For filming inquires at this location speak to Amanda Griffith at Itasca Locations on 020 7494 0888 / amanda@itascalocations.com.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen will be released in cinemas across the UK on Friday 20 April.

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