A local actor stars in a new Scottish sci-fi horror film, filmed in some beautiful locations in Perth and Kinross.
Gareth Morrison (39), from Errol, plays ‘Baz’ in Skinjacker, a thrilling and dark tale that brings to life an ancient, lesser-known creature of Scottish mythology.
Inspired by Ridley Scott’s Alien and John Carpenter’s The Thing, the film was primarily filmed on the Isle of Skye but uses locations such as Pitlochry, Tullibole Castle, Dunning Glen and Crook of Devon as part of its production.
The historical fantasy series Outlander also takes advantage of filming locations in Perthshire, while Star Wars and Indiana Jones have both just arrived to begin filming in parts of Scotland.
Former Perth High pupil and Perth Theater actor Gareth spoke of his joy at returning to the region to film after productions were halted after a tough 18 months for the industry due to COVID.
“Like most actors, I had a shocking 2020 and started working again in January,” Gareth said.
“It was a long way back from the COVID lockdowns.
“I was thrown back around September last year and things just kept changing.
“Twice a week there was testing and once you are on set you stay in your trailer until you are called up, keep your mask on and stay away from people.
“But the rules allowed people to go back to work.
“It feels like a little bit of hope has returned for the industry here.
“We finished the first block of Skinjacker, so that’s packed.
“They want to finish filming by the end of this year and post-production will last until next year.
“The film follows a group of people trapped on Skye.
“The power goes out and strange things start happening – then things start to take an interesting turn.
“I play a character called Baz who is part of the bad group, and playing the bad guy often has its fun sides.
“Making movies in Perth and Kinross was fun for me to come back to my homeland and work.”
Already in elementary school, Gareth told people that he wanted to be an actor.
“I’ve worked everywhere and I’ve been working for 20 years now and have done a lot of horror movies, stage and TV and played serial killers,” he said.
“In my earlier days I was lucky enough to be at Taggart and Monarch of the Glen.
“I actually starred in a play by Taggart creator Glenn Chandler seven years ago called Killers and I played Peter Sutcliffe (The Yorkshire Ripper), which was an interesting role!”
Gareth was inspired to follow his passion by watching Jack Nicholson and grew up watching action movies starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Jean-Claude Van Damme.
But he believes the region’s scenery has become an A-lister in its own right for filmmakers.
“I think Outlander has changed things for Scotland in general,” he said.
“It’s so big with so much looking and they can take in our landscape and scenery – which is unparalleled.
“If you’re making a film and you want dramatic scenery, you come to Scotland.
“You also have people from the area like Ewan McGregor who came out of Crieff and you see them really do it, so does Alan Cumming.
“I loved going to Perth Theater for the likes of Martin James and Andy Gray, who we sadly lost last year.
“It is a huge boost for the region.”