A Wigan film buff has started pounding the streets of a city centre taking cinema enthusiasts on an unusual silver screen-themed tour.
Gary Lunt, from Bryn, has just launched Reel Tours to show off some of Liverpool’s dozens of film locations to movie fans.
The 29-year-old former student of film at Liverpool John Moores University has an encyclopaedic knowledge of where the city has been featured on the big screen and even provides background knowledge of where directors and producers have consulted a range of people and organisations in Liverpool.
He has run a couple of successful pilot walking tours and can now be found pounding the streets at weekends or for private bookings.
Gary said: “I’m a stand-up comedian as well as a bit of a film geek so this was a way of combining my interests in comedy and film. If I go on holiday I try to see if any films were shot in that area and then track down a few locations. I’ve always loved walking tours and history tours and just thought I would give running one of my own a go.
“It’s had a good response so far. I tried off a few different routes but I’ve now managed to get the final form of it together. It’s quite exciting to be starting out on this.”
Former St Edmund Arrowsmith RC High School and Winstanley College student Gary reveals on the tour where everything from massive blockbusters to British productions and TV shows were filmed.
An incredible 289 programmes and films featured Liverpool in 2017 alone and the tour covers the docks and city centre as well as more far-flung locations including the entrance to the Mersey Tunnel.
The trip lasts about two and a half hours and shows not only where the city has appeared as itself but how flexibly it has been able to stand in for locations around the world on the cinema screen.
He said: “It’s the most filmed city in the UK outside of London.
“A lot of them you wouldn’t even realise: It steps in for New York in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them and Moscow in The Hunt For Red October and we even go to the Mersey Tunnel entrance because a massive chase in The Fast and the Furious 6 was filmed there. The BBC have also used Liverpool to film Peaky Blinders, even though it’s set in Birmingham.”
Gary has ambitious plans to expand Reel Tours and also explores his love of cinema in a podcast Film Book Club, which has attracted high-profile guests including Andy Dunlop, the guitarist in indie band Travis.
For more information about Gary’s tours, visit the Reel Tours website