Edinburgh's Hogmanay film is seen by three million people in more than 50 countries around the world

More than 3.1 million people have watched the specially-created drone swarm film created to underline Edinburgh’s claim to be "the home of Hogmanay.”

The figure was announced as organisers released the full 15-minute film, which was inspired by a new three-part poem, commissioned to mark the end of 2020 and herald the arrival of 2021 from Scots Makar Jackie Kay.

The three parts of the film, which featured special effects created using 150 drones, are said to have been viewed in more than 50 countries around the world so far.

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The drone sequences filmed on an estate in the Highlands were superimposed into iconic views of the city, including Edinburgh Castle, Calton Hill, The Mound and Arthur’s Seat.

A symbol of a handshake appeared above Murrayfield Stadium, the home of Scottish rugby, while the drone effects included a new-born baby, a stag and an eagle.

The finale, which was broadast on the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay social media channels and website at 7pm last night, was shared almost immediately by astronaut Tim Peake with his 1.5 million Twitter followers.

Underbelly, the events firm which produced the film on behalf of Edinburgh City Council and the Scottish Government, released the film in three parts between 29 December and Hogmanay.

The company, which normally stages a three-day festival in Edinburgh over Hogmanay, said the film had already been viewed in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, India, Iraq, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the UAE, the USA, Uruguay and Uzbekistan.

The project was instigated after the government and the council, which put more than £1 million into Edinburgh’s celebrations each year, ruled out the staging of any live events in the city.However they instead pledged to support an online project aimed at keeping the city and the country in the global spotlight.

A spokeswoman for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay said: “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay concluded last night, with 3.1 million people so far tuning in directly to watch the series of broadcasts on Edinburgh’s Hogmanay’s channels.

"Many millions more saw the films and clips on media channels around the world and those figures will be collated and released in due course.”

Underbelly directors Ed Bartlam and Charlie Wood said: "

More than 3.1 million people have watched the online incarnation of Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations so far.
More than 3.1 million people have watched the online incarnation of Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations so far.

“We’ve been blown away by the response from the millions and millions of people who’ve watched the films or seen clips around the world.

"Fireworks didn’t seem the right response to the end of 2020 and we think we got the right tone for Scotland of reflection, innovation and imagination, putting Scottish artists to the fore. Here’s to a better 2021.”

Posting on his Twitter page, Peake said: Where poetry, art & culture meet science & technology. Thank you for creating this visual feast for us to marvel at, enjoy & reflect on.”

City council leader Adam McVey said: “Gie this a watch. Our Capital’s Hogmanay pulls together the beauty of our city and the artistic talent that is so much of who we are.”

Murrayfield Stadium was among the famous Edinburgh landmarks to feature in the 15-minute film.

Writer and broadcaster Lesley Riddoch said: “Such a beautiful, poignant & hopeful film by Edinburgh's Hogmanay folk. Fareweel to the old year and as it happens, to our old friends in Europe. But auld acquaintance is not forgot. We'll be back.”

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