Tuesday, 21 August 2018
Englishman in Dubrovnik Englishman in Dubrovnik

Does Robin Hood need Dubrovnik more than Dubrovnik needs Robin Hood?

By  Mark Thomas Feb 25, 2017

Nottingham has arrived in Dubrovnik. Robin Hood and his band of merry men are riding through the cobbled streets of our city and it is hard not to feel more than a little homesick.

The Stradun and the old harbour have been transformed, with intricate sets and Nottingham green everywhere. It is a little odd, at least for me, to see English flags and “Three Lions” banners hanging from the city walls. If I had a Kuna for every time someone has asked me “why couldn’t they film this in England?” I would be able to take my wife for lunch in Nautika. I have no idea why they didn’t, but to be honest I don’t care either. Surely it is better for us that Dubrovnik has some kind of happening out of the summer season, to kill our winter boredom. And then came the answer, straight from the horse’s mouth, “I spent months looking for a set and a location in England but couldn’t find one,” said the director.

And yes it seems strange that he couldn’t find England in England, or Nottingham in Nottingham, but why people are still getting upset about this I don’t know.

The true answer is that Game of Thrones and Star Wars brought with them more than just global promotion, they also raised the profile of the city in the eyes of film producers. And, if we are being honest, Dubrovnik is much cheaper to film in than England. Money talks. I just don’t get why people feel the need to write comments all over social media about why Dubrovnik is the new home for Robin Hood. Is this filming somehow taking away their salary, their bread from the table or their freedom – no! So why the anger. Come to think of it why would you feel the need to write a negative comment about anything? Unless maybe it is some kind of stress relief, some kind of social media yoga, a way of venting from an otherwise unfulfilled life.

It isn’t just Robin Hood, far from it. I can just publish a photo of Dubrovnik with a witty headline and I guarantee you I will get a few negative comments. Sad. But I digress

So the actors are here, we have already managed to racially abuse Jamie Foxx, Robin Hood looks like he should still be in school and apparently they are all enjoying Croatian wine...maybe a little too much. I have to be honest I am not envious in the slightest at the life of these actors. Although they are probably living the life of luxury they have lost the one thing that man truly needs – freedom. Locked away in their rooms, surrounded by assistants and security, unable to go for a stroll in the fresh air without being hassled. And not just hassled by the press, but also by the general public eager for selfies.

I remember being told, and even experiencing for myself, that celebrities liked coming to Dubrovnik in years gone by because they were generally ignored by the public and were free to walk without fear. I am here to tell you that those days are gone. Whilst there is still a hardcore of people who will say that people in Dubrovnik will pay no attention to the rich and famous, they are in the minority. Yes, I agree, that it is still extremely safe for the actors and celebrities to walk around without having to worry that some drunken idiot will try and start a fight, they are now a magnet for mobile phone cameras and selfies sticks. Well if you are Jamie Foxx then there is even a chance that some drunken imbeciles will pester you in a restaurant, but doesn’t every place have its own clowns.

Maybe it’s a globalisation thing. Maybe it’s a social media thing. I am not sure but the days that celebrities can walk unabated are certainly behind us. It’s sad but true. Now I have to be honest almost all of the actors in this latest Robin Hood movie could jump into the Jacuzzi next to me and I wouldn’t have the slightest idea who they were. I even had to Google their faces to know who they were. Ok, Jamie Foxx I know him, but all the others, well no. So this could solve their problem of walking around in freedom, if they bump into me, I mean literally bump right into me I wouldn’t dream of reaching for my mobile phone to take a photo. King’s Landing, a far away galaxy, so why not Nottingham.

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