Official Guide to Edinburgh
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Steven Jefferies

Steven Jefferies was catapulted into the Edinburgh Local Hero stratosphere when his Game of Thrones Edinburgh animation exploded across the internet and was picked up by the press. It took nine months of hard technical graft to put together this stunning sequence which could easily slot into the infamous books and television blockbuster.

We are thrilled to talk to this young digital genius and find out about his love for his home city and where he draws his inspiration from.

What springs to mind when you hear the words ‘This Is Edinburgh?'

During filming of the behind the scenes of “Game of Thrones Edinburgh”, I trekked up the Crags with my girlfriend and two of our friends. There is such a fantastic view of the city up there, one of the best. You can pick out many of our landmarks from this one spot. It is a great place to introduce Edinburgh to the viewers.

I did a piece to the camera where I declare 'This is Edinburgh', but it is a supplementary commentary. The view says it all on its own.

 

What makes you particularly proud to live in Edinburgh?

The quirks of the city that stem from our culture and history. These make Edinburgh so unique. Things like the one o'clock gun that used to signal ships out at sea, the Balmoral Hotel clock that has consistently run a few minutes fast to rush travellers to the station in time for their train. We keep up these traditions which help keep our identity and tell stories of our past. 

Where or what in the capital gives you inspiration for your work?

I'm such a huge fan of architecture, something our city is rich in. I like stonework that has weathered the storms, steps that have worn away at the edge after centuries of footfall and chimneys of all shapes and sizes. Things like that give buildings character. I love the Old Town, where every building is so unique. Baronial architecture is one of my favourite styles, Ramsey Gardens springs to mind.

Our architecture definitely inspires me and I think a bit of Edinburgh always somehow creeps into the structures in my animations. I just can't help it!

What is your favourite view of the city?

I am always surprised at the view of the city centre from Ferry Road and Inverleith Park. I'm not often out that way and its remarkable how imposing Edinburgh Castle is on the horizon. As well as that, seeing other landmarks in the skyline from there gives you a sense of the lay of the land, which you just don't get when you're standing in amongst it. One Hogmanay I will have to watch the fireworks from there, like so many people do.

As a local tell us about one of your favourite hidden gems that a visitor to Edinburgh might miss?

This is more of a hidden gem to locals, although it is great advice for tourists as well. I recently discovered that Nelson' Monument on Calton Hill is open to visitors, who can climb the 143 steps to the viewing platform.

Calton Hill is just a few minutes walk from the city centre, and not too steep a climb. The reward is a specular view of Edinburgh for what is a minimum of effort. Nelsons Monument gives you a higher vantage point of a perspective many people already know, and it is more impressive.

If you've tried the Scott Monument and liked it, or fear its cramped stairwell then give some consideration to the Nelsons Monument, the stairway is more roomy and it’s an incredible viewing platform over the city.

You can visit Steven's website or follow  him on #gotedinburgh.