'The animals went hysterical' - Irish farmer claims livestock spooked by explosions during filming of Brad Pitt movie
Published 24/09/2015 | 08:14
An Antrim farmer has claimed that filming of the The Lost City of Z in a nearby field has spooked his livestock.
Production of the film - made by Brad Pitt's company Plan B and starring Hollywood A-listers Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson and Sienna Miller - has been in progress across Northern Ireland for months.
It tells the story of adventurer Percival Fawcett who journeyed into the Amazon in search of the lost kingdom of El Dorado only to vanish without trace.
Parts of the film are being shot on the Antrim coast.
However, residents have had their feathers ruffled with large fires billowing smoke across the countryside as well as gunfire and explosions occurring during filming.
Jason McKillon, from Glenarm, told local paper The Larne Times that explosions have shaken his house and frightened his animals to the point where he thought a war was going on.
He said: "It started last Monday [September 14] with bangs, gunfire and small explosions. Then on Tuesday the bigger explosions started."
Jason said the explosions got louder as the days progressed, sending his neighbour's horses "spare", leaving his dog shivering under a chair, and all his hens missing.
“I was sitting outside and the chickens had just come back when there was another explosion, even louder than the last.
"Another neighbour’s cow and calf jumped the hedge and the cows were bellowing in fear."
He added: "My neighbour was feeding bulls in the field when it happened. They stampeded and knocked him and the feeding trough over.
"It sounded like a war was going on."
Jason has called on the production company to notify residents of their plans in order to prepare for any disruption.
“It’s great they are filming here. It’s just the disruption it has caused, and we know nothing about it," he said.
“It’s totally agricultural here, totally tranquil. There’s never a sound and that makes it more disruptive as the animals aren’t used to the noise and they just went hysterical."
Northern Ireland Screen, which is not directly involved in the production, has said it will notify the production company of residents' concerns.
Plan B Entertainment was founded by Brad Pitt and his then wife Jennifer Aniston in 2001. It has been behind films such as 12 Years a Slave, The Departed and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Meanwhile, the Larne Times coverage of the story has gained praise on social media for how it broke the story.
Many have said its 'Brad Pitt film scares my chickens' front page could go down as one of the greatest front pages of all time.
Read more: Sienna Miller begins filming in Ireland