Highlands & Islands

Scot shoots first fictional feature in Antarctica

Still from South of Sanity
Image caption A still from South of Sanity

A fictional feature film has been shot in Antarctica for the first time.

Scottish climbing instructor and documentary-maker Kirk Watson filmed South of Sanity while working for British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

Shot entirely in the Antarctic, the horror movie's cast and crew were made up of fellow BAS contractors and staff.

Matt Edwards, a doctor who lives near London, wrote the script for the feature which is now being marketed by a US film-maker.

Rated 18 by the British Board of Film Classification, the movie follows 14 staff at an Antarctic station as they are stalked by a killer.

Aviemore-based Mr Watson, who is originally from Torphins in Aberdeenshire, has six years' experience working in Antarctica. His tasks include leading scientists across glaciers and training them in climbing techniques.

Image caption Biologists, geologists and mechanics made up the cast and crew

In winter, when the continent is locked in darkness and freezing conditions, staff learn skills such as woodwork and black and white photography to help while away their free time.

Mr Watson decided to hone his film-making by shooting a low budget fictional feature with help from other British staff, which included marine biologists, geologists and mechanics.

He said: "We filmed a couple of day scenes on a weekend and the rest was shot in the dark just to make the film darker.

"So our actors suffered a bit in the cold as we had people sitting outside for ages, or playing dead people lying in the snow. It became a bit tricky with the 'dead people' as they shivered, so they were carefully edited to get rid of the movement."

Mr Watson added: "We had several actors with mild hypothermia during the filming. The good thing was they had lived there for a year, so were pretty used to it."

As well as writing the script, Mr Edwards was the film's make-up artist using a children's face painting set.

For fake blood, he came up with a recipe using food colouring, white flour and syrup.

The film will get its premiere in Aviemore on 31 October.

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