Written by on Oct 18, 2012. Posted in On Location

British Antarctic Survey staffer films Antarctica’s first fiction feature

A horror film has become the first fictional feature to be filmed on location in Antarctica. Kirk Watson is a documentary filmmaker and climbing instructor from Scotland who made South of Sanity while working in Antarctica for the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

Watson’s tasks for the BAS include teaching climbing skills, the BBC reports, but during the winter months the sun doesn’t rise and BAS personnel spend their time learning new skills. South of Sanity started as a weekend project before Watson decided to make use of the long and dark winter, with the help of his BAS colleagues.

The filmmaker spoke to the outlet: “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.”

Hollywood has set plenty of stories in Antarctica over the years but the challenge of accessibility means places like Norway and Canada are often used as doubles. Kenneth Branagh filmed in Iceland and Greenland for his 2002 dramatisation of Ernest Shackleton’s historic South Pole expedition.

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