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In November producer Jeremy Joyce from IINO Productions went to the highlands of Scotland to shoot a new film drama, with director Tom Shkolnik. The film had been in pre-production since the beginning of 2020 but because of Covid 19 it was postponed a few times. Finally at the the end of the year we had a chance to shoot the film.
The film is about three women living on their own in the wilderness – in a small stone dwelling dwelling by a lake, surrounded by mountains. Their world is disrupted by a young soldier who turns up at their door, seeking shelter. It’s a period film – set in 1918.
The location was very remote – far away from any town or city – so we had to plan very carefully for the project. We were on location for three weeks in total, staying in a large house nearby. Access to the location was by 4 x 4 vehicle only because the track was extremely rocky and muddy. Scotland in November can be very cold and wet! But we were lucky to have some nice sunshine occasionally.
We had a very small crew for the shoot because the location was so remote – we were just 10 people one location, including the cast. Due to Covid 19, the whole team had to take a PCR test before arriving at the location in Scotland, and once the team were there, we had remain there for the duration of the shoot – in our own work bubble.
One of the challenges was transforming the small cottage to make it look much older (early 20th century). In particular, the roof was quite new and modern so we had to build a wooden frame and cover the roof in natural moss and grass. As well as that, we needed to transform the interior of the cottage to bring into the right time-period. Set build took one week, shooting for two weeks.
Filming went extremely well. We had to shift and juggle the schedule every day because of the changing weather, and also the days were very short so we had to really maximise our shooting time during the days. The cottage was completely off-grid, too, so we had to keep warm fires burning inside all the time and use a petrol generator where it was necessary. Most of the film we used natural light, however, rather than a lighting set up.
After we were in Scotland, we had four days shooting in an old aircraft hangar down in England. We needed to have a huge space for this because we had to build four different sets and move between them. We also wanted to have a feeling of really depth behind each set.
Now we are in the second stage of the film – editing, colour grading, making an original score and sound mixing the film. We’ve got some really talented people working on the post-production. We are aiming to have finished the film by spring 2021.