Antarctic doctor releases first ever horror filmed on snow capped continent
A doctor turned scriptwriter has released the first ever fictional film to be made in Antarctica after spending 18 months on the on the snow capped continent.
Dr Matt Edwards, 33, a former Kings College School student who grew up in Raynes Park, spent 18 months from 2008 working as a medical officer at the Rothera Research Base for the British Antarctic Survey Medical Unit in Antarctica.
During the continent's six month winter, a 21-strong skeleton team were plunged into darkness with temperatures as low as minus 35 degrees with no possibility of anyone leaving or entering the base.
Dr Edwards, who now works at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, said: "You don’t really see the sun for several months but you have a strange twilight with sunsets and beautiful skies and then horrific white outs, but it's not as dark as people imagine.
"A lot of people go there for the isolation but actuallly it’s easier to be isolated in a city.
"In that environment everyone knows everyone’s business so one of the most difficult things is getting private time.
"We had a very tight group so we were very lucky."
In their spare time, Dr Edwards and his colleague Kirk Watson, a mountain guide and freelance film maker, came up with the idea to write, film and produce a horror film with their team to entertain themselves during the long winter.
South of Sanity tells the story of a research team who, after losing all contact with the outside world, are targeted by a malevolent killer.
Little did they know they had created the first ever feature length fictional film to be filmed entirely on the continent.
He said: "The biggest challenge was trying to film in the cold with the actors and trying to make sure they didn’t get frost bite or hypothermia.
"No one did, but sometimes you couldn’t stop them from shaking, especially when they were supposed to be dead.
"As the winter started to draw in we had a race on our hands to get the darkness because a lot of our scenes involved the dark and in the summer its 24 hour sunlight.”
Two years on, South of Sanity has been picked up by a US film producer who spotted the trailer on Mr Watson’s blog and is now set to be premiered in Scotland and New York this Halloween before being released on DVD.
Dr Edwards said: "It was a real experience to be down there and be part of this little community and one that I will never forget."