SCOTLAND’S Misty Isle had to import extra mist, fog and rain during the filming of the new Macbeth adaptation, it has been revealed.
The latest big screen version of Shakespeare’s “Scottish play” – starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard – was filmed in atrocious conditions on Skye last winter.
In the run up to its release stars and crew have revealed that they had to battle sideways rain, gale-force winds and hypothermic temperatures on the island.
But with the film due to be released later this week, the special effects team have revealed they had to step up the weather on Skye in order to create an authentic grim “Scotch mist” for the film.
Specialists built a bespoke tube system to fill the island landscape with thick fog, and even had to use huge shower stands to drench the cast with authentic Scottish rain.
The Isle of Skye is renowned worldwide for its stark beauty and unrelenting weather – and stars and crew of the film have freely talked about the difficulties of filming in the island’s grim elements.
Michael Fassbender – in the lead role of Macbeth – recently said that whilst filming near the Quiraing at Trotternish the weather was so bad that some cast members suffered from hypothermia.
He said: “It was pretty much horizontal rain, there was sleet and I think we had a bit of snow as well. So all weathers.”
And Aussie director Justin Kurzel even admitted in an interview earlier this month that he nearly lost lead actress Marion Cotillard to a bog.
The Oscar-winning actress took a tumble whilst shooting, falling neck deep into the murky water, he recalled: “She went in up to her neck. I thought, ‘Ah, OK. We may have lost her.’”
But apparently the naturally occurring elements were not enough for the director – who wanted a more authentically grim Scottish look to the proceedings.
As a result special effects teams from Glasgow-based company Artem had to build tailor-made pipe systems to smother the landscape in fog and shower machines to drench the cast.
Mike Kelt – the film’s special effects supervisor – said: “It was clear from the outset that Justin had a very clear idea of what he wanted.”
“He was after a cold, atmospheric, misty, Scottish feel to permeate the film.
“The biggest challenge was covering vast areas of landscape with a consistent mist – whole hillsides had to disappear, enveloping armies and blotting out unwanted backgrounds.”
“In some respects Justin was lucky; we were often battling with the ‘real’ weather, which was atrocious throughout most of the filming, and a challenge for everyone on the production.
“On top of one Scottish hill we even grouped like Antarctic penguins, rotating positions to spread the pain.
“On that particular day we managed to cheer people up by finishing with a large burning pyre of bodies – something you might expect to be grim, but at least it offered some warmth. This can be seen near the start of the film.”
As well as importing extra grim elements into the Scottish wilderness, the special effects team brought on gallons of fake blood, prosthetic wounds and a life-sized dummy of the murdered King Duncan.
The movie enjoyed its UK premier in Edinburgh on Sunday – and will be released in Cinemas on Friday.