Weather Effects And Beautiful Landscapes - Sunset Song Is Out In Cinemas Today‹ Back to News


Today isn’t just any Friday – it’s a very exciting Friday because, after approximately 15 years' struggle to get the production off the ground, Sunset Song is released in cinemas today!

Sunset Song tells the story of Chris Guthrie's coming of age, the daughter of a Scottish farmer played beautifully by Agyness Deyn, in the early 1900s, and last year, Artem Scotland was delighted to be asked to provide the SFX for Terence Davies' film, an adaptation of Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s 1932 classic Scottish novel.

We provided a variety of weather effects and pyrotechnics over a two-week shoot period, from violent rain storms and snow scenes to a fire sequence involving the burning of a hillside.

Sunset SongSunset Song 2You can listen to an interview with Terence Davies about Sunset Song on BBC Radio 4’s The Film Programme here – followed by an interview with our very own Mike Kelt about the importance of physical effects in a digital world.

Mike says:  ‘There are lots of things that are much easier done physically – rain for instance… Rain falls, it lands on things, it bounces, it gets people wet. Putting digital rain into a scene is limiting – it’s not going to do those things.’ Mike’s interview comes between 10:10 and 12:30 on the podcast – and it’s quite a coincidence that he talks about rain after Terence Davies’ interview about Sunset Song, as we certainly provided a lot of rain for the film!Rain FXRain FX 2Wind FXMike Kelt, SFX Supervisor on Sunset Song, said: ‘It was a pleasure to work in such a beautiful part of Scotland – we had excellent weather throughout the shoot so it was amusing that our job was to make the weather miserable, providing rain, a storm and some snow, alongside fire effects to burn the hillside.’

It sounds like this was quite a different experience from working on the Macbeth shoot, then. Weather effects was a key part of our contributions for Macbeth, and commenting on this Mike has said: 'In some respects Justin [Kurzel] 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!’

Sunset Song has received excellent reviews, with The Scotsman describing the film as ‘Devastating and beautiful’, while The Herald deems it ‘A psalm in praise of the land, its power, beauty and wrath’. You can read a five star review of the film here.

You can see the trailer here – but, even better, why not treat yourself to a trip to the cinema this weekend to see the complete ‘rapturous, ravishing swell of a movie’ for yourself? I know that I will be!