Cornish beaches light up the big screen
Set on the brink of World War I and starring Dan Stevens, Dominic Cooper and Emily Browning, Summer in February follows the complex love triangle at the centre of the bohemian Lamorna Group of artists.
Based on a true story and set against the background of the Cornish coast, Summer in February was released in cinemas on 14 June in 2013.
The first half of the seven-week production involved many of the coastal locations where real events took place, including National Trust beaches Holywell and Porthcurno.
The exposed rocky headland, shining sand and jagged rocks of Holywell beach provided the perfect backdrop to a pair of exuberant full-tilt horseback sequences. Producer Janette Day recalls the shoot:
'It is a beautiful beach. We shot there at dawn and it was really stunning. It was minus five degrees, and the sand was frozen but the sea was obviously warmer than the sand, so there was steam on the sea, which was extraordinary.'
While Porthcurno, a windswept tidal beach beneath the famous Minack open-air theatre, provided the atmospheric setting for AJ's (Dominic Cooper’s) night-time barbecue party.
Lindsey Butterfield, National Trust ranger for West Cornwall describes Porthcurno’s appeal:
'Porthcurno is a classic Cornish beach with gorgeous golden sand and craggy rocky outcrops, so it’s easy to see why the artists spent so much time here almost 100 years ago.
'It’s fitting that the story about this group takes place in exactly the same spots where these characters lived and painted. I can’t wait to see the beach, where I work everyday up on the big screen.
'It’s such a special place to me as I go there as often as possible to make sure the white sandy beach stays in tip-top condition and it never fails to leave me spellbound, especially in the winter when I get it almost all to myself- apart from the odd film crew!'
'Thanks to the income generated by the location fees the National Trust will be able to continue caring for this stunning stretch of coastline.'