As the pandemic has gradually forced the closure of cinemas across the country, home-viewing has become the new movie-night norm.

And while the disappearance of our beloved silver screens is saddening; artists, directors, musicians and a host of other creatives have responded by providing an explosion of art online - something that has seen many of us through the long pandemic months that stretch out both behind and ahead of us.

For Scottish filmmakers Andrew Muir and David Ross, they couldn’t have picked a better time to make their award-winning WW2 film available to watch online.

In the two short weeks since it dropped, the short film has already accrued over 100,000 views on Youtube.

Turning Tide, shot on the west coast of Scotland in the town where Andrew and David grew up, tells the story of ten-year-old David McKellar whose life takes a dramatic turn when a German air squadron flying over his home is intercepted by British Spitfires - resulting in a spectacular air battle and an injured fighter pilot doing what he can to escape.

And with some of the best historic architecture and stunning coastal scenery that Scotland has to offer, Troon provides the perfect backdrop for the 1940s drama.


For writer and director Andrew Muir, part of the draw was to tell a WW2 story from a Scottish perspective.

“We'd always talked for years about making a film together, so it instantly made sense to us that Troon would be the place to shoot it,” he explained. “I don’t think you see that very often. Most films you see depicting this period of history are set in the South of England.

“And although the bombing raid shown in the film is fictional, there were a lot of skirmishes and bombings all over Scotland during this time that the battle was based on.

“Troon itself is a really scenic town on the coast, and in a way, the film was written around the location to take full advantage of it. There's a lot of old buildings there, and we knew the ballast bank, the harbour, and the rocks would look great on film.”

Combine the glorious backdrop of Scotland’s coast with the mesmerising visual effects, which were created using models of RAF Spitfires and German Heinkels, and it’s hard to believe this film was produced on a low budget.

“Growing up in the West of Scotland, I think we perhaps took the beauty of the Scottish coastline for granted,” said David Ross, the film’s producer and SFX supervisor.

“It's not until you move away to the city and come back to visit that you realise just how stunning it is. Filming in our home town of Troon gave us a backdrop of epic coastal views, as well as the use of some relatively untouched period architecture.

“Of course, we should have known the unpredictable nature of the Scottish weather would play big a role! After our first couple of days were a complete wash-out, we found ourselves half way through our allocated shooting time with no useable footage.

“Thankfully though the weather came through for us in the end, and with a few extra days we were able to capture the Troon coastline against the sunny blue skies we'd been hoping for.”

And although the film had already enjoyed a successful festival run following its initial release - including picking up first prize at the Scottish Short Film Festival in 2019 - Andrew and David had their doubts about releasing it online during a global pandemic.

“We've been working on the film for a number of years, so it feels brilliant to finally get it out there in front a worldwide audience,” said Andrew. “However, we were actually a bit hesitant initially in releasing the film into the current climate, as we felt that everyone's minds would be on other more important matters.


“But we soon realised that no matter what's going on in the world, people will always need that little bit of escapism from real life, whether that's in films, books or music. So we're very happy that we can offer that to people.”

The film and its companion ‘Making Of’ documentary have together hit over a quarter of a million views in a fortnight, and sharing the film with new audiences is for David the ultimate reward -  especially after the hard work that was needed to bring it to screen.

“We had a great time taking Turning Tide to film festivals but the internet potentially has a much wider reach, so we'd always planned on making it available online at some stage,” said David.

“Of course, neither of us could have imagined we'd be releasing the film online at a time where a global pandemic has sadly closed many cinemas, and essentially moved the film watching experience into the home.

“I know I've enjoyed having films to watch over at home the last few months, so hopefully Turning Tide is another small thing people can watch and enjoy.”

You can discover the full film here and find out more on the Turning Tide website.