Brighton has always been a cultural and creative hub. We’re very proud to have produced a stack of TV adverts, promos and corporate videos in our home town of Brighton. Firstly here are a few examples of how Brighton has helped up deliver excellent content. After that we will go into more detail why Brighton is such a centre of creative and commercial film and TV production.
With this large production we shot in Preston Park in Brighton as well as West Wittering beach – a little further up the coast. The weather is always a factor when you shoot exteriors in the UK, fortunately lady luck was on our side for this shoot. The concept was to produce a global promo for SanDisk’s new SD card – which would be shown on SanDisk’s websites globally. It was important that the cast and locations looked international too, so we wanted to make sure it was sunny and the landscape didn’t scream South of England.
Fortunately it was pretty sunny on the day and Preston Park (the largest and in our opinion, most beautiful park in Brighton) looked terrific and the deep sandy beaches of West Wittering – regarded as the best beach in Sussex looked phenomenal.
The brief from this recruitment client was to produce a promo video to attract graduates to the company by extolling the virtues of Brighton as a place to live and work. It was important to make the visuals look really fun and to make Brighton look as intriguing and appealing as possible. We Shot exteriors near GRB’s offices on Clifton Hill (known as one of the smartest area of Brighton), as well as the i360 and the seafront.
To add to the visual appeal we included After Effects motion graphics on the various talking head interviews and the b-roll of GRB’s offices and the Brighton exteriors. Thankfully the weather was on our side again 🙂
Firstly an interesting Brighton fact, the British film industry has its roots in nearby Shoreham-by-Sea, where a studio was established on the beach, to take advantage of fact that Shoreham has the most light of any area of the country outside of Cornwall. We are also home to one of the oldest cinemas in Europe, Duke of York’s Picture House.
More recently Brighton has been the home to many Hollywood major feature films including the ubiquitous Brighton Rock and Quadrophenia as well as Wimbledon, several Carry Ons and a number recently directed by Brightonian Ben Wheatley.
More information about the history of cinema in Brighton features here.
The city features some impressive facilities for the film maker. There are numerous photography studios of varying sizes dotted around the city. Both Sussex and Brighton Universities have excellent facilities on campus – with Sussex having its own sound stage!
One excellent large studio (which is run by filmmakers) is The Brighton Studio, located centrally in New England House – it is vast and the people who run it are very facilitating. Another studio which were fond of is run by a good friend of Hightower, Alexander Voodoo. Artista in fact features two venues, an intimate venue with a bar and photography studio in Hove and a larger basement level studio based in the South Lanes of Brighton. Both are highly recommended for crews.
One of the best film schools in the country is also resident here. The Brighton Film School has a fantastic reputation for melding exciting film and video talent. They have access to incredible camera kit and facilities, thanks to their partnership with Panavision and Panalux.
Brighton and Sussex universities also provide a series of excellent film and video based courses. In addition to this, we also have the recently minted Metropolitan College of Brighton. This new college was created by combining Brighton City College and Northbrook College in Worthing – both of which had excellent existing film making courses which they’ve pooled to create a film making college to be reckoned with.
Brighton & Hove features some of the best examples of Regency architecture in the country. The Palace Pier and Royal Pavilion are world famous and have featured in Film and Television since their inception. There are also fantastic rolling parks (which we’ve used in more than one production) as well as the (in)famous stony beaches.
Brighton is the home to two of the most famous piers in the country. The Palace Pier has been featured in more films and Television than anyone could care to remember. The West Pier now, of course is a sorry sight – but in her heyday, the West Pier was considered to be the best pier in the country and featured in Dickie Attenborough’s “Oh What A Lovely War”.
Newer attractions are headed up by the i360 tower, which now dominates the seafront. Another recent addition to the view of the seafront is the massive Rampion wind farm, which lies 10 km out to sea. Incredibly, each blade of each wind turbine is the size of a football pitch!
Brighton is a well established hot bed for creative talent and bleeding edge technologies in the UK. Now known as Silicon Beach, the city has many excellent video production companies and organisations that can work in conjunction with the medium to spread your message.
It doesn’t end in video production of course, Brighton is renowned for its glut of musicians, artists and other artisans. The constant influx of creatives from around the world ensures that Brighton is always awash with creativity.
Wired Sussex acts as a hub for all the companies and individuals involved in the creative and technology sectors in the city. They hold social get togethers and training programmes which we’ve found extremely useful.
Brighton’s locality to London as well as it’s seaside lifestyle has ensured that a number of major businesses have made it home over the last 50 years or so. Some of the biggest companies with headquarters in Brighton include American Express, BUPA, Domestic & General and Legal & General.
The corporates are joined by many smaller businesses in the creative, digital and technology sectors. Another major employer is the recruitment industry, who seem to have Queens Road (the road which leads from Brighton Station down to the seafront) sewn up.
Brighton is well known for its spirit of Entrepreneurism. This is largely due to the fact Brighton is such a creative hub, but also perhaps due to the age old adage that Brighton is not an industrial town – and it’s best for people to go out on a limb and start in business on their own.
There are a number of organisations based in Brighton to help the self starter – in the creative space the best one is the aforementioned Wired Sussex. Also worth a mention are The Skiff and The Werks – two of the best freelancer shared office space companies in the city.
How could we go into detail about filmmaking and video production in Brighton without talking about ourselves a bit? We are a proud Brighton based company (with facilities in central London too) who have grown and thrived thanks to the creative hub of Brighton and have worked with many Brighton based companies, big and small.
Is Brighton friendly for film crews?
Brighton has some beautiful locations and is very accustomed to housing crews, large and small for productions. Brighton and Hove Council have a dedicated film unit to help facilitate shoots in the town. Whether you’re a Hollywood production or a student film, you will require a permit for shooting on the city streets.
What should I think about when hiring a Brighton based crew?
It’s very important to ensure that you have a crew with a good deal of experience producing content for your sector. There are a great deal of video producers in town whose enthusiasm frequently exceeds their ability. Go with a solid foundation to ensure that the filmmakers have already gone through the mill and know how to react to any conditions and complications.