For years Brighton has been a sought after filming location thanks to the variety of interesting scenery on offer and the energy the city brings as a whole. From grafittied alleys to a Georgian Palace, you're never short of shots to get inspired by (check out the on-film journey through Brighton in our promo film for Vox as testament to this!)
But where are our favourite filming locations? And what sort of projects do they work well for? It’s all broken down for you in the list below.
Brighton Royal Pavilion is an obvious place to start - after all, it’s used so commonly in film and media that an entire page of their website is dedicated to booking shoots.
It’s perfect for period pieces, having been built in 1823 and left mostly untouched since. The gardens, almost all of the interior of the Pavilion, as well as other areas on site including the museum and dome buildings are available for filming; the opportunity for a range of locations in one relatively small makes it especially sought after.
The Pavilion has been used for period films like Richard III, but also for advertising such as the First Direct advert with Bob Mortimer. Even without needing to represent a certain era, the Pavilion can add a sense of grandeur which can underscore the messaging of a project. Many photographers and artists book Bright Royal Pavilion for that reason alone.
Brighton Palace Pier has a fun, nostalgic feel, which can be used to underscore the tone of a shot with ease. The Pier has 67,000 lights that illuminate the area at night, as well as all the stereotypically British stalls and rides which line the structure. A seaside pier is something almost everyone has childhood memories of, which makes them great for eliciting emotion. But piers aren’t exactly uncommon; the fact that this Pier is located in Brighton, therefore being easily accessible and surrounded by other fantastic locations, is one of the reasons it’s so loved.
It’s been used in gangster thriller Brighton Rock, the comedy Carry on at Your Convenience, as well as in music videos such as Sam Smith’s recent video Kids Again - perfectly encapsulating the range that this filming location can provide.
The North Laines
The Laines in Brighton consist of narrow, winding cobbled streets, vintage stores, and independent cafes. It’s regularly bustling with people, and is adbundent with interesting art and stores that create visual interest.
The alley-sized streets provide an opportunity for interesting shots and perspectives, as well as making the streets feel a lot fuller than they necessarily are; instead of shooting in town centres to create a busy city feel, shooting in The Laines requires fewer extras and creates a more claustrophobic atmosphere.
The ITV crime drama Grace took advantage of these opportunities, filming all around Brighton, including Sydney Street in the North Laines. They were even able to communicate with store owners to alter the views in shop windows, another advantage of filming in a creatively driven city.
Artists put enormous effort into the graffiti they leave behind in Brighton, with many murals actually being commissioned by the owners of the buildings. This feature of Brighton gives the opportunity for bursts of colour and visual interest in even the simplest of shots, especially if you hunt down the best graffiti using the list on Visit Brighton.
With big bold colours against the grit of highrise buildings, the streets of Brighton have been used in music videos often. CC: The Rizzle Kicks Down with the Trumpets music video, as well as the Lucozade music themed advert with The James Cleaver Quintet.
Brighton and Hove Beach
Why are Brighton’s beaches so special?
First and foremost, it’s well connected. You can fly people in from abroad and get them to Brighton from Gatwick in less than 30 minutes by train. It’s also a pebble beach and not a sandy beach - making it a lot kinder to equipment and crew if the wind picks up!
You can see the burned down West pier, Palace Pier, and all the stalls and beach huts lining the seafront in one shot, which makes for a stunning scene.
Advertising such as the recent Capital One advert have used Brighton and Hove beaches to create a seaside holiday feel, and films such as Me Without You have used Brighton’s beaches to create a sense of longing - truly versatile locations with good resources within reach can be hard to come by.
There are so many amazing buildings in Brighton that would be fantastic to film in that there are too many to mention here. From cafes, to bars, to hotels, Brighton businesses go out of their way to create incredible spaces - and it keeps our creative match well and truly burning.
Looking to shoot a video production in Brighton and beyond?