Recce at Beachy Head: 

Below is a screenshot montage of the videos and images we took from the recce at Beachy Head.



One of the main focuses of this recce was to explore getting shots of Beachy Head from different angles. I wanted some close up shots of the sea from down on the beach, I wanted to experiment with getting shots that capture different points of perspective. As our film is quite static in the sense it’s all shot in one location, at the edge of a cliff, I thought it would bring a bit of variety having different shots from closer angles etc. During this recce over the course of just one day, you can see from the photo’s above how dramatically the weather changed. This is going to be something we need to take into consideration during filming, although our short film will only last 6 minutes, filming is going to take up two entire weekends, we need to ensure continuity in our shots, and this includes continuity in the weather.

Recce to Peacehaven:



I wasn’t a massive fan of Peacehaven, I didn’t think it had as visually pleasing shots to offer as Beachy Head. But we could certainly shoot here for the scene of dialogue between Imelda and Eli, and then use another location to achieve more aesthetically pleasing shots of the surroundings.

Recce to Seaford Head:


I definitely think Seaford Head is more aesthetically pleasing than Peacehaven, and it offers a wider variety of interesting shots, I really like the contrast between the white cliffs and the sea. On a less miserable day I think this location could work really well as the main location for our film. We even found a part of the cliff where there was a ledge beneath it so that we could create the illusion of the actors being close to the edge without them actually being in any danger of being near the edge.

Requirements for filming in Eastbourne:


  • The Eastbourne Borough Council Film Liaison Unit based at the Town Hall is happy to answer enquiries from the production industry, and assist with all reasonable requests associated with filming in Eastbourne.
  • The Unit offers a one-stop-shop facility so you only have to deal with one contact for all your enquiries throughout your relationship with the Council, no matter how big or small your requirements might be.   The Unit holds detailed information on local authority charges and any clearances needed for filming in the town.
  • Initially, we will ask you to supply a few details that will enable us to respond quickly as to whether your requirements can be met.  It is extremely rare for us not to be able to accommodate you, but we do have some excellent events of our own, such as Airbourne, that may be happening in the area where and when you wish to film.
  • If all is well you will be asked to complete an application form and supply a copy of your Public Liability Insurance.  This will enable the Film Liaison Unit to determine quickly the particular needs of each production and work hand-in-hand with you throughout your stay in our town.
  • Eastbourne offers a unique product, which has a style of its own that no one else can copy.  Our unique location includes a seafront that has not been commercialised like so many others, a Downland that boasts the magnificent white chalk cliffs of Beachy Head (a designated area of outstanding natural beauty), two promenades, a Victorian Pier, Bandstand and Napoleonic Redoubt Fortress, the list goes on.
  • In order to keep our town unique we have to ensure that production companies are well informed of what we require of them too.  This code of practice sets out our standards that we would ask you to follow.


  • We recognise that most production/film companies will act in a responsible and professional manner, however, all Producers are asked to take our surroundings into consideration and not:
  • obstruct others from carrying out their business; or cause a disturbance or safety hazard
  • The Film Liaison Unit, together with all Eastbourne Borough Council Officers, has a duty of care towards residents and businesses and will exercise control if a particular production is causing an unreasonable nuisance or noise.
  • Also, the local authority has the right to terminate any parking provision or other service provided by The Film Liaison Unit.
  • Any filming undertaken is the responsibility of the Producer.   Adequate notice (not less than one week) must be given to The Film Liaison Unit when making any arrangements.
  • The code of practice outlines specific requirements for the Downland and the Seafront.  However, all areas of the Borough are covered by this document and it should not be presumed that requirements not covered under specific areas are not necessary.  All appropriate requirements will be outlined in our agreement with you.  The conditions covered in the agreement will be abided by and enforced.
  • In the case where a production company is operating outside of the agreement they will be asked to stop filming.  The production/film company will be requested to explain their actions and to request a new agreement.  Filming will only commence once the Council is satisfied that the company will operate responsibly.


  • Filming on the Downs has many advantages due to the contrasting sites it offers, however parts of the Downland are designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and/or a Site of Special Scientific Interest status.  English Nature and the Department of Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs require that we treat the Downland with respect and we require this of production companies too. 
  • Downland Rangers, employed by the Council, periodically patrol the area and can be on hand to offer advice prior to filming and provide assistance whilst filming is taking place.  This is arranged through the Film Liaison Unit.
  • Rangers also have an enforcement role and will ensure Council policies and Covenants covering the use of the Downs are adhered to.  Rangers have the authority to stop any filming should a company carry out any action that, in their opinion, may cause harm to the Downland or pose a particular risk to the public.  Rangers also have the authority to challenge crews if they suspect the crew does not have permission to film in that area.
  • The Downland surrounding Eastbourne is open to the public almost without restriction.   Restricted areas are those being used for grazing animals from resident farms and land owned privately such as that immediately surrounding Belle Tout (used in The Lives and Loves of a She Devil).  Nearly everywhere else on the Downs has public access.  Rangers can offer guidance on how best to supervise public access whilst filming takes place should the site be appropriate for such measures.

Use of Helicopters on the Downs:

  • Helicopters may be used for filming purposes.   Should you wish to use a helicopter appropriate landing sites will be advised to you and outlined in our agreement with you.  Downland Rangers will mark out landing sites for you. 

Landings have to be supervised at all times by a competent person.  Also, a designated member of the crew should remain at the landing site whilst the helicopter is on the ground.  This is a health & safety guideline to reduce any risk to the public and any company wishing to land helicopters must include this within their risk assessments. 

Safety Assessments:

  • Specific attention must be given to safety when filming near to the cliff edge.  It is a requirement of the Council that companies who wish to film near the cliff edge abide by specific safety requirements contained in this document. 
  • The cliff edge is crumbling and the Council cannot take any responsibility for any incidents occurring as a result of lack of adequate and appropriate safety measures by filming crews.
  • Any personnel who use equipment or are the subject of filming, and who will be operating within four metres of the cliff edge, must wear harnesses.  These harnesses must be anchored securely.
  • Any vehicles used also need to be anchored to the ground using turn screw equipment as this is less damaging to the environment.
  • A Ranger must oversee the use of harnesses and anchors prior to, and during filming.


  • All cabling must be made safe as they are laid and not at some later time.  Cabling on the Downland must be laid in such a way so as not to be hazardous to members of the public.


  • Damage to turf will be charged for.  The use of heavy vehicles following prolonged periods of rainfall will be restricted unless temporary track is laid down.  The use of heavy vehicles in areas of SSSI is also restricted and vehicles must not deviate from the existing Downland tracks.  If the weather has been particularly bad, advice must be sought prior to any movement of vehicles across the Downland.


  • No pyrotechnics can be used on the Downland without prior agreement.  Risk assessments must show that adequate safety measures are going to be put in place for their use.  The use of certain pyrotechnics may be allowed only with sufficient heat protection for the ground.  Proof must also be shown that the articles to be used are safe to the environment, and do not contain any chemical or substance that will be detrimental to the flora or fauna in the area.  Use of such equipment must be supervised and all safety precautions outlined in the risk assessment put in place by the company prior to use.

Traffic Management:

  • In the case where a filming project will require the use of a Downland road (not track) appropriate policing or road closure must be put in place.  Filming company personnel do not have the authority to control public use of the highway.  Only a designated and trained representative of the Council is able to operate Stop/Go boards as a temporary measure, and the Police must supervise permanent road closures. 

Parking Permits:

  • Council owned parking areas are pay and display.  Film crews should obtain parking permits in order to avoid unnecessary parking fines.  The Film Liaison Unit can organise these Permits.  Parking Permits should be displayed at all times whilst the vehicle is parked.


  • It is the responsibility of the filming companies to ensure that their rubbish is disposed of in a responsible manner.  Where filming will take place over a number of days, disposal of waste must be pre-arranged with the Film Liaison Unit.  Bins will be provided and placed in a suitable area as near to the site being used as possible.  However, it is the film company’s responsibility to alert the Film Liaison Unit to any build up of surplus rubbish and arrange for this to be collected.  Collection of rubbish that has not been left in secured plastic bags, or in the bins provided, will incur an additional charge.   
  • The Downland has wildlife that may be harmed by the irresponsible actions of crewmembers not abiding by these requirements.  The Council will revoke any licences granted to film companies who do not abide by these requirements.

Use of Props:

  • Due to the Downland having AONB and SSSI status the use of certain props is restricted and advice must be sought from the Film Liaison Unit. 
  • Props that require stabilising or securing to the ground will need to have their use approved by a Downland Ranger.  Props that require fixing into the ground will not be permitted where the fitting involves digging trenches or holes of significant proportions.  Fixing agents such as concrete etc will never be allowed.
  • Props that need to be pushed or pulled into place will also need to be authorised by a Downland Range prior to their use.  Tracking may have to be used to locate the prop(s) in its right setting.
  • Cranes needed to lift heavy items into place may create ruts in the grassland and their use may require temporary tracking to be laid.  The use of Cranes should be authorised by the Film Liaison Unit and may be supervised by a Downland Ranger.

Licence to Film on the Downland:

  • You will not be able to film on the Downland without obtaining a Licence.  The Licence will not be granted without supporting risk assessments and a signed agreement between the Council and the Company concerned.  The Licence should be kept by a designated member of the crew at all times on site, usually the Location Manager, and shown upon request.

Downland Ranger:

  • The Council has a Downland Team who are happy to work with you on any project that is appropriate for the area.  Their time is charged to you per hour and booked through the Film Liaison Unit. 


  • It is rare that filming cannot take place on the Downland but there are certain times of the year when filming in certain locations will not be permitted such as when migratory birds are present and tagging is carried out.  Also adverse weather or prolonged periods of rainfall may make filming on the Downland particularly difficult.
  • You should first seek advice from the Film Liaison Unit to find out if your desired date and location can be accommodated.


  • The Dotto Land Train and Essential service vehicles have priority access to the prom is only by prior consultation with the Authorised officer and the Seafront Manager.  They will need to know exact height, width, length and weight of all vehicles proposed to go on the prom or in a park.

Driving Rules:

  • You should not exceed 10mph
  • Pedestrians have the right of way at all times
  • Access must always be left for emergency vehicles
  • Your vehicles should at all times display the necessary permits
  • Always have your hazard lights on
  • Any commercial vehicles must have a flashing amber light on
  • When reversing any commercial vehicle, someone must walk in-front of the vehicle
  • Always close any barriers directly after driving through them

Further Requirements for filming on the Downland, on the streets or other public places

Use of Catering Vehicles:

  • Catering facilities provided by filming companies is allowed.  Heavy vehicles must abide by the requirements outlined.  The site of the catering vehicle/facility must be such to enable easy access by refuse collectors to empty any bins provides, or within a short distance of the site for the placing of bins.
  • Refuse containing meat and other food products must be secured in plastic bags and disposed of in the bins provided.  All bins will have lids and these must be able to close fully.  At no time should food waste be left anywhere other than in a secured environment.  If there is not sufficient space within the bins to be able to close the lids, it is the responsibility of the Film Company to alert the Film Liaison Unit who will arrange to collect the items as soon as possible.
  • Food and meat will attract wildlife and unless securely fastened there is a risk of seagulls/foxes etc ripping bags apart.  You are asked to be vigilant to such exposure.


  • Eastbourne Borough Council only permits catering upon the street in certain areas and it is essential to check with The Film Liaison Unit in what areas catering is allowed. 
  • It is the Producers responsibility to ensure that all litter is removed before the end of each day’s filming.  The Council cleansing contractor can supply and empty bins on a regular basis.


  • All cables must be made safe as they are laid and not at some later time. Cables must be laid in the gutter along the highway or in the junction between a wall and the footway.
  • Cables on steps must be taped down to avoid the risk of tripping.
  • Wherever possible cables should be flown at a minimum 17’ (5.2m) above a public carriageway and 8’6″ (2.6m) above footways. The Film Liaison Unit will, wherever possible, seek to make generator parking available which avoids the need to cable across the highway.
  • If there is a need to lay cabling across a footway there may be times when it will be sufficient to lay cables at right angles under a taped rubber mat. This matting should be:
  • a minimum of one metre wide; and
  • visible to the public by proper lighting, cones or high-visibility hazard tape.

Rubber matting should be regarded as essential safety equipment and carried as a matter of course.

  • On quieter roads it may be permissible to lay cables using proper cable ramps. If so then appropriate signage must be used and clearance given by The Film Liaison Unit.
  • It is essential to gain clearance from The Film Liaison Unit before any cables are attached to street furniture


  • There are differing charges for locations and these will be discussed with the Location Manager/Production Company.  Also, an administration charge may be levied for the time officers have spent dealing with your requirements.  Additional costs will be passed on with no extra charge. 
  • Further services may also incur charges at cost such as the provision of vehicles to wet down the street.  Any damage caused by a film crew to the venue, carriageway, footway, or street furniture will be chargeable also.


  • The employment of child actors is governed by licensing regulations made in 1933, 1963, 1968 and amended in 1988.
  • Producers must make adequate provision for the education and health needs of all children employed when filming.
  • A child is a young person of less than 15 years old or still subject to full time education.
  • Any filming involving the employment of children (whether paid or unpaid) must be cleared through the East Sussex County Council’s Education Welfare service.


  • Cones have no legal force to secure parking and their use must be agreed with The Film Liaison Unit.


  • Successful filming relies upon local residents and businesses receiving at least one week’s notice of the filming. The Film Liaison Unit will provide contact details needed for consultation and can also supply a model letter.
  • Letters should be sent to local residents and businesses outlining fully the intended filming and include:
  • Date, time and exact location of filming
  • Date of letter
  • Location Manager and The Film Liaison Unit Officer’s contact numbers
  • Number of crew or production personnel expected on location
  • Clear details of any stunts or dressing planned
  • Clear details of lighting plans
  • Clear details of parking proposals

Filming will not be allowed if the production company does not follow the advice of The Film Liaison Unit concerning residents and local businesses.


  • When planning to use cherry-pickers or cranes on the public highway, The Film Liaison Unit must be informed and clearance given. The Location Manager or crane hire company must also discuss the exact positioning of such equipment with the Film Liaison Officer.   The conditions of any permission granted should be adhered to at all times.  A risk assessment must also be carried out. (See below).
  • Warning lights should be placed around the cherry-picker or crane at night or in conditions of poor visibility.
  • Rigging or de-rigging must be carried out at times that will not cause an unreasonable noise or nuisance.


  • The construction and positioning of lighting towers and scaffolding must be discussed with The Film Liaison Unit at least one week in advance of the shoot.  Any scaffolding constructed must be certified by The Film Liaison Unit in association with the health and safety officer.
  • When placing lighting stands on the carriageway or the footway The Film Liaison Unit must be informed and clearance given and an alternative route must be set out for pedestrians.
  • The following considerations should be taken to prevent any risk to the public or production company employees:
  • All lights above ground level and lighting stands are properly secured
  • Lighting stands placed on a footway must be attended at all times
  • Lights do not dazzle motorists
  • Lights are not shone directly towards residential properties at any time without specific permission.
  • Any generator used should comply with the specific requirements of the Environmental Protection Act (1990) and be positioned as far away as possible from all residential properties.  The Film Liaison Unit can advise on the correct positioning.


  • Full consideration of Health & Safety issues for all employees must be taken and proven by the Producer.
  • The Producer must appoint a competent person to act as the Health & Safety representative (with a minimum of NVQ Level 3).  A full risk assessment of the location must be carried out in accordance with the Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) and the Management of Health & Safety at Work regulations (1992).
  • Types of Risk Assessment that may be required for filming activities include filming:
  • on or near the edge of cliffs;
  • in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty;
  • on a Site of Special Scientific Interest;
  • on or near the road;
  • stunts;
  • the use of flammable or toxic materials;
  • construction work;
  • working at heights; and with the use of cranes and cherry pickers
  • This is in addition to a comprehensive risk assessment of the location.
  • The Health & Safety representative appointed must be on location at all times to co-ordinate and monitor the Health & Safety systems, and any control measures put in place as a result of the risk assessment.


  • Crew members and production personnel working on the highway must wear high-visibility clothing to standard EN471.  This is an essential safety requirement under the New Roads and Streetworks Act and it is an offence not to comply.
  • Failure to wear appropriate high-visibility clothing invalidates any insurance provision for the entire shoot.


  • The production company will be expected to indemnify Eastbourne Borough Council, its officers and employees against any claims or proceedings arising directly from any injury to persons or damage to property, as a result of the activities of the production company or its agents during set-up, filming or strike down.
  • All production companies filming in Eastbourne must carry public liability insurance to the value of £5 million pounds for standard shots, but £10 million if the crew are planning to shoot on the highway.

NIGHT FILMING (20.00 – 08.00)

  • Night shoots in residential areas are naturally sensitive and it is essential to consider and consult with local residents and businesses in the planning process.  (Refer to Noise and Nuisance Section below).
  • Any activity, including filming, is subject to the Environmental Protection Act (1990) regarding noise and nuisance.  A legitimate complaint about noise or nuisance from a resident to the Council can result in the termination of the shoot and the confiscation of equipment.  Therefore, it is advisable to shoot all scenes requiring noise above conversational level before 22.00hrs.  Walkie-talkies should be turned down to a minimum and ear-pieces used.
  • There may be cases when equipment or heavy vehicles that cannot be removed silently at the end of filming must be left ‘in situ’ and attended by overnight security. This must be cleared by The Film Liaison Unit one week before filming.  Only essential vehicles will be allowed close to the location.  Personal vehicles should be parked away from the location to minimise noise at the end of filming.


  • Please keep noise to a minimum when setting up early in the morning.  Generators should not be switched on until after 08.00 hours unless they are silent and approved by The Film Liaison Unit.
  • Local authorities have the right to take action under the Environmental Protection Act (1990) as a result of any unreasonable noise and nuisance caused by filming.


  • Location managers should discuss all parking plans with The Film Liaison Unit at least two weeks in advance of filming, in particular, the on-street requirement for technical vehicles, other on-street equipment and bays to be reserved or kept empty for ‘continuity’.
  • It is inadvisable to enter into binding contracts or assume that a location is viable until parking requirements have been agreed with The Film Liaison Unit.
  • Location Managers are responsible for the adherence to parking or vehicular movement agreements made with The Film Liaison Unit.
  • Resident’s bays are rarely suspended and Disabled bays (whether for a designated person or for disabled drivers in general) will not be suspended where an alternative exists, and then only in very special circumstances where one does not.
  • Film vehicles will not be allowed to park in such a way that the passage of pedestrians or vehicular traffic is blocked or impeded, or that emergency access is restricted or denied.  Prior agreement must be secured from The Film Liaison Unit to block a footway for filming.


  • It is a legal requirement for the production company to inform the Police of all details of filming on the street or in a public place.  This includes any staging of crimes, accidents or use of firearms and special effects.  The Film Liaison Unit can advise on contact details, or pass on the necessary information.
  • There will be times when it is prudent to have Police officers in attendance while filming on location.  Occasionally The Film Liaison Unit or Police will specify that filming may not proceed unless Police officers are in attendance.
  • If Police officers are required to be in attendance on location then their role is to maintain the peace and up hold the law. The production company must cover any costs of providing this service, but Police officers are not employees of the production company.


  • The Film Liaison Unit and emergency service in question must be informed if there are actors to be dressed in a specific uniform (Police, Ambulance or Fire Brigade).  Uniforms and any vehicles resembling the emergency services must be covered whenever possible, and in particular between takes.  Any markings on vehicles must be taped over when not being used for filming, or being driven on a carriageway.  Sirens should not be used at any time on location and flashing lights must be switched off when not in shot and covered when not in use.


  • The temporary painting-out or disguising of road markings, yellow lines or other road signs requires the specific approval of The Film Liaison Unit under guidance of the Highway Manager and notification of the Police.


  • The filming of artists to sound play-back can only be undertaken with the prior agreement from The Film Liaison Unit, at any time.


  • The removal of street furniture, including signs, and the adjustment of street lighting is normally carried out by the local authority and charged to the production company.  All arrangements for this work must be made through The Film Liaison Unit.
  • Minor work by the production company may be allowed with prior permission from The Film Liaison Unit.   Any damage or reinstatement costs would have to be met by the production company.


  • All stunts, special effects (including weather effects and wet downs) and pyrotechnics must be under the direct control of a named qualified stunt co-ordinator, or special effects operative and comply with the Environmental Protection Act (1990).
  • Any plans must be discussed with The Film Liaison Unit at least one week in advance of the shoot. The Production Company is strongly advised to follow the direction of The Film Liaison Unit concerning the feasibility of stunts as certain activities would not be allowed in connection with specific locations.
  • No firearms or replica/mock firearms should be used without consultation and consent where appropriate of the Police and The Film Liaison Unit on each occasion.  The Production Company must ensure the safe custody of such weapons at all times.


  • All matters relating to tracking must be discussed with The Film Liaison Unit at least one week in advance of filming.  Any obstructions or alternative footways planned must be cleared by The Film Liaison Unit.  Tracking boards may be required in certain circumstances.
  • The production company should ensure that pedestrians and in particular wheelchair users are not impeded by filming.


  • Wetdowns may only be carried out with the approval of The Film Liaison Unit after a proper evaluation of the forthcoming weather conditions, and with the proper signage as required.


  • The descriptions highway, carriageway and footway used in this document are in conjunction with The Highways Act (1986)
  • The description Production refers to every type of filming. In particular, feature films, television productions, commercials, pop-promos, corporate and stills.

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