Why Brighton: Life in a filmmaking paradise
Screen and Film School’s student blogger Zac Haydn-Jones takes a look at one of the most incredible filmmaking cities for students: Brighton.
When thinking about what university to go to it’s important to also think carefully about the location. In this piece I’ll explore why Brighton is a fantastic place to study and to start your journey into film.
Brighton is a rich and diverse city perfect for young people, with students making up around 10% of the city’s population, and it’s clear to see why. With one of the largest LGBTQIA+ communities in the UK, the vegan capital of the world in 2022, a bustling beach to the south and rolling hills to the north, and a colourfully vibrant city in between, there’s not much that Brighton is missing (except maybe the sun now and then… but it is still England!).
Brighton’s Pride Festival, which sees the entire area taken over by a sprawling parade, is one of the city’s most prestigious events, but there is always something worth celebrating here. Brighton Fringe happens at the start of summer and sees the city engulfed by the arts. Brilliant comedians and performers can be seen at Komedia and the Dome, and that’s before you get the great street musicians planted on almost every corner. If it’s inspiration you’re looking for, you won’t need to look hard.
Brighton is also a brilliant place to be a filmmaker, with a very active filmmaking community and multiple production companies located in the city; the opportunities are there if you look for them. I would highly recommend anyone interested in film to join the ‘Brighton Filmmakers’ Facebook page, it’s a place where you will often find people looking for crew, networking opportunities, and people asking for advice. On top of all that, Brighton is only an one hour journey from the centre of London. London is somewhere job opportunities often come up, so being close to it means you don’t have to miss out.
There is also a diverse range of different filming locations in and around the city, so you don’t often have to venture too far to find a location perfect for your shoot. The Lanes are home to independent shops, cafés and restaurants that are often open to letting you shoot inside. Permits to shoot through the streets and on the beach are obtainable from the council, free of charge for students of the Film School, and there is a large collection of Airbnbs often happy to let you shoot for fee.
The Film School has three campuses: one at the Old Steine by the beach, one on London Road and the large studio lot Brighton Film Studios in Bevendean. So, wherever you find accommodation you shouldn’t be too far from one of these. A large amount of student properties are often in Hanover and Elm Grove, and from there it’s just a short walk to Lewes Road where you can get the 48 bus to whichever campus you’d need to get to.
All of this combined with the fact that Brighton allegedly has one pub for every day of the year, means it’s a perfect place for a student to call home.
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