Friday, 14 September 2012

A Trip To Beachy Head

We set off at dawn for a long drive from South London down to the East Sussex coast to catch the low tide at Beachy Head where a beautiful Victorian lighthouse still stands proud against the relentless swell of the English channel.  At just after 7am, we gathered our equipment and clambered down the chalky cliff face onto the exposed beach below.  The lighthouse is located off-shore about half a mile from the public footpath, although traversing the rocky landscape added extra time onto our outward journey (an important factor to consider as the tide turns quickly and past a certain point, access back to the cliff path is made impossible!)

We found a good position not too far from the foot of the building and set-up the camera and tripod.  Despite using a heavy tripod, the wind howled round the peninsular, creating a little unwanted movement throughout the timelapse shoot, which I hope to correct in post production.  Shots were taken at both 5 second and 10 second intervals for 125 frames to compile the timelapse sequences.  Final playback at 12fps gave a deliciously eerie feeling to the footage, making shadows creep across the rocks towards us, like the malevolent ghosts of the drowned.

As time and tide waits for no man, we had to return to Beachy Head to shoot the second timelapse sequences that will be used as backgrounds for a pixilation/CGI montage we're currently working on.  Sylvia assisted with the shoot by planning shots, weighting down tripods and sitting in situ so we has some recorded point of reference for the final montage.  We also had a lovely pub lunch in the 'Crown & Anchor', which certainly helped our 'creative flow'.  Many extra special thanks to Mike Tappenden, who risked life and limb to help capture these sequences.

About Sylvia Lim
Sylvia Lim is a visual effects artist, filmmaker and editor.  Her latest film, 'Simon Says' uses a combination of live-action, stop-motion and visual effects to tell it's strange and macabre tale.  She has recently graduated from the University of the West Of England with a masters degree in animation.  To find out more about her work and view her online portfolio, visit her Vimeo site at:


  1. I know it's hard work, but it looks and sounds like perfect fun, and I really want a Beachy head in MY neighborhood :)

  2. Oh it was wonderful fun! We're so lucky to be involved in something that we love!!! Thanks for looking in Cranky Bird :)