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Filming at Seaford Head, East Sussex


Fig. 1 Jeremy Irvine (War House) and Dakota Fanning (loads of films) on Seaford Head looking towards the Seven Sisters.

This gem of a film, ‘Now is Good’ is also from the director of “The Magnificent Marigold Hotel’ – it came out in 2012. Did you miss it? Get it on Amazon Prime for free right now. Dakota Fanning is a 17 year old dying of cancer with a wish list of things to do. Her performance is wonderful and she is totally credible as English girl. The list includes doing something illegal, and sex … which explains the boyfriend.

What’s odd in this image is that the bench is pointed away from the view towards some gorse bushes. The bench also lacks a dedication which all such chairs have up there. It also lacks a concrete base and a great deal of scuffed grass and mud, but that’s being pernickety isn’t it?

I walk the dog here often: I was down there this morning wishing I’d worn more.

Today I stumbled upon the largest camp of film lighting, catering, wardrobes and other support services I have yet seen. Are they filming ‘Iron Man IV’ down there? They use the concrete base, like a large roundabout, where there was once a Word War II searchlight and gun emplacement. There’s easy road access to the public car park. The ‘long hike’ Dakota Fanning complains of is a five minute walk.

Since moving down here in 2000 I have thus far stumbled upon the filming of a scenes for ‘Atonement’, what I was told was an East Enders special, a TV commercial and picking up shots for Harry Potter (It’s where the World Quidditch game is played). You will never be told what they are working on. Best to try and spot the actors and figure it out from there, or wait a year to 18 months to see what comes out in the cinema or on TV.

Do you live next to a regularly used film location?

As a boy growing up in Northumberland we had Alnwick Castle up the road. Long before Harry Potter they filmed something called ‘King Arthur and the Spaceman’ in which I was an extra all one summer. I was 16. I was the ‘King’s Guard Special’ to Kenneth Moor’s elderly King Arthur.

Much of Parade’s End was filmed in this part of East Sussex too. The laugh is to have shots along the River Cuckmere being used as scenes from the window of a train, the greatest error bring to have a coastal scene here doubling for Northumberland which is very different indeed, with sandy beaches and dunes, and sharp, low severe points of volcanic rock rather than the massive soft limestone cliffs we have down here.

I may go back to Hope Gap and have a look to see what they’re up to. Only three months ago there was a large film crew at Birling Gap. The cliffs here often double as ‘The White Cliffs of Dover’ as they are more dramatic.

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5 Comments

  1. Gordon Dudman (@GordonDudman) says:

    Living near to the Bluebell Railways its quite (?) amusing to see Horsted Keynes station ‘doubling up’ for such diverse places as Kings Cross (but not platform 9¾) and Bath and Exeter Central.

    When we lived in Eastbourne Hampden Park was frequently used for outdoors ‘regency’ style productions

  2. It was ‘Luther’ by the way Idris Elba, large cast and crew … horrible weather sadly, it can be sublime for both sunrise and sunset.

  3. Hi Jonathan, thanks for stopping by my blog. I love the image in this post. Beautiful scenery. Some scenes from the movie, ‘Moby Dick’ were shot in my town of Youghal in county Cork in Ireland. We have a Moby Dick festival every year in honour of the event. A lot of the locals were used in the shot where the ship sails out of the bay. The women with their shawls over their heads, seeing the men off on their voyage are grandmothers and great-grandmothers to quite a few of the town’s inhabitants.

    • There must be other regular locations around the UK such as Alnwick Castle. Here we had the TV series ‘Parade’s End’ using the Cuckmere Valley too. ‘Atonement’ on the beach. Some other US series at Birling Gap.

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