Cold Water at Southwick Beach

Shoreham is a scenic seaside town with streets significantly quieter than the hustle and bustle of London – ideal for filming. The area provided the perfect location for Darcy Vanhinsbergh’s “Cold Water” – a short film sharing the story of a chance meeting between two very different people, both troubled and trying to find their place in life. 

Actors Vikash Bhai and Siobhan Bevan play Cold Water’s lead characters “Rajesh” and “Dannie”. Rajesh is a recovering gambling and cocaine addict who’s recently divorced. He’s found himself through a new hobby – cold water swimming. Dannie is an alcoholic who has recently lost her brother. The characters find friendship, amusement and salvation in each other. 

Visual Vybe Productions approached us with a brief for filming at a coastal location in the Shoreham area – Southwick Beach near Basin Road South. Visual Vybe were keen to use this location with the modern, industrial backdrop as it suited the characters and storyline. With one of the largest cargo ports in the Southeast of England, Shoreham is full of industrial structures, boats and cargo ships, providing an incredible setting that is hard to replicate. 

While Shoreham has been modernised over the years it’s retained its traditional seaside charm. Southwick Beach is quieter than other popular beaches in Sussex, which allowed for less disruption on set; it also avoided any filming at busy tourist hotspots such as Brighton Beach. It provided a nearby public car park that was needed for some scenes and with other filming taking place at a privately owned property, the Basin Road South location made it logistically easier for all.

With a crew of three, scenes were filmed over the course of a day. Equipment included one camera, tripod, two reflectors, a small dolly and a drone. 

Production filmed a dialogue scene between the two actors – both leaning up against the railings, looking out to sea with the entrance to the public car park directly behind them. The scene was shot without needing to block off the pathway from the public. Thereafter, two very short dialogue scenes were shot on the beach itself. Two further scenes were filmed with the actors in the water (shallows); production needed to film at high tide. A final scene captured one of the actors in a van before leaving and walking towards the beach.

The drone shots were not extensive or overly-elaborate to film and were all low risk. The drone was launched on the beach away from the public and sent from the industrial area out to sea; all flying was CAA certified. 

Cold Water was inspired by Darcy Vanhinsbergh’s working experience during the pandemic. As well as examining social dynamics he wanted to explore the physical activities adopted by people that helped them through challenging times. The film is on the circuit at a small number of UK-based film festivals and premiered at the Brighton Rocks Film Festival at the end of July 2022. It won the “Best in Brighton” award at the festival. Find out more:

Shoreham is a versatile location with easy access from London. As well as beautiful beaches and a modern sea ferrying port, there are various woods, parks and green spaces. There’s also a local nature reserve mapping 26.2 hectares with the remarkable River Adur that features an abundance of wildlife. With a film heritage to rival Hollywood, it’s no wonder it attracts filmmakers and photographers year on year. Email us for more information.