Rebuilding the Past

When Ghost Amber was in the early stages of development, it was already clear that a large amount of archive was going to be needed to help visualise and realise the ideas within the film. One particular sequence involving Brighton’s ruined West Pier required local expertise. Fortunately Screen Archive South East held exactly the kind of beautifully preserved footage we needed dating back to the late 1890’s, and despite the experimental nature of our project they were fully supportive. 

After a lengthy process of combining material from the SASE archive, personal super 8mm footage from the late 1990’s onwards and a true treasure in the form of 16mm footage of the West Pier fire shot in 2003 by local film maker James Tucker, we were able to paint a fragmented history of this majestic building and its life on the waves. 

Screen Archive South East is a publicly-funded regional film archive serving the South East of England and its six local authorities: Brighton & Hove, East Sussex, Kent, Medway, Surrey and West Sussex. Established in 1992 by the University of Brighton, the British Film Institute and a consortium of local authorities, SASE is dedicated to collecting, preserving, digitising, cataloguing and providing public and commercial access to its screen collection of films, videotapes, lantern slides and digital files.

Its collection of over 25,000 items documents the rise of screen culture in the region and the nation and represents primarily the changing nature of life in the South East from the late 19th century to the present day.