Title ID 4817Collection ID647
TitleNot California: This is Surfing in Brighton
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent AmateurNon-fictionActuality/FactualExperimental
ThemeSeaside Case Study Brighton
KeywordsBeaches Harbours Leisure Time Activities Piers Piers [West Pier, Brighton] Seaside Resorts Sport
LocalBrighton Shoreham-by-Sea
RegionalBrighton and Hove East Sussex West Sussex
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionRichard Gregory Wavedreamer Productions
CameraRichard Gregory
DirectorRichard Gregory
DistributorFilm is distributed by Gregory via the WEB. Website build and creative colloborator: Mark Lee: Mooch Design
EditorRichard Gregory
SoundLawrence Ray
MusicBowl Rider; Carnival Collective; Marcin Mielczewski; Pthh; Lawrence Ray
ParticipantsBill; Cliff; Graham; Heather; James; Jez; Jo; Julie; Luke; Og; Paul; Peter; Tom; Tony; Vince; Wil (Surfers)
FormatColour Sound
Duration7 min. 48 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


This artist film offers an energetic portrayal of surfing at five locations along Brighton's coastline, using a variety of camera and editing techniques and musical accompaniment.


Fast editing and speeded-up motion introduces the viewer to the surfing waters off Brighton Marina. Male and female surfers in wet suits as they ride the large waves - the camera is mounted onto the nose of one surfer's board, capturing the power of the ocean and the dedication of the surfer. The surfers are next seen surfing near the Palace Pier - their animated efforts are interspersed with colourful and fast-moving images of the pier and the beach. The tone is subdued when the surfers are filmed at the West Pier - the seafront is enveloped in fog and the sea is relatively calm - an early choral music soundtrack accompanies the surfers when they are filmed in slow motion body-boarding out to sea. Rapid editing is used to present a tour of the industrial area near Shoreham-by-Sea - the surfers are seen riding the waves at Hotpipes as the tide comes in. The final section of the film records a mass of surfers braving the huge, albeit infrequent, waves which break in the rain-drenched harbour.


A still from 'Not California, This is Surfing in Brighton' (2002) -

Contextual information

Richard Gregory made Not California: This is Surfing in Brighton (2002) when he was a student at the University of Brighton - it was produced as part of his end-of year degree show for an MA in Sequential Design and Illustration. The images were captured on a digital camera - some of the most intense ones resulting from a camera which was fixed onto the nose of a surfboard - and were edited into sequence using a soundtrack produced by local musicians. The film articulates Richard's twin interests in surfing and design - he has since become the director of Brighton Surfers Against Sewage and has done numerous design projects via his company Wavedreamer. Richard also utilized the film to explore his, "[interest] in the use of video on the internet and how people get into hidden sub cultures", creating the website 'Not California: This is Surfing in the UK' as a distribution tool.

Screen Archive South East holds several others films which were made by MA students at the University of Brighton. These include Cobb (2002) and The House That Jack Built (2002), both of which were produced by students studying animation. Screen Archive South East has an increasing number of artists' films in its collection.

Related titles

Related resources


The Surfing Museum

The Surfing Museum in Brighton documents, "our rich and diverse surf culture and its heritage, capturing the soul of British surfing."


Not California: This is Surfing in the UK

This website was created to support the film Not California: This is Surfing in Brighton (2002), enabling it to be distributed via the internet. Clips and stills can be downloaded from the website - a glossary of surfing terms is also provided.

Surfers Against Sewage

The website for Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), an organisation which campaigns, "for clean, safe recreational waters, free from sewage effluents, toxic chemicals and nuclear waste. Using a solution based argument of viable and sustainable alternatives, SAS highlight the inherent flaws in current practices, attitudes and legislation, challenging industry, legislators and politicians to end their 'pump and dump' policies."


The website for the creative company Wavedreamer which, under the directorship of Richard Gregory, works across all media from video to print.

Other Resources


"Lighthouse is a Brighton-based organisation offering a variety of creative professional development opportunities for film-makers, screenwriters and artists working with digital and moving image media. We have a long and successful history of initiating and managing a wide range of projects encompassing commissions, production schemes, training programmes, bursaries, master classes and networking events, as well as innovative education and outreach projects."


"LUX is a not-for-profit organisation that supports and promotes contemporary and historical artists' moving image work, and those who make it, through distribution, exhibition, publishing and research."