Re: A Pier is a feature-length independent documentary being produced, directed, filmed and edited by Archie Lauchlan.

This blog will chart its journey to completion in 2015.

Email me if you’d like to comment on anything here, or offer creative suggestions for the documentary, or - most valuable of all - let me know about footage, photos or stories you’ve got of the pier (any era, any format) that I could use in the film.

Thanks! Blog runs with most recent entries at the top...

[25.09.14]  Blog launch day, with a photo I took last night of yet another stunning sunset behind the pier, featuring the crane barge that arrived last week. I’m also filming as much of the ballroom’s demolition (ballroom blitz?) as I can at the moment, as both it and the barge will be completely gone in just over two week’s time.

Other recent stuff: I did a talk about the doc, linked to the subject of regeneration, at the excellent Trash’d new wave festival here in Hastings. That was fun, especially as we (my daughter and I) emerged from the Stade Hall to find one of the fabulous illuminated bike rides aptly titled From Pier To Eternity doing its brilliant thing round the Open Space.

03’00 taster edit


Download pdf


Clips of work in progress

All images on this site © Domestic Science Ltd (unless otherwise marked)

[30.09.14]  Another shoot on the pier today, featuring big blue grab tool action. The grab, which operates on the end of the crane, is currently fishing for sunken girders under the half-demolished ballroom. Grateful as always to the Statler & Waldorf of Hastings Pier Charity, engineering dudes David Spooner and Peter Wheeler, for their enduring good humour in the face of adversity (which I believe is how they see my video camera).

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[03.10.14]  Active few days, kicking off on Wednesday with a night shoot (the crane/demolition work goes on 24hrs a day). This involved filming two men being lowered down into the big hole - see pic - where the floor of the ballroom used to be, the legacy of violent storms in Jan-Feb this year. They then clamped themselves onto beams to work on reconstructing the seven columns that got knocked out.

Yesterday I did some lockoff shots from the beach, recording the purpley-orange sunset, with a shoal of bubbling, jumping mackerel in the sea next to me; and today I’m phone-bashing and emailing to line up more interviewees.

[09.10.14]  Recorded an interview yesterday with Graham Kent, dude with a double connection to the pier: (1) lifelong angling enthusiast, with tales of fishing off the old landing stage; and (2) music fan, whose I-was-there list includes the famous Sex Pistols gig in the Ballroom, July 1976.

In the picture a young Graham’s holding the monkey that used to be available for snaps on the pier - obvs would just be a quick selfie these days - and yesterday he stopped work on his latest book Bottle Tops & Brollies, on the unlikely subject of carp fishing in the 70s, so I could come and film him.

[12.10.14]  A selfie, by way of a change from mangled steelwork, from my filming on the pier today. There’s a scaffold bridge going right across the middle of what’s left of the ballroom so I stood on it and looked towards where the stage would have been and imagined all the amazing performers in that space over the years... one of whom, John Lydon, I went to see later in conversation with the Guardian’s Alexis Petridis at the De La Warr Pavilion. Brilliant!

[14.10.14]  Interview with Sarah Owen (Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Hastings & Rye) about her memories of growing up in Hastings and going on the pier. Something new emerges every time: today, Sarah’s mention of Coasters nightclub in the Ballroom, which apparently was the town’s top teen disco. Anyone else remember it? If so, please click the email link above and let me know.

[21.10.14]  Fantastic addition to the Re: A Pier mix with talented Hastings-based 3D Artist Garry Coleman on board to create three fly-thru CGI models of Hastings Pier in different eras: the original Victorian one, 1950s, and the 2005 pre-fire version. The picture, left, is his first draft of the 2005 one.

Garry honed his skills at the University of Brighton (Digital Post-Production course) and Sussex Coast College with both campuses located right in the centre of Hastings.

Image © Garry Coleman

[18.11.14]  Final chance this year to film engineering works near the pier head, as the scaffold walkway’s being dismantled post-Ballroom demolition. I was particularly taken with this image of a test panel (of the mirrored glass that the new Visitor Centre will be clad in) reflecting the blue sky behind me.

[15.12.14]  Recorded a totally fascinating interview with Barry Taylor, the man with the foresight to have booked the Sex Pistols to appear on the Pier in July 1976. This was a time when hardly anyone outside of central London would have even considered promoting them; but Barry, with his finger on the pulse of of the emerging punk scene, phoned Malcolm McLaren and negotiated a fee of £20 for the band to play in the Ballroom as support act to prog rockers Budgie. The rest is (literally) history.

[16.12.14]  Up on the scaffold to film the shiny new zinc roof finish being applied to the south dome of the pavilion, soon to become the Pier’s restaurant. Roofer Chris (pictured) and co are making a grand job of it.

[24.12.14]  Ok, it’s a crappy pun but that’s just one of the joys of the pier: there’s dozens of ways of using the word ‘pier’ in crappy puns. This Xmas image is downloadable and copyright-free (special gift from Domestic Science) so do help yourself and share if the fancy takes you.

Feliz Navidad, y’all!

[06.01.15]  First working day of the New Year heralds the start of the main edit. Yes! Still got to shoot more interviews and engineering but from now on it’s mainly heads-down no-nonsense edit boogie with Adobe Premiere Pro on the Macintosh computer. If I was Zoella those namechecks might have earned me loads of freebies and dosh; but I ain’t (thank goodness) and they didn’t.

2015

2014

[25.01.15]  Latest 3D computer model update from Garry Coleman. Simply stunning! And that’s before he’s added the colours and textures. Can’t wait to see his finished piers of the three eras (Victorian/1950s/2000s).

[26.01.15]  Bit of editing, bit of filming, bit of editing, etc, etc... on deck today with my handycam as the cladding goes onto the two service pods being built onto the west (sea) side of the pavilion restaurant. The cladding’s recycled from bits of deck that survived the fire in 2010, not only a nice eco initiative but also a very nice look.

[13.03.15]  Some early morning tweaks, then ka-bling! The Re: A Pier post-production Crowdfund is launched. It’s to raise £3500 for the final phase of this epic project, and all of it will go to the small production crew I’ve now established: 3D dude Garry, music maker Agzilla, archive researcher/producer Margaret and people finder Aicha. All Hastings people, all extremely talented.

[13.03.15]  Evening of Friday 13th Crowdfund launch, and BBC SE Today airs the story of my 9-year perseverance with Re: A Pier. Reporter Mark Saunders filmed it earlier today on the pier, and it includes interviews with me and Jeremy Birch, Leader of Hastings Borough Council. It’s really good and I’m amazed at what Mark could produce completely on his own in just a few hours.

Click here to view it on Vimeo.

[15.04.15]  Pelham Beach, five-thirty in the morning: shoot a 3-hour lockoff of sunrise behind the Talking Telescope. I’ll speed this up to make a 45-second intro for Re: A Pier. After 9 years, the documentary’s begun!

[03.05.15]  Film Hastings’ famous Section 5 Drummers gathering for refreshments at the famous  Stag Inn before parading down to the famous drum-off, day before the famous Jack-In-The-Green festivities.

I’m using their famous drumming as a musical theme for the documentary, and the footage I recorded today will establish them visually as well. So then they’ll be even more famous.

[08.05.15]  The Re: A Pier post-production Crowdfund closed at 09.48 today - and just look at that final amount! We smashed through the original £3500 target and even went beyond the £5000 overfund one.

Crowdfunds can be really challenging, but this one’s been incredibly smooth; testament to the goodwill of 95 friends old and new, both in Hastings and far beyond, who believe in the project and’ve been moved to help out.

Thank you so much.

[21.08.15]  I’m tracking every aspect of the pier refurb and it’s coming on nicely, with the wooden frame of the new Visitor Centre building now constructed after its delivery in flatpack form.

I also filmed in the shell of its Education Space, venue for the Re: A Pier premiere scheduled for March next year. More news on that soon.

[21.07.15]  Off tae Glasgow to record an interview with Matt Brennan, a researcher at the Reid School of Music (University of Edinburgh). Matt’s a co-author of the book pictured here, telling the story of how our seaside towns - with Hastings and its Pier Ballroom a prime example - were integral in the 1950s and 1960s to the formation of the now mega UK rock venue industry.

[18.07.15]  Interviewed Hastings’ brilliant ladypunk sisters Maid of Ace about their memories (and their mum’s, seeing as she phoned half way through!) of playing at Beatles Day on the pier in 2005. Also filmed their gig in the town at Flairz later that day. Good one.

[23.06.15]  Hoist up in the basket of one of the contractor’s 20 metre cranes to film the gap where the Visitor Centre will go. Lucky I did the Aerial Adventure last year with my daughter at Center Parcs or vertigo might have got the better of me. As it was, loved it - wonderful to get a seagull’s eye view of the pier.