On Friday 10th September, Fluidmoves Video Productions, filmed a new outfall pipe leaving Shoreham Harbour on the Sussex coast. The 1.8 kilometre pipe was towed out to sea through the open lock gates round to Newhaven Harbour, a distance of 15 nautical miles, on behalf of Southern Water and its contractor 4Delivery. The outfall is part of Southern Waters £300 million environmental improvement scheme to bring cleaner seas to Sussex.
The pipe had arrived from Norway in 3 sections some months earlier, which had then been joined together in Shoreham Harbour into one continuous section and concrete collars attached. The outfall will enable cleaned wastewater, from a new wastewater treatment works at Peacehaven, to be discharged 2.5 kilometres out to sea.
The filming was a test of co-ordination with one cameraman shooting from a Robinson R44 Helicopter, another from a Rib (Rigid Inflatable Boat) and a main camera on the Shoreham Port dockside. The weather on the day was gusty with a cloud base of approx 800ft and a heavy sea swell which made the filming interesting!
Once at Newhaven Harbour the final preparations were made before the waiting game began for a suitable weather window to sink the pipe into a trench on the seabed at Friars Bay, just off the coast of Peacehaven.
At 8.30am on Sunday 12th we were told that due to the good weather it would be sunk that afternoon.
So Fluidmoves Productions swung into action to organise a full camera team with some frantic phone calls to get camera equipment and crew in the right place & organise hire of a camera boat and helicopter. Fast Helicopters were superb in helping sort this out at short notice. This was all organised for 12.30pm when the operation to sink the pipe started.
The shoot went on until late in the evening culminating in a glorious sunset backdrop. The video was edited and shown on Meridian News the following day and a full edit of the work is in progress for Southern Water and their partner 4Delivery.
For such a large scale project (3 months from when the pipe entered Shoreham to being delivered to its resting place at Friars Bays) due to the variety of shots needed, organisation was paramount plus the requirements for health and safety.
Fortunately Fluidmoves being based at Shoreham airport, was able to utilise its strong working relationships with the surrounding companies, to attain the necessary resources and work force appropriate for the variety of jobs needed, such as aerial photography and marine videography.
In relation to health and safety all Fluidmoves crew had to undergo vigorous training and induction courses. Before filming could commence all crew were supplied with the relevant safety equipment needed such as safety glasses, steel toed boots, hi visibility jackets, hard hats and life jackets.
Weather conditions made it difficult to keep to the schedule, due to health and safety being compromised so the itinerary was under constant review and updating.
The camera that was used for filming at sea was a Sony Z1 with a waterproof cover. Its usability made it an ideal choice to use from a 6 metre rib which was provided by a qualified coxswain
When the pipeline left Shoreham harbour on the first day there were strong south westerly winds gusting 5 to 6. This made the waves steep, in the region of 6 to 7 feet high, eventually making filming very difficult, the further off shore they went.
On the second day, the main section of the pipe was brought in to be joined with the diffuser at Newhaven harbour. Fortunately the wind had significantly dropped, therefore the decision was made, due to the weather conditions being so favourable, that the pipe would be sunk that same afternoon.
Sinking of the pipe
The pipe went underway just after lunchtime, being towed by one large, tug and 3 support tugs. The weight of the pipe was 3400 tones with a total length of 1850 metres. A pre dug 2 metre trench with a large barge anchored at each end marked the pipe's final resting place 2.5 kilometres out to sea, in Friars Bay, just off Peacehaven.
When the pipe arrived, it was sunk from the sea end towards the shore. This was a very difficult task because the tide was running at roughly 3 knots, making the pipe bend, therefore tugs had to be put into place to push and pull the pipe straight to align the pipe to be sunk in the trench. Eventually the pipe was maneuvered into place and began to be pumped full of water . From the Rib we obtained some excellent shots of the commercial divers releasing the pressure in the airbags / floats supporting the pipe, prior to sinking.
The camera used for the land shots was a Sony PMW 350 XDCam with a Cannon HJ22 lens, which was used for the establishing shots and long shots. It was primarily used at Shoreham harbour, as the pipe was leaving the port on day one. The weather was rough and windy which added difficulties to filming, however the long lens of the camera was able to establish some spectacular geographical shots, such as Brighton Pier and the Marina.
On day 2 the long lens was placed on the cliffs of Friars Bay Peacehaven. The cliffs had an elevation of roughly 300 feet. The light was good and the sea was calm, with very little sea breeze. Filming went on to the late evening, the cameraman was able to get stunning shots of the sunset and the moon as the pipe was sunk.
The camera used from the helicopter was a Sony EX 1, which focused on shots of the pipe leaving Shoreham harbour. Paul being a pilot understood the implications of flying in turbulent conditions and adding to the difficulties, with mist and a cloud base of 800ft, high shots were out of the question so filming was very limited.
On the second day the sun was out with a cloud base of 2000ft with sea breezes. Filming was arranged for midday ensuring that shots of the pipe leaving the harbour were not missed. Due to the nature and time scale in which the pipe movements were timed, Fluidmoves had to find an alternative landing place to set down the helicopter to save costs (this had been arranged prior to the day at a private farm strip) here they waited for telephone instructions to fly for the next stage to be filmed. The helicopter flew into the early evening providing a variety of different shots.
The use of the GoPro HD camera was very important for this project. Due to its size and design it was possible to attach it to a variety of equipment and machinery, to help achieve a variety of unusual shots. Also the cameras having a high level of durability it meant that they could be used in a various situations that would be difficult to attain in normal circumstances due to safety issues.
Rob, being an ex commercial diver and having previous experience in using underwater video and stills equipment, was very surprised by the results from the GoPro. He also believed thatthe cameras could be used to help further expand the company into other markets.
A GoPro camera was placed on the helmet of one of the commercial divers who was checking that the pipe was aligned correctly in the trench. The depth of the water was 22 metres and the visibility underwater was 6 metres. The GoPro camera was set to the low light setting and the results that were achieved from a camera of this stature were outstanding..
Although Fluidmoves had the job to record the progress of the construction project, as a record for Southern Water and 4D, there was also a technical element to the filming. The technical images will be used for the educational benefit of project engineers, graduates and students alike.
Fluidmoves have a strong working relationship with a London camera rental company (Promotion) through their regional office in Brighton. They were helpful and flexible in working to overcome technical delays during the project (i.e. weather difficulties and rescheduling at very short notice)
In relation to post production the editing was carried out on Final Cut Pro whilst all post was done in house.
Across the spectrum of video production, there are very few companies that have the same level of experience and ability to work within its existing field as well as expanding into new markets. Fluidmoves was formed in 2008 with the sole intention to create an innovative, 21st century production company. The founders, Paul Cave and Rob Hayter, have over 50 years of experience specialising in television production and extreme sports coverage for national television as well as promotional work for large scale construction companies such as Southern Water and Shoreham Harbour Authority. Their services also include script writing, editing, online streaming and composing of original musical scores.
As a supplier of extreme sports programming to Sky, Fluidmoves feels that it has a lot to offer broadcasters, especially in the minority sports, such as mountain biking, yachting and wind surfing. They believe that their production expertise could be used in the coverage of Olympic events.
England is second to none in most extreme sports events and Fluidmoves has noticed a decline in sponsored extreme sports. Therefore Fluidmoves would like to develop sponsors and sponsorship to pursue a new wave of extreme sports programming in the UK.
Over the past 2 years Fluidmoves has expanded its market base, by entering into the filming of construction and environmental projects on land and at sea which, combined with Fluidmoves sports expertise, bring a fresh and original slant to the coverage.
Coming from an engineering background, Fluidmoves has the necessary skill and imagination to pursue different and exciting camera rigs and mounts ie lightweight cable cam, special mounts for onboard cameras and miniature aerial camera mounts. In addition Fluidmoves specialises in underwater cameras such as miniature ROV's.
Fluidmoves aims to continue to explore the new and developing technology to provide their clients with the most stunning visual experience.