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  • Writer's pictureBen

Capturing the Magic: Lewes Bonfire Fireworks Photography and Film

Updated: May 29

We first started working with Lewes FC back in 2020 on Lewes FC - A Different Ball Game 

We were instantly drawn to the club. Their equal funding for both their male and female football teams, their steadfast views on gambling sponsorship in football and their desire to create societal change through football are just a few of the thing we love about them. And the chip van. And the tuscan bean pie and mash 

This was the start of our growing relationship with Lewes FC and we have made a lot of content there. Unbelievably, the first time we actually came to film and photograph the  Lewes Bonfire Night was only in 2023! Lewes Bonfire is a centuries-old tradition and is as exhilarating as it is visually stunning. It  takes over the whole town and is renowned over the world. With its vibrant processions, substantial firework displays and elaborate bonfires, this celebration provides a playground for photographers and filmmakers alike. Myself, JT and my two sons had an absolute blast 

Two children in a group of people look over a huge bonfire with fireworks in the background
The young lads look over in awe

We were working on a piece for Lewes FC about bonfire which you can see below. It was a dream job for us really as we had wanted to tell the Lewes Bonfire and fireworks story through photography and film for years! The tradition and symbolism runs deep and I think we need to make a whole film just on that subject...

We knew what we wanted to film for this project but we also wanted to create something of our own. We knew what happened at bonfire, we knew how we wanted to capture it and this was the right time. The whole town is shut off so you have to walk quite a way after parking up. We got a sense of the eeriness around bonfire on that walk into town. In fact the very first sequence tells us all we need to know about bonfire!

A couple walk down a Sussex road with nobody around
Eerie Walk

A fire burns on the floor of a street in Lewes
Random fires everywhere

We started at the bottom of the town so we could wander through the streets and make our way up to the dripping pan. Even though we only needed a few shots it was incredibly difficult to stop filming. Everywhere you turn there is a fire or someone setting off the loudest bangers I have ever heard in my life. All of this going on in front of a precession down the street with tableau after tableau and wheelbarrows with fires in them and people dressed up in all sorts of costumes. It’s like something out of a film. Incredible scenes  We made it to the Dripping pan and were greeted with nice cups of coffee which we enjoyed while waiting for the proceedings to start. We were lucky enough to be filming the Southover Bonfire Society’s offerings from a fantastic vantage point at the ground of Lewes FC (the Dripping Pan) The bonfire was absolutely huge and it was difficult to put the cameras away, so we didn't!

A large crowd gathered at a very large bonfire with fireworks going off
The Southover Society's Bonfire

It was such a privilege to be given such great access to such an incredible historical event. To see the town come together to put on such an absolutely awesome event such as this is pretty amazing really. I can't think of many things like it that I have been able to film anyway! It really does reflect the town's inspiringly strong sense of community and tradition.

Bonfire in Lewes is more than just a few fires and a fireworks display. The whole thing is soaking in historical events, folklore and traditions, as the bonfires are soaked in paraffin. You don't only view the incredible spectacle, you feel it

A huge thank you (as always) to Lewes FC for trusting us to make this content for them and giving us the opportunity to go out and capture a load of our own footage of bonfire. We hope you like our take on Lewes Bonfire

Much Love Ben&Jack

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