Women behind the scenes in German film

By Eleanor Halsall As it did elsewhere, the German film industry exerted a magnetic pull on its public. Many women aspired to a career on the screen, only to be disappointed when intense competition meant that they were unable to secure work, even as extras. Film stars of both genders added glamour to the professionContinue reading “Women behind the scenes in German film”

Colonies de vacances (holiday camps) for the children of French cinema employees

by Sue Harris The social aspects of the life studio workers came into focus recently at one of our team seminars on the topic of ‘Time and Leisure in the Studios’ led by Morgan Lefeuvre and Richard Farmer. Their presentations on the organised collective activities (sporting events, gala days, festive parties) of specific studios inContinue reading “Colonies de vacances (holiday camps) for the children of French cinema employees”

Silence, ça tourne! The first sound shootings in French studios

By Morgan Lefeuvre Casting in the Tobis Studios in 1929 – The director communicates with the sound engineer using a telephone. Coll. Cinémathèque française. ‘Cinema speaks, but not for long! It’s too complicated, too scientific! […] Do you realise that if talking pictures were to last, we would all have to change jobs?’ (Pagnol: p. 18).Continue reading “Silence, ça tourne! The first sound shootings in French studios”

Supporting feature: tubular scaffolding

By Richard Farmer Kinematograph Weekly, 24 October 1929. Film studios are places of innovation. New technologies and creative processes are developed, adopted, adapted and eventually superseded. Some of these innovations, such as the arrival of synchronised sound or widescreen, are designed to be obvious to the viewer, to provide spectacle and inspire wonder and pleasure.Continue reading “Supporting feature: tubular scaffolding”

The Austro-German Connection: Italy’s Transnational Films and the UK

By Carla Mereu Keating As we continue to compile our filmographies to map regional, national, international and transnational nodes and networks of film production, several lesser-known cases of collaboration among the four countries of the project have emerged. This blog post shares ongoing research on the history of Italian film studios in the years followingContinue reading “The Austro-German Connection: Italy’s Transnational Films and the UK”

STUDIOTEC goes to SCMS

This year the annual Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) conference went virtual, and the STUDIOTEC team delivered two panels. The conference provided a great opportunity to showcase some of our ongoing research to new audiences.  Putting Studios into the Frame: Architectural, Environmental and Geospatial approaches The first of our panels foregrounded factors which influenced howContinue reading “STUDIOTEC goes to SCMS”

Cricket in British Studios

By Richard Farmer I have recently been doing some research into the sports and social clubs established at British film studios, seeking to understand how the various sporting events, leisure activities and outings they organised functioned as elements of workplace culture. I have also been exploring sporting competitions organised between different studios, and between studiosContinue reading “Cricket in British Studios”

Black Narcissus and Pinewood

This post by Sarah Street starts a new strand, ‘Film in Focus’, in which we examine a number of film productions from the perspective of studio studies. When planning Black Narcissus (Powell and Pressburger, 1947), Michael Powell was clear that he wanted to create the palace located high in the Himalayas entirely in a film studio: ‘TheContinue reading “Black Narcissus and Pinewood”

Exit, pursued by a bear: Animals in film studios

You last read about Scruffy, this time Richard Farmer, Eleanor Halsall and Carla Mereu-Keating investigate the wider use of animals in British, German and Italian studios. Britain likes to think of itself as a nation of animal lovers, and the numerous stories in the trade and lay press would appear to give some credence toContinue reading “Exit, pursued by a bear: Animals in film studios”

Scruffy: Canine Star of British Studios

By Richard Farmer and Sarah Street We recently came across an intriguing feature in the French journal Pour Vous (thanks to Sue Harris) about a British film star. Published in February 1940, after the start of the Second World War, but prior to the German invasion of France, the article has a pretty conventional ‘day in theContinue reading “Scruffy: Canine Star of British Studios”