The studio as star: Teddington

By Richard Farmer Many film studios appear in films. Of these, some feature as film studios, such as when MGM-British was transformed into the home of Commonwealth Pictures in The Intimate Stranger (1956) or Denham’s similarly pseudonymised cameos in both Thursday’s Child (1943) or We’ll Smile Again (1942). More common, though, are cases where parts of studios are passed off as other kindsContinue reading “The studio as star: Teddington”

‘The rats have eaten my set!’ Letters from a German film architect in 1930s India

By Eleanor Halsall On the 21st of March 1935, a young German stepped off the boat in Bombay. His name was Karl von Spreti and he had been offered a job managing set design at The Bombay Talkies, one of India’s newest film studios. ‘The task that awaits me is huge and I hope I willContinue reading “‘The rats have eaten my set!’ Letters from a German film architect in 1930s India”

Workers of the studios, unite!

As a number of UK sectors are currently swept by industrial action in demand for better and fairer pay and work conditions, the STUDIOTEC team collaboratively wrote this blog post which covers some historical aspects of film unionisation in the four countries of the project and highlights key episodes of industrial action supported by British, French, GermanContinue reading “Workers of the studios, unite!”

Green for Danger: Pinewood’s first post-war film

By Sarah Street Following Richard Farmer’s recent post on how the Royal Mint established a subsidiary in Pinewood during the Second World War, the story of the first film to be produced once the studio was de-requisitioned sheds light on the ingenious and resourceful ways in which production teams rose to the challenge of making films whenContinue reading “Green for Danger: Pinewood’s first post-war film”

The Royal Mint at Pinewood

By Richard Farmer The Royal Mint has been tasked with producing Britain’s coinage since the 9th century, and throughout its long history it has been acutely sensitive to the possibility of counterfeiting and forgery. It is therefore ironic that during the Second World War the site chosen for the erection of a subsidiary Mint wasContinue reading “The Royal Mint at Pinewood”

‘Where are the British Shirley Temples?’ The employment of children in British film studios

By Richard Farmer The issue of exploitative child labour in Britain might bring to mind images of Victorian chimney sweeps and six-year-old factory hands, and might almost as easily be dismissed as having been tidily resolved by a series of mines, factories and education acts passed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, which eventually prohibitedContinue reading “‘Where are the British Shirley Temples?’ The employment of children in British film studios”

Filmkinder: Children in German Films

By Eleanor Halsall Gerhard Lamprecht’s 1931 film Emil und die Detektive/Emil and the Detectives, is one of the most famous German children’s films. Adapted by Billy Wilder from the eponymous book by Erich Kästner, the film was greeted with enthusiasm in Germany where it was described as a ‘knockout’ by the Lichtbildbühne. Emil’s narrative was always likely toContinue reading “Filmkinder: Children in German Films”

British film studios and the 1947 fuel crisis

2022 marks the 75th anniversary of the fuel crisis that partially paralysed Britain at the start of 1947. Our researcher Richard Farmer explores the impact that the crisis, and the exceptionally harsh winter that accompanied it, had on British film studios. 1947 proved to be a particularly challenging year for Britain, a country still recovering fromContinue reading “British film studios and the 1947 fuel crisis”

A State of ‘Agreeable Disorder’: Temporary Film Studios in Post-war Italy

By Catherine O’Rawe In January 1946 the Italian film magazine Star, in a response to a reader’s request for information on how to contact the country’s major studio, Cinecittà, advised him:  It’s pointless to address your letter to Cinecittà. The celluloid metropolis has temporarily concluded its proud career with an act of true public usefulness: hostingContinue reading “A State of ‘Agreeable Disorder’: Temporary Film Studios in Post-war Italy”

Studios in the Festive Season

As the nights draw in and 2021 approaches retirement, this STUDIOTEC bumper blog looks at how the festive season was acknowledged by film studios in Germany, France, Italy and Britain. In Germany Seasons’ Greetings regularly appeared in film magazines listing a studio’s biggest films.   Here are two examples from 1930, illustrating the significance of Munich’s Emelka andContinue reading “Studios in the Festive Season”