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 New technologies and creative processes are developed, adopted, adapted and eventually superseded.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”

Waiting in the Studios

By Morgan Lefeuvre And here I am in Paramount’s European studios. […] hustle and bustle everywhere. A huge bus has just spilled a whole army of employees into the courtyard… typists, translators, draughtsmen, technicians… a swarm of smiling, cheerful young people… Stagehands in overalls hurry towards the studios, carrying things, heavy ‘cameras’ on their shoulders… TheContinue reading “Waiting in the Studios”

Studio Architectures: Vistas and Visions

On 22 and 23 September 2020 the STUDIOTEC project held its first workshop Studio Architectures: Vistas and Visions online. Here the team presents a report of the highlights. Sarah Street introduced the event by welcoming guests Brian Jacobson (California Institute of Technology), Jonathan Mosely (University of the West of England), Dietrich Neumann (Brown University), Angela PicciniContinue reading “Studio Architectures: Vistas and Visions”