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 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”

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”

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”

Britain’s temporary post-war studios

By Richard Farmer In the years following the Second World War, Ealing Studios was going places. Its experiment in making films in Australia had got off to a successful start with The Overlanders (1946) and would continue for another four films over the next decade or so (Morgan 2012), whilst significant parts of Another Shore (1948) were filmed in Dublin, and WhereContinue reading “Britain’s temporary post-war studios”

The Pinewood Merry-Go-Round studio magazine

By Sarah Street Film studios were communities of workers who established close bonds through the collective enterprise of film production. They employed many diverse occupations, including canteen employees, art directors, costume designers, hairdressers, secretaries, publicists, electricians, and carpenters. Establishing a sense of community was important, especially when working conditions could be pressured and intense, withContinue reading “The Pinewood Merry-Go-Round studio magazine”

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”

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”