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”

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”

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”

Conversations about Studios

To coincide with the recent publication of In the Studio: Visual Creation and its Material Environments, STUDIOTEC’s Sarah Street joined the book’s editor Brian R. Jacobson and two other contributors, J.D. Connor and Rielle Navitski, in a conversation about studios organized and hosted by Light Industry, a venue for film and electronic art in Brooklyn, New York. It wasContinue reading “Conversations about Studios”

Making Italian cinema great again (and again): Founding ceremonies and inaugurations of Italy’s film studios (and their politics)

By Carla Mereu Keating ‘An unforgettable day’: The inauguration of the Cines-Pittaluga studios  Showcasing state-of-the-art infrastructure and technology, the highly mediated re-opening of the historical Roman studios Cines by entrepreneur Stefano Pittaluga inaugurates not only the beginning of Italy’s sound film production but also a long-lasting entanglement between the film and media industries and theContinue reading “Making Italian cinema great again (and again): Founding ceremonies and inaugurations of Italy’s film studios (and their politics)”

Eating in the Studios: Dining with the Stars?

As we research the many maps, plans, images and contemporary accounts of the studios it becomes clear that as well as being factories of film production they were complex social communities employing a large, varied workforce. As well as practical workspaces including stages, workshops, stores and dressing rooms, many studios housed canteens, bars and restaurants.Continue reading “Eating in the Studios: Dining with the Stars?”