Breakfast at Cinecittà’s: Italy’s Glocal Studio Tours 

By Carla Mereu Keating As recently observed in the case of Britain, Germany and France, film studio tours featured prominently in studios’ promotional agendas and attracted significant media attention over the years. Following on from previous STUDIOTEC posts on the subject, this section casts an eye on film studio tours in Italy and explores the wide range ofContinue reading “Breakfast at Cinecittà’s: Italy’s Glocal Studio Tours “

Touring the French studios

By Morgan Lefeuvre Closed to the public – which gave them a dose of mystery and enhanced their appeal – the French studios welcomed throughout the period (and particularly in the 1930s) many representatives of the press, but also of political, economic or social circles. The studio visits, often reported in detail in the press,Continue reading “Touring the French studios”

Southall studio at war

By Richard Farmer Southall studio Southall studio in west London was built on the site of, and possibly converted from, a former aircraft hangar. It opened in 1924, remained largely unused until 1928, and was converted for sound production in the early 1930s (the vagueness of some of these dates is indicative of the relative paucityContinue reading “Southall studio at war”

‘Who wouldn’t want to have a peek?’ Studio Tours in Britain and Germany

Sarah Street and Eleanor Halsall Inspired by our visit to the Bottle Yard Studios, we wanted to know more about previous occasions when film studios opened their doors to outsiders. Studios entertained important guests such as film executives, financiers, critics, members of the civil service, royalty etc., but some visitors had less obvious importance to business,Continue reading “‘Who wouldn’t want to have a peek?’ Studio Tours in Britain and Germany”

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”

‘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”