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Roger. Sentimental or nostalgic. The demise of Historic studios., half o (2 replies and 1 comment)

Mike
6 months ago
Mike 6 months ago

Roger,

Over the last 50 years or so we have seen the demise of some iconic studios being flattened and sold on to make way for houses.

Lets name a few, Isleworth, Merton Park, Gainsborough, MGM, Twickenham, Lime Grove, Granada etc plus lots more. Denham was demolished to make way for a business park which is now a housing estate. Now we have Bray studios (Hammer) reduced to dust and nice new luxury flats built in its place, affordable housing at £600K they say!  Who is going to be next? Elstree has been on the cards for years and if it wasn’t for the council it would have been pulled down to make way for houses. Shepperton studios future is now in the balance too it’s back lot was sold off for houses years ago and has been Pinewoods thorn in their side since. As you know Pinewood has now new owners! hmm!. The British film industry is extremely buoyant and new SMALL studios are popping up everywhere and banking that CGI will save their bacon and are future proof. There is talk of a new large studio on the old Ford car plant east of London but that is just local council talk and are waiting to find some money.

Mike
6 months ago
Mike 6 months ago

Sorry the computer shut me down, must have got bored.

My question is Roger.

You have mentioned that you are not sentimental or nostalgic and always look to the future but does it concern you that these iconic studios have been reduced to rubble, after all they did employ thousands of people and even you I think “cut your teeth” at Bray during your early years. So are you not saddened that these buildings have been bulldozed down and their memories buried for ever. Ofcourse, we do still have the films as a keep sake but many these have also been burnt as they have no strategic value even if digitised. I rest my case M’lord.

Roger Deakins
6 months ago
Roger Deakins 6 months ago

For sure, I think it is extremely sad that many of the studios are being demolished, at a time when there is a lack of studio space too. The problem is that there is more money in real estate deals than in the film industry. I think that is where there is a desperate need for more financial support from the UK government. I am shooting in Albuquerque and in a pretty great studio facility here. That would not exist without State assistance in the form of tax breaks for films that shoot here. The same is true for Atlanta where there are now numerous stage spaces. Does either local immediately come to mind as a film mecca? We considered shooting 'BR2049' in the UK but there was no stage space available. So we shot in Budapest. Good stages and a good tax break.

Mike
6 months ago

Thankyou Roger for your response.
Albuquerque studios certainly are trying to attract the workforce from LA and with 300 days of sunshine plus incentives then it certainly makes sense. Assume you are still on “Goldfinch”, this is a classic and hopefully should provide you with a second ‘Oscar’. This could be one of your best films. Wish you luck.

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