Meet the Venue: Elstree Studios
If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you’ll have been keeping up with our ‘Meet the Venue’ series where we have shared insight into some of the exciting locations Gallowglass have crewed at over the years. Having last month explored one of Europe’s most contemporary venues – Barcelona’s Fira Gran Via – and its relationship with our Spanish HQ - today, we are turning our attention to a venue a little closer to home:
Welcome to our next venue:
Name(s): Elstree Studios
Age: 93 years old
Location: Borehamwood, Hertfordshire
Size: 60,000sq ft
The iconic studios were founded in 1926 by British and American film producers Herbert Wilcox and J.D. Williams, who teamed up in their search to find a suitable site to house a brand-new film studio. After making their first feature film – Madame Pompadour – the duo sold the studios on to John Maxwell, a Scottish cinema owner. He went on to work with some of the industry’s most influential directors and actors - including Alfred Hitchcock, Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck - to create several iconic motion pictures, such as The Dam Busters and Moby Dick, throughout the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s.
During the 1960s, Elstree extended its productions to television as well as film, and several new buildings were constructed with dual purpose stages that catered for both art forms. Following these developments, legendary television series such as The Saint, The Avengers and Jason King were produced, along with more classic films including The Shining and Murder on the Orient Express.
In the next two decades, Elstree’s place in film history was secured by George Lucas, who created the first Star Wars film and several of its sequels at the studios, along with Steven Spielberg, who directed the entire Indiana Jones film trilogy here. However, towards the end of the 1980s, the studios’ future became uncertain when Cannon - Elstree’s new owners - were unable to fulfil their production ambitions and the studios fell into the hands of George Walker, who purchased them as a ‘development opportunity’, which would ultimately result in Elstree’s demise.
However, thanks to the efforts of Paul Welsh – a local film historian who tirelessly campaigned to save the iconic studios – Elstree survived and was taken over by Hertsmere Borough Council, who rebuilt the Studios and added several new stages in a bid to return them to their former glory.
Today, Elstree Studios is run by Managing Director Roger Morris, who continues to work alongside Morris Bright, the head of Hertsmere Borough Council, to make the Studios one of the most profitable and influential contributors to both the local and national economy, as well as to the global film industry. Gallowglass are also proud to play a role in bringing many of the films and TV shows made here to life…
Gallowglass at Elstree Studios
We have been working at Elstree Studios since 2005. During this time, around 1,240 of our crewmen have provided support on various film or television productions. Whether it’s helping to unload props, building staging or supporting camera crews with heavy film equipment, not only do our team carry out a range of varied and enjoyable tasks at Elstree, but in the process, they also get to enjoy a behind the scenes sneak-peak at some of the world’s most widely anticipated motion pictures and television shows - an opportunity that’s unique to Gallowglass!
Over the years, some of the major film and TV projects we have worked on at the iconic studios have included:
• X-Men: First Class
• Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
• World War Z
• Paddington Bear
• Big Brother
• Celebrity Big Brother
• Have I Got News For You
• Never Mind The Buzzcocks
• Who Wants To Be A Millionaire
• The Voice UK
• The Voice Kids
If you would like to find out more about our work at the movies as well as some of the other iconic venues Gallowglass crews regularly support, visit our blog today. Alternatively, why not get in touch with our team today to discover more about Gallowglass and the work we do? Whether you’re searching for event crew jobs in London or want to know more about the events industry as a whole, we’ll be happy to answer any questions!