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Since working in the crewing industry, Gallowglass has had some incredible opportunities to work in numerous venues across the country. Our ‘Meet the Venue’ series is here to showcase the fantastic venues we have worked on whilst also displaying the skills and abilities of our team.

For February, we will be looking at Pinewood Studios in London. We will explore the history of the famous venue while also delving into some of the work Gallowglass have done there.

A Brief History

Dating back to the late 19th century, Heatherden Hall in Buckinghamshire, which was a Victorian estate, was owned by Doctor Drury Lavin. He then sold the estate to Lt Colonel Grant Morden who was a Canadian financer. He was in politics and spent roughly £300,000, which would equate to around £5 million in today’s money, to transform the mansion. Just some of the features he added included a lavish ballroom and Turkish bath.

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Heatherden Hall Became A Country Club

In the 1930s, the estate became a retreat and was also used by politicians and diplomats for private meetings. After Morden passed away in 1934, the estate was bought by Charles Boot. He transformed the mansion into a country club for celebrities and those with plenty of money. Although his end goal was to turn it into a film studio.

Heatherden Hall Became Pinewood

It was Boot that changed the name of the estate from Heatherden Hall to Pinewood. His reasoning for the name change was because: “…of the number of trees which grow there and because it seemed to suggest something of the American film centre in its second syllable.”.

Pinewood Transformed into a Film Studio

Boot then teamed up with J. Arthur Rank to finance the project of transforming it into a film studio. The building works were fast, and Pinewood was officially opened in September 1936.

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The British Film Industry Took A Hit During the WWII Depression

The film studios were incredibly successful until the depression hit. WWII saw Pinewood taken over by the government for storage; items such as sugar, flours and other wartime supplies were kept here. The building was also used by the Royal Mint who create coins for the UK, along with other companies from other important industries, such as insurance. The Lloyd’s of London insurance company moved into the studios just days before the conflict started in September 1939.

Pinewood Studios Saw a Surge Post War

Post-war, the British film industry saw a surge in fortune. Many American production companies began fleeing to Pinewood because of its attractively low production costs, its British feeling and superior skills and facilities. Some famous films that were made at Pinewood soon after the war included Oliver Twist and Great Expectations. Below is an image taken in 1942 of production from 'Coastal Command'. It was a film made by the Crown Film Unit that was filmed at Pinewood Studios.

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Gallowglass at Pinewood Studios

Gallowglass has had the opportunity to work within the venue since 2003. Since then, nearly 2,000 different crew members have been utilised at Pinewood Studios! An unbelievable 12,800 hours have been spent on site.

Over the many years of working at Pinewood Studios, Gallowglass has worked on numerous productions and have conducted varying roles within each. Our crew members have a wide range of skills, which means we can dispatch relevant crew members with a specific skill set where necessary.

We have crew capable of supporting all aspects of events crewing, from building sets and stages, to lighting and truss setup, to audio and visual features. Along with this, we also have qualified banksmen to ensure the loading and unloading of kit is stress-free and straightforward.

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Some of our job highlights at Pinewood Studios include working on the following films:

  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • London Has Fallen (2016)
  • Ex Machina (2014)
  • Snow White and The Huntsman (2012)

We have also worked with brilliant brands, including:

  • Land Rover
  • National Lottery
  • Comic Relief

We have had the pleasure of working with many different clients at Pinewood Studios, including:

  • BBC
  • Paramount
  • Universal
  • Marvel
  • Netflix
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We have worked in the events industry for over 30 years now, and we have worked on some of the most famous film sets, biggest festivals and world-renowned award shows. Take a look at our previous blog and discover why you might like to join the events crew.

If you are interested in getting involved in all the action and joining our event crew in the UK, get in touch with us today! We have event crew jobs in Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol, and many other locations across the UK.

Would you like to discover some more incredible venues that Gallowglass have worked with? Take a look at some of our other ‘Meet the Venue’ blogs here!

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Conor Hourihan

Business Development Manager, Gallowglass Group Posted on 17 Feb 2020
About the author
A Music Production graduate, Conor has spent the last 19 years in customer service roles. Joining Gallowglass initially as a Crewman, his talent for gaining clients' trust and forming lasting relationships, made him a shoo-in for our business development and marketing team. When he's not liaising with clients, Conor is our visuals expert - overseeing video content and imagery for our website, app and new vehicle and uniform branding.
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