Elstree Studios celebrates rich film history

Elstree Studios celebrates rich film history

A new book entitled Elstree Studios: A Celebration of Film and Television was launched at Elstree Studios this week, paying tribute to the facility’s 90 years of film and television production. 

Authors Morris Bright, chairman of Elstree Studios, and Paul Burton, a writer and theatre, film and television historian, highlight the many successes in which the stretch of iconic land in north-east London has played a part.

Film credits such as the first British talkie, Alfred Hitchcock’s Blackmail, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and Star Wars: A New Hope, are impressive in their own right but the many stories about ‘the making of’ that the book reveals are what make for compelling reading.

With contributions from actors, directors and behind-the-scenes personnel, this book traces the studios’ history starting in 1926, right through the golden age of film, tough times and even the threat of closure.

Luckily for Elstree Studios the history doesn’t end there. It still is home to some of the most successful films and television shows produced in the UK, with Paddington, Big Brother, Strictly Come Dancing and Celebrity Juice utilising the space in recent years.

And even the ‘online community’ is taking stock: with a potential 5 series lining up to shoot in the future, Netflix is now using Elstree as its base to film the relationship between the Queen and six of her Prime Ministers in The Crown, a loose adaptation of the West End and Broadway hit The Audience.

In the book, a foreword by acclaimed film director Tom Hooper, who shot The King’s Speech and, more recently, The Danish Girl at the facility, sums up how Elstree Studios: A Celebration of Film and Television emphasises the gravitas of the site’s history: “We’re all in the business of storytelling. Buildings have stories to tell as well – and studio buildings more than most.

“This book is a great way of celebrating in words, and especially pictures, the extraordinary stories that the buildings at Elstree Studios have witnessed over its 90 year history. I have greatly enjoyed my times at Elstree and am delighted to be a part of both its story and its history.”


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