Studios Spotlight - Behind the scenes at Mount Pleasant Studio
As featured in our new World of Studios UK, Mount Pleasant Studio is one of the most centrally-located filming facilities in London. We caught up with the studio’s Richard Lewisohn to find out a little more about the appeal of the venue, and the types of production it hosts.
Mount Pleasant Studio must be one of the most centrally-located and beautiful studio buildings in London. Can you expand a little on its history and the advantages of being in the heart of the capital?
When people arrive at Mount Pleasant Studio, they find it hard to believe that they’ve come to the right place. There can’t be many studios hidden behind a Grade II-listed Georgian façade. A former Victorian clock factory was converted first into a photographer’s studio and then enlarged and modernised to make it London’s most central, pre-lit soundproofed film and television studio.
Clients love the fact that transport is so easy, both for crew and clients. There are five tube lines less than seven minutes’ walk away. Importantly, the staff at the studio are very helpful and can help organise equipment and recommend crew. There is only one stage, which is appreciated by clients working on projects with NDAs attached; it will only be their crew and talent at the studio during their shoot.
What are some of the standout offerings at Mount Pleasant?
The studio is pre-lit by newly installed Nanlux LED softpanel lights, which means for many projects shooting can start almost immediately. The studio owns a wide range of LED and tungsten lighting – any specialist equipment can be sourced from the many lighting and camera equipment hire companies with which they have accounts – and discounts.
Clients also enjoy being ten minutes’ from Soho and surrounded by the cafés and restaurants of Exmouth Market and nearby Clerkenwell.
What size shoots do you accommodate?
When the studio opened in 2005, 75% of projects shot there were commercials – often food shoots that made use of the studio’s industrial kitchen. Now it hosts a variety of broadcasters – recently Channel 4, BBC and ITV – shooting promos, interviews and sometimes whole series, most recently for Channel 5, Discovery and MTV, as well as corporate productions.
There has also been a big increase in live-streamed shoots since the end of the first lockdown in 2020, uploaded via the studio’s 900MB/sec fibre connection. These have included awards ceremonies, annual conferences, international medical seminars and live-streamed interviews.
Another recent addition is shoots for YouTube. SideMen [a British YouTube group of internet personalities] shoot at the studio regularly and have had up to 15 million views of the finished videos.
The stage is 31ft wide, so it’s possible to build substantial sets or just use the white infinity cove and pre-rigged lighting. The studio is also often used for green screen shoots. For example, a full commercial crew shot the green screen inserts for Jake Scott’s Vue Cinemas commercial starring John Boyega.
Any recent highlights?
Recent shoots include promos for RuPaul’s Drag Race UK; a motion capture shoot featuring Murdoc Niccals of Gorillaz mixing Smirnoff cocktails live on YouTube while interacting with fans asking questions via Live Chat; Marc Almond singing ‘Tainted Love’ for a ‘Stranger Things’ promo; an interview special with Brian Cox for BBC Scotland and multiple interviews for the Amazon documentary ‘The Sound of 007’ and the BBC’s series 'The Art That Made Us’.
To secure a place in our next edition of World of Studios UK, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Mount Pleasant exterior and interior images via Mount Pleasant Studio
Gorillaz image via Flux Broadcast/Gorillaz
Brian Cox image via BBC Scotland
Camera with interview set-up image via Sound Credit
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