Category Archives: News

Elstree Studios celebrates 90 years with new book

On Monday evening, Elstree Studios hosted the launch of a new book — kicking off celebrations for its 90 year anniversary next year. Co-written by Studio chairman Morris Bright and Paul Burton, the book is a lovely coffee table tome covering the many iconic productions to come from the world-renowned studio over the past 90 years. Classics, including the Hitchcock first talkie Blackmail, the exciting Moby Dick, the creepy The Shining and the adventurous Indiana Jones trilogy are all covered, along with many many more. Howard Berry, co-leader of The Elstree Project, was invited to give a tour of the studio to selected guests, and the main event included project alumni Martin G Baker and Alan Tomkins among the guests. To buy the book, visit the Elstree Studios website....
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Johnny Goodman, a tribute

We are very sad to pass on the news of the passing of television and film producer Johnny Goodman. Johnny’s entry into the world of film and television came when he returned home from school one day, with what he described as “probably the worst exam results that have ever been published”. His father, realising that he spent more time in the cinema than studying, suggested that he should go to the local film studio and see what chances there could be for him. Johnny went to Lime Grove, Sheppard’s Bush - which would later become the BBC - and entered Gaumont British Films and Gainsborough Pictures. He was taken into the office of Albert Fennell - a very young studio manager at the time, who would later go on to produce The Avengers - and was offered a job as a page boy; and so in 1943, Johnny began work in the mail room of a film studio, with...
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We will miss you June Randall

We are so terribly sad to have learned of the death of June Randall. June may not be a household name, but she certainly deserves to be. Her career as a continuity supervisor spanned over 50 years and she worked on some of the biggest film and television productions from the 1950s to the 1990s. June originally went to work in the industry having seen an advert for Gainsborough's The Wicked Lady, and - hoping to meet James Mason - she turned up at the studio for a job. She didn't meet Mr Mason, but it was the start of a career which saw her working with some of the all-time greats of the British film industry. June's early work in continuity included Quatermass 2 with Brian Donlevy, Look Back in Anger with Richard Burton, and The Punch and Judy Man with Tony Hancock. In the early 1960s June worked on both The Saint and The Avengers at Elstree Studios,...
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Farewell Brian Clemens

We are very sad to have been told of the passing of Brian Clemens. Brian was one of the most prolific writers for British television, and was largely responsible for the much loved tone and style of The Avengers - especially during the iconic Emma Peel years. Brian also created The Professionals and co-created The New Avengers, as well as writing for various TV series including The Baron, The Persuaders!, The Protectors, Danger Man, The Invisible Man, Bergerac, Perry Mason and Diagnosis: Murder. Brian was also writer for many productions by Danziger's New Elstree Studios, and also wrote for Hammer films. Brian gave his support and time to The Elstree Project and is featured in our documentary film From Borehamwood to Hollywood, through clips from the oral history interview he gave to us, as well as the short documentary we made about the making of The Avengers at ABPC Studios - called Diabolical Masterminds (link). We are...
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Elstree and Borehamwood film centenary news items

Last year we arranged for both the BBC and ITV News teams to come to Borehamwood and film two television news items about our documentary and the centenary of film. Ruth Zorko for ITV London News reported in October, and Lizo Mzimba from BBC News at Six reported in November, with the broadcast taking place on the day of the public launch of the documentary. You can see them both here! ITV News: BBC News: ...
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Our Documentary Goes Online for Free Viewing

We are so thrilled to be able to bring you our film, From Borehamwood to Hollywood: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Elstree, to our website - for free. When we were making the film, we always intended to make it as widely available as we possibly could, within the wishes of those who granted us the rights to use their content and our contributors.  We are very pleased to say that we are able to bring the film online, exclusively to our website here, for free viewing. The Elstree Project is continuing to record oral history interviews with veterans of the six studios from Borehamwood and Elstree, but in the centenary year it really was the wish of director Howard Berry and the project team, to take the opportunity to produce something special with our archive. We are incredibly grateful to all those who supported the production of the extra documentary content - including StudioCanal, British Pathé, BBC Archives, BBC Studios and Post-Production, BBC Elstree, Elstree...
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Listen Again: Paul Welsh speaks to BBC Radio 5 Live

This morning, on the breakfast show, Paul Welsh spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live about the history of the studios in Elstree and Borehamwood.  Paul reminisced about his first visit to the studios, the impact on the local community and the most important film to come out of Borehamwood. You can listen to the interview at the following link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02bqbb2...
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The Elstree Project on BBC News tomorrow

Tomorrow is quite a busy day for us! Paul Welsh is going to be speaking on the BBC Radio 5 breakfast show, and Howard will be speaking to BBC Radio Ulster, Shropshire and BBC London. BBC Breakfast News on BBC One will also show a clip from our Elstree Project interview with Steven Spielberg, and the BBC Six O'Clock News will be showing a longer report, including an interview with me and a clip from our Elstree Project interview with Sir Roger Moore. Finally, there are still tickets left to our documentary screening in Hatfield, at 7:30pm!  http://www.herts.ac.uk/about-us/events/2014/november/from-borehamwood-to-hollywood-the-rise-and-fall-and-rise-of-elstree-q-and-a We would really like to thank Elstree Studios, BBC Elstree Centre, Nigel Craze and Lizo Mzimba for their help and for filming the TV news report today; and Melanie Fanstone and Roberto Perrone for their support....
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The Elstree Project featured in the news

The past month has been busy for our project!  We have made the cover story of Hertfordshire Life magazine with a story about the centenary, and an interview with Howard Berry about our forthcoming documentary. Newsquest, publishers of the Elstree and Borehamwood Times, have produced a fantastic souvenir publication called Screen 100.  The booklet contains the story of the studios and the town, and features a profile of The Elstree Project, with quotes from some of our interviewees. The October 1st edition of the Welwyn Hatfield Times features an article on page 38 devoted to the documentary. The BFI presented a special screening of Blackmail, for the centenary, and Elstree Studios donated a bust of Alfred Hitchcock to the BFI. This was followed by a presentation by Howard about the 100 years of the studios, and featured project interview clips. BBC Arts have posted a clip online from our documentary, with an article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p027vf9p On Friday at 18:35, Howard will be interviewing Sir Roger...
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Interview 55: Meeting Louise Gold, British Muppeteer and actress

On Sunday 7th, Bob and I travelled into London to record our 55th interview as a project! We are so lucky to have had the opportunity to film with Louise Gold.  We spent just over two hours with her, and asked her about her time working at ATV Studios in Borehamwood when she worked on The Muppet Show.  Louise told us about Jim Henson and how he encouraged his whole crew to do well, and getting to sing with Jerry Nelson, as well as when she met Danny Kaye. After The Muppet Show ended, Louise continued with the production team across the road to EMI Elstree Studios, where they made The Great Muppet Caper and The Dark Crystal back-to-back.  ...
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