Category Archives: News

Platinum Stages Launch at Elstree Studios

On Thursday 30th June, the new Platinum Stages at Elstree Studios were launched, with a tour for invited guests provided - including a climb to the very top of the lighting grid.

Hosted by Chris Denmead MD of Elstree Studios, and Morris Bright MBE Chairman of the studios, both Paul Welsh MBE and Howard Berry from The Elstree Project were delighted to be among the invited guests who got to be among the very first to see the new stages.

Morris Bright MBE and Paul Welsh MBE walking toward the new Platinum Stages.

Each stage is 16000 sq ft, and they can also be opened up to each other through a specially designed interior wall which still allows for soundproofing.

The new stages were built during the pandemic years, and installed during full studio operations, with the backlot...

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New exhibition opens celebrating people from the studios

On Tuesday 28th June, a new exhibition opened at Elstree Screen Arts (esa) to celebrate the people involved in the British Hollywood at Borehamwood and Elstree's studios. Led in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery, and featuring new portraits by artist Marysa Dowling; Howard from The Elstree Project was involved in helping train students from esa in oral history interviewing and also provided contacts with Louise Gold and Jenny Hanley to be among the contributors.

Big Brother narrator Marcus Bentley in the new exhibition.

The exhibition is available to be viewed Monday - Wednesday each week until the end of August, in the entrance foyer of esa.

More information can be found on the NPG website: https://www.npg.org.uk/visit/inspiring-people-across-the-uk/people-powered/elstree-behind-the-scenes-of-the-british-hollywood/

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40 Years of The Shining

On May 23rd, it was the 40th anniversary of the release of The Shining. To celebrate the official Stanley Kubrick social media pages (on instagram, twitter and facebook) released a new video with various crew and cast, plus super-fan Lee Unkrich, talking about their favourite scene or moment.

The Elstree Project were proud to have aided in the production of this video, arranging contributions - recorded during Covid-19 lockdown - from Dan Lloyd (Danny), Lisa and Louise Burns (The Grady Twins), Garrett Brown (Steadicam Operator), Gordon Stainforth (Assistant Editor, Soundtrack Editor), Jan Harlan (Executive Producer) and Lee Unkrich (Pixar film director and world expert in The Shining).

The video can be viewed at any of the links above.

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Staircases to Nowhere makes official debut

Our acclaimed 2013 oral history film about the making of The Shining, Staircases to Nowhere, is receiving it's official Warner Bros. debut by being screened on the official Stanley Kubrick facebook account.

The film will be screened on Thursday 7th May, at 1700 BST (GMT+1), and will be followed by a pre-recorded Q&A with project leader and filmmaker Howard Berry.

To see the stream, tune in live on the day at this link: https://www.facebook.com/StanleyKubrick/

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Howard Gives Annual Kubrick Lecture

Howard Berry, leader of The Elstree Project, was invited by the Design Museum and University of the Arts London, to give the second annual Stanley Kubrick Lecture at the Design Museum on Friday 13th September 2019.

Howard's lecture - entitled Surviving The Shining, or: “This guy should be sued!” How The Shining was filmed at Elstree and Changed the Studio Forever… and ever… and ever… - gave the comprehensive story of how production of The Shining utilised the space at EMI Elstree Studios, from soundstages and backlot, to workshops and offices.

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Terry Rawlings, Obituary

Today we were very sad to learn of the passing of Terry Rawlings, film editor and post-production supervisor on some of the most well known and recognised films of the latter half of the 20th Century.

Terry was born in London in 1933, he started working in the industry in 1955 when he joined Rank Screen Services.

After leaving Rank, and with a union card, he went to Shepperton to work as an assistant editor on Town on Trial (1957) starring John Mills. Following this, he became a trainee at Elstree Studios (ABPC) in Borehamwood, where he worked in the cutting rooms on various films as an assistant sound editor until 1961.

"I [...] became an apprentice in the film business because I loved what I was doing. And every time we worked with a different editor you learnt something new. And the thing...

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The Elstree Project on the BBC One Show

In April 2018, I received a phone call from an insert producer for BBC's The One Show. Katharina Kubrick had been approached by them to participate in a special report to mark the 50th anniversary of the brilliant 2001: A Space Odyssey. Along with an interview featuring Katharina at the Kubrick Archive at LCC, they wanted to include a section in which the effects were recreated. Katharina was kind enough to recommend me, and I was happy to accept.

The brief was to recreate the slit-scan effect used in the famous Stargate sequence from the film, using similar techniques to the original and not CG.

My first thought was to use the TV Studio at work - the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, UK - to have as a base for the...

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Ray Merrin Passes Away

It is with a heavy heart that we pass on the news of Ray Merrin’s passing. A wonderful sound re-recording mixer and supervising sound mixer of many features, including the Oscar winning film The Last Emperor. Ray was a sound editor on The Shining, and worked under the brilliant Bill Rowe at Elstree for many years, including being one of the first people to ever work with Dolby sound on the sound mix for A Clockwork Orange. Ray was a very warm, kind and generous man, who took the time on several occasions in his later years to share his memories with our project and with the film undergraduate students at the University of Hertfordshire. Our thanks go to Paul Welsh and Elstree Screen Heritage for facilitating these meetings and for introducing Ray to the project. We last saw Ray when we invited him to a special crew screening of Return to Oz, at Elstree Studios, in celebration of...
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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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