Pinewood Studios: Wikis

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The old gatehouse at Pinewood Studios

Pinewood Studios is a major British film studio situated in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire. Approximately 20 miles (32 km) west of Central London on what was the estate of Heatherden Hall, the studios were created in 1934 by Charles Boot and built within 12 months by the Henry Boot Company of Sheffield. Boot drew his inspiration from the latest Hollywood movie studios. J. Arthur Rank later took control of both Pinewood and Denham Film Studios, which were often used by producer Alexander Korda.

In 2001, Pinewood Studios merged with Shepperton Studios, the other leading British film production location. Both studios are linked to the media network Sohonet. In 2004, Pinewood Shepperton floated successfully on the London Stock Exchange. In 2005, Pinewood Shepperton acquired Teddington Studios. Collectively the company has 41 stages, including ten digital television studios (including "presentation" studios), gardens & woodland for outdoor shooting, one of Europe’s largest exterior water tanks, and a new dedicated underwater stage.

The studios have acted as the base for the long-running James Bond and Carry On British film series. Occasionally the 007 films use other studios due to booking conflicts and other complications.

Some films have also used the studio itself as a location. Peeping Tom (1960) shows people driving out through the main gate and has various shots in the studios (showing things behind the camera), offices & corridors. Return to the Edge of the World (1978) includes shots of director Michael Powell driving into the studio. Heatherden Hall (originally converted to production offices but later restored and hired out for events) has appeared in several films: it was made to look fire-damaged and derelict for the 1972 children's film The Amazing Mr Blunden and also appeared as the Indian residence of Governor Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond in Carry On up the Khyber.

Contents

Television

Pinewood Studios is used for television productions in additional to film productions, with the stages being used for both single-camera (such as filmed drama, or the Ricky Gervais sitcom Extras) and multi-camera productions (such as Sky1's Brainiac). There are also two dedicated digital television studios on the site (named, appropriately, "tv one" and "tv two") which have concrete/resin levelled floors (as opposed to the traditional wooden floors found in sound stages) both measure 8,960 sq ft (832 m2).

Series shot at Pinewood include the game shows The Weakest Link, Dog Eat Dog, Shafted, and Take It or Leave It ; and sitcoms including the BBC's My Family and The Green Green Grass, and Channel 4's The IT Crowd. One of the first multi-camera shows to be made at Pinewood Studios was the final two series of the Thames Television version of Strike It Lucky, which was recorded in one of the sound stages (using an outside broadcast unit for camera facilities) from 1993 to 1995.

007 Stage

A vast silent stage, aptly named the 007 Stage, was built for the 1977 Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me and featured a massive water tank, one of the largest in Europe. The stage burnt to the ground in 1984; it was rebuilt four months later and renamed Albert R. Broccoli's 007 Stage in time for filming to commence on A View to a Kill. Another fire on 30 July 2006 seriously damaged the stage, causing the roof to partly cave in. Construction of a new stage began on 18 September and was completed in under six months.[1]

Expansion plans

In November 2007, Pinewood announced a £200m expansion plan, known as Project Pinewood.[2] If built the development would see replicas of streetscapes and zones replicating locations from the UK, Europe and the USA. Planned zones include a college campus, Amsterdam, modern European housing, Venice, Lake Como, Paris, an Amphitheatre, Prague, West coast American housing, warehousing and downtown New York sets, Chicago, Vienna, a castle, a UK canal, Chinatown and a London street market built.[3] In addition it will also be used as residential housing, with the proposed creative community, expected to be in the region of 2000 and 2250, being integrated with the film locations.[3]

The planning application was rejected by South Buckinghamshire District Council in October 2009, following a prolonged opposition campaign by local residents, who formed a "Stop Project Pinewood" group. Pinewood intends to review the council's decision, which may lead to an appeal.[4]

Production history

Since its beginning, Pinewood Studios has been the location for many well-known films. Some of the most notable Pinewood productions (by release date) include:

1930s–1950s

1960s–1970s

1980s–1990s

2000s

See also

References

Further reading

  • Perry, George (1976). Movies from the Mansion - a history of Pinewood Studios. London: Elm Tree Books. ISBN 0-241-10799-7. 
  • Owen, Gareth (2006). The Pinewood Story. Richmond: Reynolds & Hearn. ISBN 978-1-905287-27-7. 
  • Bright, Morris (2007). Pinewood Studios - 70 years of fabulous filmmaking. London: Carroll & Brown. ISBN 978-1-904760-63-4. 

External links

Coordinates: 51°32′55″N 0°32′06″W / 51.54861°N 0.535°W / 51.54861; -0.535

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