Ealing Studios is a television and film production company and facilities provider at Ealing Green in West London. Will Barker bought the White Lodge on Ealing Green in 1902 as a base for film making, and films have been made on the site ever since. It is the oldest continuously working studio facility for film production in the world,and the current stages were opened for the use of sound in 1931.
It is best known for a series of classic films produced in the post-WWII years, including Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), Passport to Pimlico (1949), The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), and The Ladykillers (1955). The BBC owned and filmed at the Studios for forty years from 1955 until 1995.
Since 2000, Ealing Studios has resumed releasing films under its own name, including the revived St Trinian's franchise. In more recent times, films shot here include The Importance of Being Earnest (2002) and Shaun of the Dead (2004), as well as The Theory of Everything (2014), The Imitation Game (2014), Burnt (2015) and Devs (miniseries) (2020). Interior scenes of the British period drama television series Downton Abbey were shot in Stage 2 of the studios. The Met Film School London operates on the site.
The site was first occupied by Will Barker Studios from 1902.From 1929, it was acquired by theatre producer Basil Dean, who founded Associated Talking Pictures Ltd. He was joined on the management level by Stephen Courtauld and Reginald Baker. In 1931, they built Ealing Studios, transferring all production there in December of that year. When Dean left in 1938 to be replaced by Michael Balcon from MGM, about 60 films had been made at the studios. Balcon discontinued the ATP name and began to issue films under the Ealing Studios name. In 1944, the company was taken over by the Rank Organisation.
In the 1930s and 1940s, the facility as ATP and then Ealing Studios produced many comedies with stars such as Gracie Fields, George Formby, Stanley Holloway and Will Hay, who had established their reputations in other spheres of entertainment. The company was also instrumental in the use of documentary film-makers to make more realistic war films. These included Went the Day Well? (1942), The Foreman Went to France (1942), Undercover (1943), and San Demetrio London (1943). In 1945, the studio made its chiller compendium Dead of Night .
In the post-war period, the company embarked on a series of comedies which became the studio's hallmark. These were often lightly satirical and were seen to reflect aspects of British character and society. The first was Hue and Cry (1947) and the last Barnacle Bill (1956).
The best remembered Ealing films were produced between 1948 and 1955: Whisky Galore! (1949), Passport to Pimlico (1949), Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), The Man in the White Suit (1951), The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953), The Cruel Sea (1953) and The Ladykillers (1955) are now seen as classics of British cinema.
The BBC bought the studios in 1955, though productions bearing the Ealing name continued to be made at the MGM British Studios at Borehamwood for two years. In 1958, Associated British Picture Corporation acquired Ealing’s parent company, Associated Talking Pictures, together with its extensive film library. The BBC based its Film Department at the studios; and at its peak 56 film crews used the studios as a base for location filming of dramas, documentaries and other programmes; shot on 16 mm and occasionally 35 mm film. Led by a director, these crews usually consisted of a Lighting Cameraman, a camera assistant, a lighting technician (known as a 'spark'), and a sound recordist. Initially these crews were equipped with Arriflex ST cameras and EMI L2 quarter inch tape recorders that had to be tethered to one another with a physical sync cable to ensure the picture and sound ran in lock. In later years, Eclair NPR cameras replaced the Arriflex machines and Nagra tape recorders replaced the EMI units. The Nagras made use of 'crystal sync', a system that provided synchronisation between the camera and the tape recorder remotely, removing the need for a physical cable. There were also over 50 cutting rooms, equipped with Steenbeck editing tables, working on every genre except News and Current Affairs. The editing suites came complete with movable film trim bins and Acmade picsyncs (picture synchronisers) for synchronising the film and sound rushes, and working with the edited cutting copy. The latter was especially useful when splitting the sound track(s) and adding additional effects, atmospheres, music and commentary tracks in readiness for film dubbing.
Many programmes came out of Ealing from Alistair Cooke's America edited by Alan Tyrer and photographed by Kenneth MacMillan to Z-Cars edited by Shelia Tomlinson and many others and Cathy Come Home edited by Roy Watts, assisted by Roger Waugh. These programmes had post production support, viewing theatres, transfer suites, dubbing theatre, maintenance; all these staff and the film crews made up what was fondly known as the TFS Family.
It was not unknown for major international film stars to visit the studios during BBC Television days. Shortly after The Eagle Has Landed (1976) was released in London on 31 March 1977,Michael Caine was present at the studios during his promotional tour for the film. Apart from the regular production staff and technicians involved with filming the associated interview, at his table in the studio canteen he was surrounded by a large entourage of followers during the obligatory break period.
In the 1980s, the BBC developed and expanded the use of electronic PSC (Portable Single Camera) location equipment and the use of 16 mm film on location gradually declined. The BBC also used the studio facilities at Ealing for filmed inserts where an electronic studio could not be used, such as for the excavation site in Quatermass and the Pit (1958–59), The White Rabbit (TV mini-series, 1967), Colditz (1972–74) and the communal sequences in Porridge (1974–77). Programmes wholly shot on film were made there also, such as Alice in Wonderland (1966), The Singing Detective (1986), Portrait of a Marriage (1986), and Fortunes of War (1987).
The BBC had preview theatres to run 16 mm sepmag film and 35 mm. The 16 mm machines were Bauer and the 35 mm projectors Kalee 21. The projection area was a long room (open plan) with projectors serving theatres E -J. There was a separate projection room in the same area for theatre K, which was 35 mm. There was also a dubbing theatre B, where 16 mm productions would be dubbed, and film dispatch and sound transfer suites, where the quarter-inch tape from Nagra tape machines would be transferred to 16 mm magnetic film. Film previews ran rushes, cutting copies, synch rushes, answer prints and transmission prints before going to telecine.
Television Film Studios was also the home before, during and after 1977, of the BBC TV Film Technical & Training Section run by the Senior Assistant, Training, Frank A. Brown. Courses were based in a lecture room at the studios, typically lasting 6 weeks, and comprised both theoretical training, with extensive information-sheet documentation being provided, plus day excursions for practical experience sessions to film cutting rooms, a film dubbing theatre and the Rank Film Laboratories at Denham (where a considerable quantity of BBC TV film programme content was processed and printed). The courses provided instruction to trainees, culminating in a written theory test, with each either being tailored to film photography, film sound or film editing skills for incoming trainees in these departments. The BBC Engineering Training Department, for training in video work and all aspects where a detailed knowledge of electronics is essential, has, alternatively, been based at Wood Norton Hall, Evesham.
With the BBC seeking to reduce costs and in particular studio facilities, a decision was taken to sell Ealing Studios on the open market. Although a sale was agreed with BBRK, the BBC inserted a buy-back clause so that in the event that BBRK (for whatever reasons) put the site up for sale then the BBC would have first option to purchase. BBRK found it necessary to sell the site and the BBC repurchased the site and sold it on for £1.00 to the National Film and Television School, (NFTS).[ citation needed ]
In 1995, the studios were purchased by the NFTS and again in mid-2000 by a consortium led by Fragile Films' Uri Fruchtmann and Barnaby Thompson, Harry Handelsman and John Kao, with an intention to revive the fortunes of the studio. Handelsman's Manhattan Loft Corporation redeveloped the 3.8-acre site to include the existing Grade II listed sound stages. The studio has since begun to produce theatrical films again, such as Lucky Break (2001), The Importance of Being Earnest (2002), and Valiant (2005). Shaun of the Dead and horror film The Descent (2005) were both shot on the lot.
In 2007, Ealing revived the St Trinian's franchise, the second film, St. Trinian's, The Legend of Fritton's Gold was released in December 2009 and took over £7 million at the UK Box Office. Between these, Ealing released Easy Virtue (2008), directed by Stephan Elliott and Dorian Gray (2009), directed by Oliver Parker.
Ealing Studios is used by the Met Film School London, which has a purposely built film school on the lot and use of the studios. ITV drama Downton Abbey filmed the kitchen and servants' quarters on stages 3A and 3B.[ citation needed ] The studio is also home to The Imaginarium, a production company and studio specializing in performance-capture, founded by Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish.
16 mm film is a historically popular and economical gauge of film. 16 mm refers to the width of the film ; other common film gauges include 8 and 35 mm. It is generally used for non-theatrical film-making, or for low-budget motion pictures. It also existed as a popular amateur or home movie-making format for several decades, alongside 8 mm film and later Super 8 film. Eastman Kodak released the first 16 mm "outfit" in 1923, consisting of a camera, projector, tripod, screen and splicer, for US$335. RCA-Victor introduced a 16 mm sound movie projector in 1932, and developed an optical sound-on-film 16 mm camera, released in 1935.
Kinescope, shortened to kine, also known as telerecording in Britain, is a recording of a television program on motion picture film, directly through a lens focused on the screen of a video monitor. The process was pioneered during the 1940s for the preservation, re-broadcasting and sale of television programmes before the introduction of quadruplex videotape, which from 1956 eventually superseded the use of kinescopes for all of these purposes. Kinescopes were the only practical way to preserve live television broadcasts prior to videotape.
Linear video editing is a video editing post-production process of selecting, arranging and modifying images and sound in a predetermined, ordered sequence. Regardless of whether it was captured by a video camera, tapeless camcorder, or recorded in a television studio on a video tape recorder (VTR) the content must be accessed sequentially.
In film and television production, B-roll, B roll, B-reel or B reel is supplemental or alternative footage intercut with the main shot. The term A-roll, referring to main footage, has fallen out of use.
Nagra is a brand of portable audio recorders produced from 1951 in Switzerland. Beginning in 1997 a range of high-end equipment aimed at the audiophile community was introduced, and Nagra expanded the company’s product lines into new markets.
Adolf Arthur Englander, BSC was a British television cinematographer. He was one of the first film cameramen to work seriously in the field of television in the UK, which for much of its early period almost exclusively employed electronic cameras.
U-matic is an analogue recording videocassette format first shown by Sony in prototype in October 1969, and introduced to the market in September 1971. It was among the first video formats to contain the videotape inside a cassette, as opposed to the various reel-to-reel or open-reel formats of the time. The videotape is 3⁄4 in (19 mm) wide, so the format is often known as "three-quarter-inch" or simply "three-quarter", compared to open reel videotape formats in use, such as 1 in (25 mm) type C videotape and 2 in (51 mm) quadruplex videotape.
Videography is the process of capturing moving images on electronic media and even streaming media. The term includes methods of video production and post-production. It used to be considered the video equivalent of cinematography, but the advent of digital video recording in the late 20th century blurred the distinction between the two, as in both methods the intermediary mechanism became the same. Nowadays, any video work could be called videography, whereas commercial motion picture production would be called cinematography.
In filmmaking, dailies are the raw, unedited footage shot during the making of a motion picture. The term comes from when movies were all shot on film because usually at the end of each day, the footage was developed, synced to sound, and printed on film in a batch for viewing the next day by the director, selected actors, and film crew members. After the advent of digital filmmaking, "dailies" were available instantly after the take and the review process was no longer tied to the overnight processing of film and became more asynchronous. Now some reviewing may be done at the shoot, even on location, and raw footage may be immediately sent electronically to anyone in the world who needs to review the takes. For example, a director can review takes from a second unit while the crew is still on location or producers can get timely updates while travelling. Dailies serve as an indication of how the filming and the actors' performances are progressing. The term was also used to describe film dailies as "the first positive prints made by the laboratory from the negative photographed on the previous day".
Several portions of the long-running British science-fiction television programme Doctor Who are no longer held by the BBC. Between 1967 and 1978 the BBC routinely deleted archive programmes for various practical reasons—lack of space, scarcity of materials, and a lack of rebroadcast rights. As a result, 97 of 253 episodes from the programme's first six years are currently missing, primarily from seasons 3, 4 and 5, leaving 26 serials incomplete. Many more were considered lost until recovered from various sources, mostly overseas broadcasters.
Offline editing is part of the post-production process of film making and television production in which raw footage is copied and the copy only is then edited, thereby not affecting the camera original film stock or video tape. Once the project has been completely offline edited, the original media will be assembled in the online editing stage.
Television crew positions are derived from those of film crew, but with several differences.
The Maidstone Studios, formerly called TVS Television Centre, is the UK's largest independent television studio complex, and is based at Vinters Park in Maidstone, Kent, UK. It has been home to a varied selection of independent British television programming including Later... with Jools Holland, Jools' Annual Hootenanny, Take Me Out, Catchphrase, as well as popular children's shows such as Mister Maker and Let's Play for CBeebies.
The multiple-camera setup, multiple-camera mode of production, multi-camera or simply multicam is a method of filmmaking and video production. Several cameras—either film or professional video cameras—are employed on the set and simultaneously record or broadcast a scene. It is often contrasted with a single-camera setup, which uses one camera.
Auricon cameras were 16 mm film Single System sound-on-film motion picture cameras manufactured in the 1940s through the early 1980s. Auricon cameras are notable because they record sound directly onto an optical or magnetic track on the same film as the image is photographed on, thus eliminating the need for a separate audio recorder. The camera preceded ENG video cameras as the main AV tool of television news gathering due to its portability–and relatively quick production turn-around–where processed negative film image could be broadcast by electronically creating a positive image. Additionally, the Auricon found studio use as a 'kinescope' camera of live video off of a TV screen, but only on early pre-NTSC line-locked monochrome systems.
Articles related to the field of motion pictures include:
The BBC Elstree Centre, sometimes referred to as the BBC Elstree Studios, is a television production facility, currently owned by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The complex is located between Eldon Avenue and Clarendon Road in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England.
Electronovision was a process used by producer and entrepreneur H. William "Bill" Sargent, Jr. to produce a handful of motion pictures, theatrical plays, and specials in the 1960s and early 1970s using a high-resolution videotape process for production, later transferred to film via kinescope for theatrical release.
A sound follower, also referred to as separate magnetic, sepmag, magnetic film recorder, or mag dubber, is a device for the recording and playback of film sound that is recorded on magnetic film. This device is locked or synchronized with the motion picture film containing the picture. It operates like an analog reel-to-reel audio tape recording, but using film, not magnetic tape. The unit can be switched from manual control to sync control, where it will follow the film with picture.
Rhodesia Television (RTV) was a live-broadcast, television station operating in Southern Rhodesia as a private company. It was established on the 14th of November, 1960, first in Salisbury, with transmissions in Bulawayo beginning seven months later. It was only the fourth TV service in Africa after Algeria, Nigeria and Egypt, and the first such service in southern Africa, since South Africa did not introduce television until 1976.