Pinewood Studios

Pinewood Studios

Pinewood Studios is a major British film studio situated in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire. Approximately 20 miles 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; see "Television" section), 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 two long-running British film series, the James Bond films and the "Carry On" films, both of which also used the studio's main buildings to represent various locations, including SPECTRE Island in "From Russia with Love". 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 now 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".


Pinewood Studios have recently become popular with television producers, with the film 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 '). 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.

The studios are currently home to worldwide hit BBC gameshow "The Weakest Link", and have been used for others such as "Dog Eat Dog" and short-lived ITV gameshow "Shafted". More recently, sitcoms such as the BBC's "My Family" and "The Green Green Grass" have been made there. One of the first multi-camera shows to be made at Pinewood Studios, of the recent era, was the final two series of the Thames Television version of "Strike It Lucky", starring Michael Barrymore, which was recorded in one of the sound stages (using an outside broadcast unit for camera facilities) from 1993-5. The popular Challenge TV gameshow Take It or Leave It hosted by Richard Arnold is also made at Pinewood Studios.

007 Stage

A vast silent stage, aptly titled 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 007 Stage burnt to the ground in 1984 due to petrol canisters being left over from the filming of Ridley Scott's "Legend". It was rebuilt 4 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 vast 007 stage, which had been transformed into a replica of Venice, the setting of the James Bond film Casino Royale, causing the roof to partly cave in. Eight fire engines took 90 minutes to bring the fire under control; a spokesman for the local fire brigade said gas canisters may have exploded inside the building. Filming had been completed on the stage several days before and it was being dismantled, so it did not delay production or release of the $130 million (£72m) film. [] The fire damaged stage was demolished on 13 September and 14. Construction on the new stage began on 18 September and was completed in under 6 months. [cite news | title = 007 Stage construction completed | publisher = Pinewood Studios| url =| accessdate =2007-04-10]

Expansion plans

In November 2007, Pinewood announced a £200m expansion plan, known as "Project Pinewood". [ [ Pinewood studios plan expansion] ] 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.cite web|url=|title=Project Pinewood press release|date=April 3 2008]

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.

Production history

Since its beginning Pinewood Studios has been the location for many well-known films. (For a full list of Pinewood-based productions by year see List of Pinewood Studios productions.)

Some of the most notable Pinewood productions (by release date) include:

*"Talk of the Devil" (1939)
*"Black Narcissus" (1947)
*"Oliver Twist" (1948)
*"The Red Shoes" (1948)
*"The Blue Lagoon" (1949)
*"The Importance of Being Earnest" (1952)
*"Genevieve" (1953)
*"A Town Like Alice" (1956)
*"The Spanish Gardener" (1956)
*"A Night to Remember" (1958)
*"Carry On Nurse" (1959)
*"Tiger Bay" (1959)
*"The League of Gentlemen" (1960)
*"Peeping Tom" (1960)
*"Whistle Down the Wind" (1961)
*"Dr. No" (1962)
*"From Russia with Love" (1963)
*"Goldfinger" (1964)
*"Thunderball" (1965)
*"The IPCRESS File" (1965)
*"Fahrenheit 451" (1966)
*"Arabesque" (1966)
*"You Only Live Twice" (1967)
*"Carry On Doctor" (1967)
*"Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" (1968)
*"Dracula Has Risen from the Grave" (1968)
*"Carry On Camping" (1969)
*"On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969)
*"The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" (1970)
*"Diamonds Are Forever" (1971)
*"Sleuth" (1972)
*"Madame Sin" (1972)
*"The Day of the Jackal" (1973)
*"Live and Let Die" (1973)
*"The Man with the Golden Gun" (1974)
*"The Man Who Would Be King" (1975)
*"The Spy Who Loved Me" (1977)
*"Superman" (1978)
*"The Shining" (1980)
*"For Your Eyes Only" (1981)
*"Clash of the Titans" (1981)
*"Pink Floyd The Wall" (1982)
*"Victor/Victoria" (1982)
*"Octopussy" (1983)
*"" (1985)
*"A View to a Kill" (1985)
*"Legend" (1985)
*"Little Shop of Horrors" (1985)
*"Aliens" (1986)
*"The Living Daylights" (1987)
*"Full Metal Jacket" (1987)
*"Hellraiser" (1987)
*"" (1988)
*"Batman" (1989)
*"Alien 3" (1992)
*"" (1994)
*"" (1996)
*"The Saint" (1997)
*"Tomorrow Never Dies" (1997)
*"The Fifth Element" (1997)
*"The World Is Not Enough" (1999)
*"Eyes Wide Shut" (1999)
*"Jesus Christ Superstar" (2000)
*"Die Another Day" (2002)
*"The Hours" (2002)
*"The Phantom of the Opera" (2004)
*"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (2005)
*"United 93" (2006)
*"Stardust" (2006)
*"Casino Royale" (2006)
*"" (2007)
*"Mamma Mia!" (2008)
*"The Dark Knight (2008)
*"Quantum of Solace (2008)

See also

* List of Pinewood Studios productions


Further reading


External links

* [ Pinewood Studios]
* [ Pinewood Studios online store]
* [ Pinewood Studios Albert R. Broccoli 007 Stage Official Website]
*Screenonline name|id=479433|name=Pinewood Studios
* [,-0.534575&spn=0.008206,0.025771&t=h| Pinewood Studios] at Google Maps

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