British Film Studios
Kiri Bloom Walden
The British film industry was already well established when Hollywood sprang to life in 1911, and has remained at the forefront of film-making ever since; from Cecil Hepworth and Alfred Hitchcock to Ridley Scott and Christopher Nolan, and all the innumerable artistic and technical titans in between, the UK has never been far from the cinematic vanguard. Originally flat theatrical sets on temporary stages (often in gardens!), early British studios could be found everywhere from Glasgow to Brighton, and by the 1920s elaborately lit indoor production stages had developed. Stiff competition from the ‘big five’ US studios led to seismic upheavals over the coming decades, yet names like Alexander Korda, Carol Reed, David Lean and Richard Attenborough attest to Britain’s enduring stature. From quintessentially British studios and productions – Gainsborough romances, Ealing comedies, Hammer horrors and many more – to the British role in blockbusting franchises like James Bond, Star Wars and Harry Potter, Kiri Bloom Walden here tells the century-long story of British film, illustrating it with colourful photographs of actors, directors and production staff at work.