Twickenham Studios is investing £1m in an equipment upgrade as it gets back into full swing, after an uncertain future earlier this year. It’s also undergoing a complete overhaul of its three production studios. 

The first dubbing theatre is getting a new Gemini mixing desk, as is the second. The third, currently used for ADR and Foley, will also get an AMS Neve DFC PS1 mixing console.

The studios has already bought 3D projectors, including a £50k Christie projector for its theatre two dubbing theatre, and theatre one is certified Dolby Premiere.

As it looks to attract more TV productions, there are plans to build television mixing rooms and a grading suite, as well as refurbishing the changing, hair and make-up rooms. This will add to its existing cutting rooms.  

It is less than six months since property magnate and film buff Sunny Vohra saved Twickenham Studios from closure in June, taking the legendary facility out of adminstration.

In February, it looked like the end of an era, when it was announced that the studio had to go into receivership and would close one year before its centenary. The legendary studio was home to some of the best known films of the 60s, including Alfie, The Italian Job, Roman Polanski’s Repulsion and The Beatles’ Help and A Hard Day’s Night. More recently, it was used by Stephen Spielberg for the filming of War Horse and for the making of The Iron Lady.  Vohra stepped in after a petition to save the Studios gathered 1000 signatures in its first week, including those of directors Steven Spielberg, Michael Apted, Terry Jones, Peter Medak and Stephen Daldry. John Landis and Terry Jones.

Vohra, now managing director, appointed Maria Walker as chief operating officer. A former post production supervisor, she led the campaign to save the studios.

As well as the new investment in kit, Carl Childs has returned as head of engineering and Gwilym Perry has been recruited as foley mixer and ADR recordist. “Twickenham is back! We value film and TV equally and you will find us a centre of excellence,” says Walker.

It has already been used for Big Talk Productions’ new feature The Cuban Fury, which used all the stages across two months this summer. Among other productions, it is providing studio space for drama pilot Steffi from Emerald Films. 

Twickenham is looking to install its new equipment by spring of next year. It will remain open while the production studios are upgraded. 

Pippa Considine

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