January 2, 2017

Studios

Studio Photograph

Twickenham Film Studios was built on the site of a converted ice-skating rink at St Margaret’s, East Twickenham, Middlesex. From the new studios, Dr. Ralph Jupp founded the London Film Company in 1913. With guaranteed capital of �40,000 and an eye on the overseas market, Twickenham�s advertising manager was dispatched to America to engage experienced producers and directors, whilst Jupp acquired the services of actor John East as a casting manager, and through him, hired Percy Nash, an experienced producer.

As adaptations were very much in favour at the time, Harold Shaw was given the job of mounting the studios first feature – a full-scale production of The House Of Temperley (1913) based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel Rodney Stone. The film was a great success. Aware of the stiff competition from more established production companies, the London Film Company decided to put the emphasis on stylish productions. They produced a steady flow of films in their first year including Bachelor’s Love Story (1914) and Branscombe’s Pal (1914).

In 1914, Jupp lost the services of John East and Percy Nash, who decided to open their own Neptune Studios at Elstree. With the war in progress and American films flooding the home market, Twickenham experienced heavy losses despite a number of excellent productions from the Americans Harold M. Shaw and George Loane Tucker, as well as from British producers such as Maurice Elvey. Despite a small up-turn in profits problems continued to mount, and Jupp’s failing health resulted in the management of Twickenham being handed over to his cousin E E. Adams. During the war years, the Ideal Company leased the studio’s one stage for a period of time with producers Fred Paul and Maurice Elvey making films such as Dombey And Son (1917), Her Greatest Performance (1917) and Masks And Faces (1918), made to raise funds for the building of The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

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