A REDDITCH art director, artist and designer is urging people to campaign for more local film studios in the wake of his latest British production project.
John West, who lives in Winyates, recently worked on ITV’s new series ‘Victoria’ which aired last weekend, and he hopes people might be inspired to help bring studio production back to the Midlands.
The 67-year-old has been campaigning for film studios in the Midlands for a number of years and believes that losing work to London and other studios is damaging the creative reputation and career opportunities of talented local people.
“If the facilities were here, people would use them. There is great local talent and we just need the facilities to allow that talent to shine through,” he said.
“Many ‘British’ productions are in fact filmed in Belfast, because they have the studios to cope with the workload. I feel we are missing out on these opportunities because the studios do not exist here anymore, but that could and should change.”
The art director worked on Victoria, which was mainly filmed in Yorkshire and in the new Yorkshire Film Studios.
The production was one of the biggest John has ever worked on, with each episode costing more than £1 million and the huge Buckingham Palace set taking up 34,500 square feet of floor space.
“I would love to see local people and producers benefiting from the work these studios could bring. It just needs more people to get behind it, “ he added.
The writer of Peaky Blinders, Steven Knight, revealed earlier this year that he wants to breathe new life into the region’s ailing broadcasting sector and is also campaigning for six film studios in a complex at the NEC to attract major producers.
Visit www.crbmidlands.org.uk/ to support the campaign.