UK Centre of Screen Excellence launches at Elstree Screen Arts Academy

12 May 2021

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ESA Students meet Roger Morris and Gareth Ellis-Unwin

The UK’s second Centre of Screen Excellence will be launched in Elstree & Borehamwood, marking another major milestone in the drive to offer relevant opportunities and training to young people who are looking for careers in film and high-end TV.

The industry-led skills body ScreenSkills, Elstree Screen Arts Academy, Elstree Studios and the National Film and Television School have joined forces to create the Centre of Screen Excellence: Elstree and offer new craft and tech traineeships for 18 and 19-year-olds in areas of skills need.

The initiative is supported by ScreenSkills with National Lottery funds awarded by the BFI (British Film Institute) as part of the BFI’s Future Film Skills strategy which highlighted the need for 10,000 new recruits into the industry by 2022. Centres of Screen Excellence are designed to bring together local and national partners to build capacity in production hubs with a more inclusive, highly skilled workforce.


Elstree and Borehamwood is an excellent place to develop the initiative which launched with Centre of Screen Excellence: Yorkshire last year. It is home to a number of large studio spaces and production companies including Elstree Studios, Universal Production Services, BBC Elstree, BBC Studioworks and Sky Studios Elstree – opening in 2022. It is also a stone’s throw from Warner Bros Studios Leavesden. These leading creative industry partners are working with Elstree Screen Arts Academy to provide work placements and mentoring in support of the Centre of Screen Excellence traineeship.


The Centre of Screen Excellence: Elstree will capitalise on courses in costume, grip, hair and make-up, lighting and production assistant developed with industry practitioners for – and lessons learned from – the pilot Centre of Screen Excellence in Yorkshire. Elstree Screen Arts has also developed its own course in art direction to meet local demand.


Up to 60 places will be available from this September in these six key skills shortage areas and candidates who successfully complete the course will receive a Centre of Screen Excellence UK Craft Skills Certificate.


The courses will provide applied training from Elstree Screen Arts Academy. They will receive specialist technical tuition from partner professionals within the film and TV industry and on-set production placements at world-class studios. Students will also attend two ‘bootcamps’ with the National Film and Television School designed to make them work-ready by preparing them for the specific requirements of working in productions and for freelance life (including tax, invoicing and networking).


The Centre of Screen Excellence: Elstree is committed to providing increased access and opportunities to young people currently under-represented within the creative sector.


Roger Morris, Chair and Founder of the ESA and MD of Elstree Studios said:

“I’m delighted to be able to join with ESA and ScreenSkills and the NFTS to provide vocational education and training for the creative industries and to provide young people with industry placements to ensure that they get the hands on training to be employable across our industry.” It is a testament to the team’s hard work at the ESA over the last 8 years that they are now an integral part of this great initiative by Screen Skills and the NFTS for our rapidly expanding Film and TV industry.


Chris Mitchell, Principal at Elstree Screen Arts Academy, said:

“We are so proud to be designated as a UK Centre of Screen Excellence, delivering traineeships at ESA in these in-demand jobs in the screen industry. It’s exactly what we are all about; providing motivated and talented young people from all walks of life with the specialist technical and creative training to break into the film and TV industries. We look forward to some alumni Baftas in the coming years.”

Seetha Kumar, CEO ScreenSkills, said: “The collaboration between all those involved in this new centre is a fantastic example of how working together can create opportunities for young people from a wide variety of backgrounds and support the screen industries with a skilled pipeline of talent. Building an inclusive workforce is embedded in what we do and giving people the right tools to do a job well is an important first ”

Ben Roberts, Chief Executive of the BFI, said: “This is an exciting step in our strategy to help train a wider workforce for the UK’s rapidly growing film and TV industry, using the first Centre of Excellence in Yorkshire as a blueprint for further centres around the UK. This new centre in Elstree will help the local area to capitalise on the industry’s increasing demand for ”

Gareth Ellis-Unwin, Head of Film and Animation, ScreenSkills and Academy and Bafta Award-winning producer, said: “We are delighted that the Centre of Screen Excellence: Elstree will build on the model developed and launched last year in Yorkshire so that young people and their parents and guardians can be confident in the training being offered and film and television benefit from a properly skilled local workforce. I shot both ‘The King’s Speech’ and my film ‘Exam’ at Elstree and am delighted to be continuing the connection by supporting local talent to get into an industry I love.”

ESA’s Promotional Video for the Centre of Screen Excellence: Elstree –


Elstree Screen Arts Academy


National Film & Television School


Brushstroke Make-Up and Hair Academy relocates to Elstree Studios

10 Nov 2020

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Brushstroke Make-Up and Hair Academy is opening a new training facility at Elstree Studios and is currently enrolling for courses starting March and September 2021, relocating from its previous home at Shepperton Studios.

Voted by The Stage as one of the “best training routes for getting into hair and make-up for stage and screen”, Brushstroke Make-Up and Hair Academy has been providing students with top quality accredited make-up courses for over 30 years. Brushstroke is accredited to offer BTEC, ITEC and VTCT qualifications and will soon be offering the HND level 5 qualification.

Cheraine Bell, Founder and Principal of Brushstroke Make-Up and Hair Academy, said: “I am so excited to be opening our new facilities in the world class Elstree Studios. I would never have thought that when I was younger, going into the studios with my father, that I would now be running a make-up and hair academy from here later on in life. I would like to thank Roger Morris and his team for all their help and support and making us feel so welcome.”

Elstree Studios is pleased to welcome Brushstroke Make-up and Hair Academy to the Elstree Studios production village. It provides a great opportunity for aspiring Make-Up Artists or Hair Stylists to be trained at the famous Studios. It also comes as Borehamwood continues to further develop as a major UK ‘Hub for Film & TV production’ with Elstree Studios building two new ‘Super Stages’ giving it 9 stages in all plus a large backlot and with the construction of the new 12-Stage Studio complex, ‘Sky Studios Elstree.’ BBC Elstree Centre, across the road from Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, has recently been refurbished and famously produces weekly TV Dramas ‘Holby City’ and ‘Eastenders’.

Elstree Studios is currently home to productions such as ‘The Crown’, the highly successful Netflix series. BBC Studioworks also has a base at Elstree Studios where it facilitates programmes such as ‘The Chase’, ‘Pointless’ and ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.

Elstree Studios’ Managing Director, Roger Morris, said: ‘We’re looking forward to welcoming the talented Brushstroke team and future students of Brushstroke Make-Up and Hair Academy. I have known Brushstroke for many years having worked with them previously at Teddington Studios and Shepperton Studios and it’s great to be back working with them again.’

Brushstroke graduate Olivia McMullen said: “I really recommend Brushstroke; the teachers are amazing and I gained so much experience. Since graduating from the 2-year BTEC Make-up and Hair Course, I have worked on ‘MUM’ Series 3 with tutor Juliette Tomes then went straight on to ‘EastEnders’ and I am now working on ‘Call the Midwife.’” Brushstroke has a high success rate of academy alumni going on to have exciting careers within the creative industries, read more success stories like Olivia’s here.

To enquire about the Brushstroke Make-up and Hair Courses for 2021 please visit their website: 

Elstree Studios becomes the first Studio to join Creative England’s new Filming in England Partnership

22 Oct 2020

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Creative England launches their Filming in England website

This week, Creative England launched their Filming in England website, a directory for film and TV productions looking to film outside of London in the UK.

The new website provides regional maps and studio guides, location galleries and helpful production resources. More information about Filming in England can be found here:

The website launch coincides with the launch of the new Filming in England Partnership which works to connect different organisations from studios to local authorities and Film Offices to ensure that England has the most film friendly environment possible. More information about the partnership can be found here:

Elstree Studios are pleased to have Creative England’s south east office based on site and have worked with the organisation on many projects. Elstree is the first studio to officially register as a member of the Filming in England Partnership and fully supports both the Partnership and website as an excellent initiative for the film and TV industry.

Elstree Studios’ Managing Director, Roger Morris, said: “I cannot emphasise enough the importance of the initiatives taken by Creative England to make Filming in England information easy to access. Their team is without doubt the most knowledgeable Film Production resource if you wish to make a Film or TV production in England.”

Hayley Armstrong, Head of Production Services at Creative England, said: “We are delighted to launch the new Filming in England website and hope that it will prove to be a valuable resource for film production companies the world over. With production activity resuming, and the launch of the Film & TV Production Restart Scheme, it has never been more important to showcase the incredible scope of locations and filming expertise we have on offer in England. From Star Wars to The Crown, Paddington to Peaky Blinders, England’s stunning scenery, experienced crew and world class studios, like Elstree Studios, make it one of the best places in the world to film. We are also delighted to announce our new Filming in England Partnership that includes Elstree Studios as a joined member.  Working in partnership with film offices, local authorities, organisations and studios across the country, we know that by working together, we can help the sector bounce back from the effects of the on-going pandemic and maintain England’s reputation as one of the best locations in the world.”

Lifecast: Lifecast Body Simulation’s ‘Medical Manikins’ used to test ventilators

21 Apr 2020

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Lifecast's Manikin's being used by Medical Professionals

Lifecast is a company based at Elstree Studios who provide prosthetics, VFX and props for the film and television industry, overseen by Creative Director, John Schoonraad. John has worked on many popular films including: Kick-Ass (2010), Beauty and the Beast (2017) and Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014).


As a branch of Lifecast, Lifecast Body Simulation started 3 years ago to create ‘medical manikins’ for research, training and education in health organisations.


Lifecast Body Simulation are currently making a significant contribution to the training of NHS staff. Due to their uniquely realistic appearance, Lifecast Body Simulation’s manikins are being used to train medical staff on the use of ventilators during the outbreak of novel coronavirus/Covid-19.


David Halliwell, Director of Lifecast Body Simulation, said: ‘the work we are undertaking recently has been to support the education of clinicians by ensuring that NHS teams are prepared for ‘surge’ capacity in the coming weeks. It is a great privilege to be able to help in this way.’


Manikins are also being used elsewhere in the world for medical preparations. David added: ‘Lifecast distribute worldwide and have most recently opened manufacturing in Florida – so we have stories from USA, Australia and Europe of how our work to ensure realism in simulation is preparing teams to cope with this unprecedented activity.’


Director and Co-Founder of Lifecast Body Simulation, Rob Clark, said: ‘We have loaned equipment for training at the new NHS Nightingale Hospital at the Excel Centre [London] for the duration of their operation. I personally delivered one of our Bodies to be used to train all the staff there to prepare for caring for large numbers of patients.’


Managing Director of Elstree Studios, Roger Morris, said: ‘The film and television industry has many transferable skills and Lifecast demonstrate how these film and TV creative skills can help the health industry generally and especially at this terrible time. Their initiative is fantastic and we applaud them.’

Lifecast: Life3D make PPE for Healthcare Workers

20 Apr 2020

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Lifecast is a company based at Elstree Studios who provide prosthetics, VFX and props for the film and television industry, overseen by Creative Director, John Schoonraad. John has worked on many popular films including: Kick-Ass (2010), Beauty and the Beast (2017) and Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014).


A branch of Lifecast, Life3D produce work using 3D Scanning and Printing equipment and techniques. Life3D is run by son of John, Tristan Schoonraad and Jasper Turner with Lennie Counsel and Gracie Schoonraad. Gracie Schoonraad explains below how their 3D printing equipment is being used in effort to support key workers during the outbreak of COVID-19 by producing essential PPE:


“It all started with an online article. Somebody was suggesting 3D printing parts for ventilators and PPE for patients and frontline workers.


Until this time, we were feeling pretty useless, other than staying at home, there was nothing else we could do to contribute to the ‘war effort’. We don’t have any nursing or healthcare qualifications, but what we do have are multiple 3D printers and the team use them day in and day out as part of their artwork.


I reached out to the Borehamwood Facebook community with a hope that we could contribute to the effort. Since we put the post out asking for help and guidance, people reached out from all over the country.


It was exciting. A sense of purpose finally in our state of unease and limbo.


I have heard of the national effort described similarly to Dunkirk and I would have to agree. Collective effort from many smaller groups creates a tsunami effect in the fight against this pandemic, which buys time for government projects to come to fruition. The government are putting together vast projects and facilities. They’re big and cumbersome, and they take time to get organised.


But due to the massive shortfall in lifesaving equipment and personal protective equipment for one reason or another, it is needed now.


We have some very good family friends; an artist friend of Tristan’s and his wife, a doctor of palliative medicine. By pure coincidence they already had started hatching a similar plan to help protect frontline healthcare workers so we decided to team up with them.


This team up has become bigger than anything we could have anticipated. Our friends have formed an online hub, drawing on multiple skills and disciplines of people, including legal professionals, web designers and IT experts. Huge research has gone in to designing our PPE that stands up to the infectious environments they’ll be used in, drawing on every possible medical advice available.


The scrub and face protection hub was born.


A virtual headquarters for coordinating hundreds of volunteers that have adapted their skill sets to 3D print and sew personal protection equipment (PPE), healthcare workers to order PPE for their place of work. All of which is free of charge at point of ‘sale’.


People have given us financial back up, which has helped to cover some direct costs of materials and are helping to deliver the goods in their cars.


The initial funding, we so generously received from our friends at Sunnymarch Productions. Adam Ackland and Benedict Cumberbatch kickstarted our project. It has enabled my husband and I to buy additional 3D printers, the material and essential supplies plus the setup of the website to maximise the manufacture of PPE that is so desperately needed. We now have multiple printers printing face visors twenty-four hours a day.


Small numbers, considering there are over half a million frontline workers. However, add up small pockets of ‘us.’ We can make a big impact.


We are bridging the chasm between safe healthcare practice with adequate personal protection equipment and potentially tragic consequences.”


Managing Director of Elstree Studios, Roger Morris, said: ‘The film and tv industry has many transferable skills and Lifecast demonstrate how these film and tv creative skills can help the health industry generally and especially at this terrible time. Their initiative is fantastic and we applaud them.’

BBC Studioworks extends Elstree Studios partnership

25 Nov 2019

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BBC Studioworks is continuing its successful partnership with Elstree Studios for another four years, until at least March 2024.

The collaboration sees BBC Studioworks continuing to hire studios ‘Elstree 8’, ‘Elstree 9’ and ‘George Lucas Stage 2’ from Elstree Studios – an arrangement initially formed in 2013 to temporarily house parts of BBC Studioworks’ operations while Television Centre was being redeveloped.

For the past six years, the arrangement has bolstered Studioworks’ presence in Elstree where it also sells studio ‘Elstree D’ (at BBC Elstree Centre) and post production services to the market. Complementing its two sites in Elstree, Studioworks reopened its operation at Television Centre in September 2017 where it runs a further three TV studios.

“This extension solidifies our presence in the London studios market and is testament to the success of our trusted partnership with Elstree Studios,” said Andrew Moultrie, CEO, BBC Studioworks. “Since our expansion at Elstree, we’ve achieved solid growth across our portfolio and continued to set the gold standard in studio operations – delivering many memorable productions together for our valued clients. As the TV industry continues to rapidly evolve, and demand for compelling content continues, we’re ideally placed for the realm of opportunities this presents.”

Roger Morris, MD Elstree Studios, said, “Our partnership with BBC Studioworks has meant that Elstree Studios has been able to offer television clients superb purposely configured state-of-the-art television facilities supplied and operated by BBC Studioworks. This has enabled the production of a whole raft of top TV shows at Elstree Studios. For instance, the use of the George Lucas Stage 2 for television production with its own permanent production gallery, qualifies this stage as the UK’s largest television studio. In addition, we provide adjoining dressing rooms, wardrobe and makeup areas all contained within a secure studio site close to central London.”

Some of the nation’s most loved and watched shows have been delivered by BBC Studioworks from its Elstree Studios facility. These include BBC One’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, ‘Have I Got News For You’ and ‘Pointless’, ITV’s ‘The Voice’, ‘The Voice Kids’ and ‘The Chase’, Netflix’s ‘The Crown’, Sky One’s ‘A League of Their Own’ and ITV2’s ‘Celebrity Juice’.

Elstree Film Festival 2019

01 Nov 2019

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Elstree Film Studios ran the Elstree Film Festival for the third year exclusively for local schools. Working collaboratively with Elstree University Technical College (UTC), the project offered resources, expertise and guidance from DRCM Ltd. The students made the films from scratch including scripting, producing, directing and acting.

We kicked off the week with a masterclass in script writing, character development and plot outline before the children split into their age appropriate film making teams in order to begin writing their scripts. Elstree UTC allowed pupils the run of its state-of-the-art building which provided a beautiful backdrop for the setting of all the films.

Students made five amazing films which you can see below with an added special sneak peak ‘behind the scenes’ video. The films are; ‘Frenemies’, ‘Gone’, ‘Murder by Midnight’, ‘The Missing Child’ and ‘Unsupervised.’

Behind the Scenes

Red Rock Entertainment Film Investment Seminar

11 Oct 2019

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Red Rock Entertainment’s hold film investment seminar here at Elstree Studios. These seminars are designed to help potential investors understand how film investment works.

Existing investors are also welcome, and will be able to meet some of the people involved in projects they have already invested in, along with also putting a face to their account manager here at Red Rock

We hold two film investment seminars a year, so if you are unable to make this one, we hope you will join us at some point in the future.

You can keep informed of future events via our website.

Also keep update to with our movie’s releases here on – Red Rock Entertainment IMDB page



We hold investment seminars for people who are looking to understand how to invest in the film industry. For film makers and other industry professionals we hold separate seminars at the Century Club in Shaftsbury Avenue.

Join us and other film industry professionals who will explain how film projects are selected, and nurtured to a point where they are ready for investment.



Speakers from one of the UK’s leading film accountancy firms will cover all aspects of how to maximise tax breaks through the HMRC’s SEIS, and EIS schemes.

Some of the benefits associated with SEIS and EIS are

  •  30% or 50% Tax Relief on your investment
  • No Income Tax to pay on Profits (if disposing of shares after 3 years)
  • No Capital Gains Tax (if disposing of shares after 3 years)
  • Capital Gaines Tax Deferral on Existing Liabilities or 50% write off (if any outstanding or due)
  • Shares Exempt from Inheritance Tax (after 2 years)
  • Further Tax Relief if any losses incurred (on disposal of shares)
  • EIS / SEIS Schemes Fully Approved by UK Government

We will also explain how, as an investor, you can benefit from Gap, Equity, and loan investments which can offer up to 10% guaranteed returns

Our Brochure on Red Rock Entertainment explains how EIS works. You can also view all out previous projects as well our sponsorships and charity work.

We will explain how the returns are distributed through a Collection Account Manager and an expert from this sector will also be speaking.

One of the leading film studios will also be present to answer any production related questions, along with speakers from Production Companies, Producers, Directors, and Actors.

There will be a Q & A session at the end, along with an opportunity to meet the guests individually.

Tickets for our events go on sale via Eventbrite.

A charge is made as there are limited spaces available, and ensures a higher turnout.

Refreshments will be available prior to the seminar start, at the break, and at the end of the seminar.

Creative England Proconnect Programme

03 Mar 2017

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Creative England is going to be launching its ERDF-backed ProConnect programme for Hertfordshire on 28th March and is inviting you along.

This programme of workshops, events and funding starting in Spring 2017 and running to summer 2019 is designed to help grow your business if you are a freelancer or small business owner operating in film/TV production or related industries in Hertfordshire.

The launch event, hosted by Elstree Studios, will provide an opportunity to hear more about the programme and how to get involved. As part of the networking launch evening there will be a panel of experts from across the region talking about their career journey and business, what they?ve learned along the way and how intervention such as the ProConnect programme can help you take your business to the next stage.


6:30 – 7:00pm: registration

7:00 – 7:15pm: welcome and introduction to ProConnect

7:15 – 8:00pm: panel session

8:00 – 9:00pm: networking drinks

9:00pm: ends

Come along to Elstree Studios on 28th March to find out what ProConnect can do for you and how to tackle the obstacles to growth that may be holding your business back. If you?d like to know more about the programme, visit the Creative England website:

On the evening Creative England will also be joined by supporters Performance Media Insurance who will be on hand to talk about how they support businesses and crew.

Red Rock Entertainment’s Film Investment

02 Jan 2016

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Criteria Required

  1. You must be a UK production company, although the Film or TV series can be made outside of the UK
  2. You must have a commercially viable production proposal for Film or TV.
  3. At least 80% of the finance must already be in place
  4. In order for Red Rock Entertainment, to properly evaluate the project you should include the following with your submission
  5. A developed script
  6. Sales estimates provided by a reputable sales agent, including details of any pre-sales
  7. Document containing synopsis, biography of the key players including cast, producers, writers, and director. List of all other companies that have signed up to the project i.e. Casting Agent, Post Production, and Sales Agents etc.
  8. A proposed budget and finance structure
  9. Mood Reel and Storyboard where applicable



We no longer invest in Horror, Psychological thrillers and Supernatural films.

Supporting Vimeo links & MP4 formats of supporting mood boards for visual & narrative influences are also accepted.

Please send submissions to Gary Collins

Red Rock Entertainment IMDB page