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This Clip From 1982 Talks About Revenge of the Jedi, The Dark Crystal and the State of The British SFX Industry

This Classic Clip Is a Retro Treasure Trove.

Every now and then you will get a gem of a video that will materialise out of nowhere and thanks to the awesome BBC Archives YouTube channel that's exactly what has happened.

This clip is from the British news programme called "Newsnight" and is entitled, "Is the BRITISH SFX Industry in CRISIS?"  It features Bernard Falk with quite literally an explosive introduction.  He asks if with the lack of funding is the British special effects industry in crisis?   The clip just keeps giving in regards to movie history.  We get to hear from Oscar-Winning Brian Johnson who has set up a new FX company called "Arkadon."  Johnson explains that they face an uncertain future with little development being done in the UK for motion control and if it doesn't change and adapt to the techniques being developed in the US then they will go down hill fast.  Their reputation he explains is what is currently getting them work.
Also interviewed is Jon Sorensen who worked on Flash Gordon, The Dark Crystal and Moonraker.  He explains that no investment is being made and as a result local talent unfortunately leave.  (Thankfully, due to tax-breaks and a pool of talent, the British special effects industry survived.)

Later in the clip we get a real treat as they visit Elstree studios.  We get to see a fantastic sign on one of the sound stages.  "Chapter III Prods" and "Revenge of the Jedi" showing what is in production.  I wonder if that sign still exists in someone's collection?
Finally we get to hear from Gary Kurtz who is there producing "The Dark Crystal" and we briefly get to see some of the set from the movie (they weren't allowed anywhere near the Star Wars set.)  Kurtz explains how the American studios are full up with television productions so the stage availability in the UK was a big attraction (along with cheap work forces.)  

It's a glorious clip.  Thanks to the BBC Archive for posting it.

This clip is from Newsnight, originally broadcast 8 December, 1982.

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