Studios Puts Elstree On The Map!

16 July 2011, 07:44 | Updated: 21 July 2011, 12:53

A man who has worked with celebs like Tom Hanks and Kate Winslet has been telling Heart that Elstree Studios is going from strength to strength.

John Schoonraad is a prosthetics artist and lifecaster who has worked at the studios in Borehamwood for the last 30 years.

John started his career doing fibre plastering. His first film in Elstree was called Green Ice, and since then he has worked on Star Wars, Wolfman, Xmen, Kick Ass and The Kings Speech.

John’s been telling Heart his work is very widespread:

“We do action props, we do work for the armed forces and for the police - re-enactments for their training videos. Plus pop videos and the arts. Our work encompasses a great deal of the arts, TV, film and all sorts.”

You walk into John’s studio and you are automatically greeted by some familiar faces and also some of the unfamiliar, like a dead dog, dead bodies and aliens.

John says that a good imagination is key in his profession:

“When a director walks in you have to be able to creatively link with what they want. Once you’ve done that you have to make it and make it they way they want it and make it move. Make up has to move on the face or if there is a static object it has to look like a static object.”

Scenes from multi award winning The Kings Speech were also shot at the studios, with John working on the prosthetics on the movie. He’s says thanks to the success of that film, the studios is one of the best in the world:

“The studios have always been on the map. There’s been some amazing people at the studios and the stories will go on forever and it’s still going on the forever.”

To listen to the full interview with John Schoonraad click here.