Definition October 2021 - Web



“This is the way we’ve always done it” is one of the most dangerous phrases in the English language. Tom Ward of Sandstorm Films tells us how he questioned the gruelling days synonymous with the film industry – and reveals a dynamic alternative

including a range of sizes, various levels of soundproofing, and a fire-retardant floor for pyrotechnics. Its lighting and grip offering is also vast and impressive. Essentially, a client can arrive with a director, DOP and art director in tow, and have all their needs met. “A lot of clients literally just send us a storyboard and turn up on the day,” says Ward. “In the interim, the team will have been busy preparing and building sets, if need be – not to mention polishing glasses in the on-site cafe and bar.” PLAY HARD A purposefully curated range of tech and a skilled, dedicated team only scratch the surface of what makes Sandstorm Films uniquely desirable to clients. Tom tells us that clients often describe making their film akin to being on holiday. “We combine a studio production experience with a member’s club. There’s custom-built studios and, across the road, the club – with cafe, meeting rooms and director’s lounge, which is where a lot of the clients end up hanging out on shoots. And then the top floor is for massage therapy, along with a sauna.” The Director Club, built by the set design team throughout lockdown, certainly provides a haven for members during stressful productions. Encased in planed English oak, atop gorgeous, rich green tones – and basking in soft, golden light – patrons can enjoy a selection of local craft beers and an exclusively procured wine list. On-site chefs offer an impressive menu that caters to all dietary requirements.

director Tom Ward affirms, “We champion the best of the best. Not because it’s popular, but because it’s actually good.” This has proved favourable for Sandstorm Films, as an early advocate of the Arri Alexa, taking a gamble and pre-ordering two before release. It has invested the time to learn the intricacies of the ever-popular Technodolly, available for studio or on-location shoots – alongside the staff to operate it with ease. And it offers the Phantom Flex for high- quality, high-speed capture requirements. Sandstorm Films has a plethora of benefits between its three studios,

SANDSTORM FILMS PROVIDES a stark departure from what we expect a film studio to be – its headquarters look like a luxury countryside getaway. Converted from an old dairy farm near the Cotswolds, it has three purpose-built studios, an impressive array of equipment and 18 full-time members of staff – including production, post-production and even massage therapists. WORK SMART The company takes a pragmatic approach to acquiring tech and equipment. Managing

AT YOUR LEISURE The Director Club is a haven for crews on a film shoot. It includes the Director’s Cut Cafe – a rustic, but stylish space made for digging into a meal, sitting back with a barista coffee, or savouring a craft beer or glass of wine


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