Century 21 FX Update, Alan Shubrook’s new book charting his emotional return to Stirling Road on the Slough Trading, premieres at The Future is Fantastic! this weekend. Should fans buy it? In one word – yes! Here’s why…
The book opens with Alan taking the reader on a personal tour of Century 21’s Studios on the Slough Trading Estate. It’s a great vehicle for Alan’s wonderful memories and photos.
In fact, it’s fair to say that at times it’s a poignant, slightly uncanny reading experience. Alan explains that, even after 45 years, many tiny details that betray the building’s illustrious past have survived, and are still recognisable. There’s the original toilet and broom cupboard that was turned into a shower for the special effect unit to use – much needed after a hard day’s work blowing things up! There are markings of camera pits on the floor – now filled in with concrete – which were dug so that effects could be filmed at ground level. There’s even a trip to Gerry Anderson’s old office.
The book is also full of fascinating and slightly sad ‘then and now’ pictures that demonstrate how the building has been transformed from one of Britain’s most sophisticated film studios in the 1960s to today’s more mundane function.
Special effects director Bill Camp is a major contributor to the book. Being a long-term friend of Alan’s, he gives an exclusive interview where he talks for the first time in nearly 50 years about his memories of working at Century 21, including his work on The Secret Service and the eventual closure of the studios.
The book also works well as a visual and accessible guide to behind the scenes trivia. The ‘Who’s Who of Puppets’ explains who was responsible for creating the expressions of some our favourite characters. Top 5 biggest Bangs showcases the preparation work for some of Alan’s most dramatic explosions, including the fiery climaxes of both Thunderbirds feature films….but which one is number 1?
We defy any fan not to be excited or taken aback by some of the never-before-seen-photos on show here. It’s 80 pages of pure joy, and is a worthy ‘update’ to Alan’s hugely successful Century 21 FX book. Grab yourself a copy while you can!
Alan will be presenting his amazing photographs at The Future is Fantastic! this weekend, and will be selling copies of his book.
Alternatively, you can buy your copy of the book online at www.century21fxupdate.com