South Tyneside base puts filmmakers at heart of growing North East creative sector

A burgeoning North East creative sector is helping a team of North East filmmakers tell stories about their homeland.

Award-winning South Shields film, television, and training company, Red Stamp Productions, is fast building a reputation for delivering “unique, quality” work about the North East and its diverse communities.

Co-founder, Connor Langley, who formed the company with Michael Lambert, and Michael Rowlands, believes the team’s affinity with the region helps drive their passion for projects.

Connor commented: “I had to move from the North East to cut my teeth in the industry, going to the North West to work on the documentary “Idris Elba, No Limits” for Discovery. It was a fantastic experience, but also one that helped me realise that while I enjoyed working on factual productions, it was scripted projects that really interested me.

“I’d graduated from Sunderland University and decided to go back to study for my Masters. I met the two Michaels and realised we had loads in common. We worked together to create four, 20-minute horror comedies that won an RTS Award and we were off and running.

“There were a few obstacles as we worked to establish ourselves, COVID being the main one, but we’ve delivered some really nice projects and continued to win work.”

Among the projects have been an award-winning music video for 27 Productions, a musical about the former British Steel blast furnace at Redcar, short film The 12th Man about a supporter’s love for Middlesbrough, and a series of signed films for deaf children.

As work lines up, Red Stamp is optimistic about the future of regional filmmaking, with Fulwell 73 creating a studio in Sunderland, Hartlepool’s Northern Studios opening and support agency North East Screen receiving funding from all councils to bring productions to the region like the recently released blockbuster Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

To capitalise on the firm’s unique location in the heart of the North East, Red Stamp invested in state of the art equipment, thanks to a £30k grant from Innovate UK, funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. The Black Magic Mini Ursa 12K Camera was recently added to Netflix’s approved camera list.

Michael Lambert added: “The grant has been invaluable. Too often talent has moved away and aspirations of the next generation hampered because of few job opportunities here in the TV and film industry.

“Red Stamp is passionate about creating a sustainable production company, aiming high for the next decade and bringing large-scale productions to the North East. This will then champion and employ young filmmakers and crew.”

By Matthew Neville – Senior Correspondent, Bdaily

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