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Meet Twickenham Studios Managing Director Cara Sheppard 



Twickenham Studios sits down with its latest recruit, Cara to discuss her career and what she's watching right now

Meet Twickenham Studios Managing Director Cara Sheppard 

Cara Sheppard joins as the new Twickenham Studios MD to further grow our full service offering across Post-Production Sound and Stages. 

Cara joins having run Warner Bros De Lane Lea, the Oscar and BAFTA winning post-production house, as MD for the last four years - a role which was fundamental for the growth and success of every aspect of the studio. Cara was responsible for enhancing the quality and reputation of the artistic offering. She ensured Warner Brothers worked on big name feature film and TV projects, evolved the client experience and enhanced the commerciality of the business. Under her leadership De Lane Lea also went on to on win ‘Best Production House’ at the 2019 Screen International Awards.

Heading up Twickenham Studios, Cara will lead and guide all aspects of production, post-production and emerging technology. Her role is focused on helping the studios confidently navigate the ever-changing market ensuring TW1 is positioned to continue to lead the way. As MD she will further develop key relationships with UK as well as Hollywood and wider International clients, whose projects can all be supported at the studios through the remote working TW1 set up. Cara will also grow the focus on investment in films, grass roots talent, education partnerships and our diversity and inclusion programme.

Managing partners Piers Read and Jeremy Rainbird commented on Cara's arrival: "As we continue the rebirth of Twickenham Studios and finalise plans for the redevelopment of the complex, to invest into new facilities and the whole look of TW1; we are thrilled to attract someone of Cara’s calibre across from her successful role as Managing Director at Warner Brothers. Cara is such a key addition to the expanding team - further bringing vision, energy, creative direction and client focus. We share Cara’s vision to establish Twickenham Studios into a major tech and innovation hub hosting world-class production in the U.K. She will be a key ambassador for the studios as we move ahead, with her reputation and profile within the industry. We are keen for her to continue to nurture her close relationships within the industry worldwide to as to further evolve our important UK and wider Hollywood relationships with production companies, agencies, studios, leading industry manufacturers, vendors, clients and talent.”

Check out Twickenham Studio’s Q&A with Cara 

Q> Tell us about you decision to join us at Twickenham Studios?

Cara> I’m delighted to be joining the guys at the world renowned and highly awarded film and TV studios that is TW1. I’ve always found Twickenham a fascinating prospect. I worked there as a client many times many years ago then watched the studio develop and change over time into what currently exists. It has all the potential in the world to become something very special indeed. I have always seen such potential for growth and development at the studio but that does require some significant vision and courage – its not for the fainthearted! On meeting Piers and Jeremy, I instantly felt we shared a vision and strategic ambition for the business with you both. You both have an incredible vision for building a network of world class studios focused on technical excellence and customer service – something which the industry is crying out for. I’m excited to be joining TW1 at the very start of what will be an incredible journey.


Q> What are your main focuses for TW1? 

Cara> I want us to be ambitious, so as to evolve TW1 into a future focused, multi-discipline studio aimed at UK, US and wider International clients. I will be focused on our creative offering, the acquisition and development of the industry’s best talent. Enhancing our unique TW1 client experience here in St.Margarets. I want to ensure TW1 is a destination, as well as being able to house projects servicing clients anywhere in the world. TW1 will be a creative hub to collaborate with leading industry partners. A place to nurture grass roots talent and bravely lead our investment into the next generation. Ensuing we are the chosen London studio for large Hollywood and Independent features, TV series, music videos, commercials, documentaries through to a variety of emerging technology projects. At such an important time for film and TV, I am truly excited about our plans for TW1 and look forward to the journey”.

Q> Tell us about your years at Warner Bros De Lane Lea?

Cara> It was fantastic and an incredibly busy time, we really achieved a lot. I mobilised significant changes and improvements to the business in a relatively short period of time which I am incredibly proud off - none of which may I add could have been done without the full support of the whole team.

Q> What were some of the standout highlights from that period? 

Cara> Probably the things I am most proud of are the creative talent hires such as Asa Shoul, Peter Doyle and Adrian Rhodes and also bringing on some of the industry’s best technical specialists in Picture, Dailies and Sound to support our talent. Also the extensive technical overhaul we undertook within the facility to ensure we could deliver multiple demanding projects at any one time was game changing. I managed to take what was essentially initially solely a sound post facility and grow it into a fully serviced Dailies and Post-Production facility with a vastly increased capacity, headline talent and multiple awards which supported vast amounts of HETV and Features from every studio and streaming platform worldwide – successfully!


Q> What is is like being part of the Time+Space Studios and the Creative District Company family? 

Cara> It’s an incredibly exciting time to become part of something this significant to the industry as a whole. Building a network of incredible facilities across the UK is something the industry has needed for some time. We’re seeing currently facilities and studios bursting at the seams with the current demand with many high-end productions being forced to shoot in far from ideal locations. Time+Space will change that significantly, offering an unrivalled network of purpose-built facilities catering to even the most demanding productions. Our holistic approach is starting the answer the demands of producers.


Q> What are your thoughts on the long form/post production and the state of the industry? 

Cara> Clearly the launch of the streaming platforms has changed the industry as we know it. We used to separate Film and TV as quite separate genres. One was a high end multi million-dollar production the other was your terrestrial television Sunday night 3-parter. Now with the introduction of high-end productions, increased production value, multi million-dollar budgets and big names in front of and behind the camera ‘TV’ as we knew it, no longer exists. Now the streaming giants HETV co-exists with features and requires the same talent, technology and delivery as the biggest studio tent poles.

Q> How did you find the lockdown period? Any survival tips? 

Cara> To be completely honest, I embraced it. Having spent many years in the industry not stopping and working ridiculous hours, it was like a force reboot of an old computer – it runs much better afterwards! Isolation gave me a sense of perspective and where I want to be when the world gradually returns to normality. Getting my supermarket shopping delivered was a godsend during lockdown and not having to brave the shops mask and all. Who knew there was a limit to how much my dog wanted to be walked in a day!


Q> What have you seen recently/any series you recommend? 

Cara> ‘After Life’ the Ricky Gervais show was superb, ‘Stranger Things’ is utterly brilliant. I recently watched a movie from 2008 called ‘The Wave’ which was one of the best films I’ve seen in ages based on a true story – highly recommended. Also who doesn’t love a bit of ‘Gogglebox’ or ‘First Dates’!


Q> What is your favourite film/TV series that TW1 have worked on? 

Cara> It’s got to be between 'The Italian Job' and 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. Tough call. Though I think the fact that the Oscar winning Sound Mix was done at the studio by TW1’s very own Tim Cavagin probably swings it Freddie’s way! Although I’m looking forward to another one of TW1’s recent credits 'Enola Holmes' which has just been launched on Netflix and headed straight in to Number 1 must watch.

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Twickenham Film Studios, Mon, 05 Oct 2020 13:52:04 GMT