A sad day for underwater filming projects as The Underwater Studio in Essex, known for its TV and movie filming stages, has recently closed its doors. Operating under the name SWS Marine Services, the company cited insurmountable challenges as the reason for its closure.
In an official statement replacing its website, the Underwater Studio explained that it struggled to recover from the business loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, soaring energy costs, a writers’ and actors’ strike in the United States, and a subsequent decline in bookings contributed to its financial woes. The studio now faces expenses that surpass its income, leading to this unfortunate decision.
The Underwater Studio, founded in Basildon’s Burnt Mills industrial estate in the late 1990s by diver Fred Woodcock and the late Geoff Smith, was a notable institution in the British film and TV industry. Both Woodcock and Smith had extensive experience in the industry, having worked on well-known franchises like James Bond and Jason Bourne. Woodcock remained involved as the diving supervisor, with Glenn Whatley serving as the studio administrator.