Legendary film producer Robert Watts visited Norwich in mid-November for a special screening of BBC Four’s The Galaxy Britain Built, followed by a Q&A session. His credits include the original Star Wars trilogy, the Indiana Jones films and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Watts was one of the contributors to presenter/producer and Star Wars superfan David Whiteley’s affectionate look at the British talent behind the Star Wars phenomenon.
An audience of more than 75, including two stormtroopers, enjoyed a screening of the original 60-minute version of The Galaxy Britain Built, winner of RTS East’s Best Factual Programme and Best Post-Production awards earlier this year.
They learned how the film, which nobody really expected would make much of a splash, came to be filmed at Elstree Studios. The documentary covers the pre-production and filming of the 1977 movie, and speaks to director Gareth Edwards about how he used the same style and locations for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
The screening received a warm reception and it was then time to bring Robert Watts centre stage.
Proudly sporting a Yoda badge on his lapel, Watts reminisced with Whiteley about his career as a production manager and producer on some of the biggest films of 20th century.
Ever wondered how to get Harrison Ford to drop everything and travel to Norway to film in a blizzard? The Hollywood producer had the answer.
Then it was the turn of the audience. Watts fielded questions about his career and, from the film students in the house, on how to get on in the industry. With a dry wit and lots to say, he thoroughly entertained.
And his best advice to aspiring film-makers? Whatever you do, do it with passion!
A newly extended 90-minute version of The Galaxy Britain Built will be shown on BBC Four on 16 December, together with a new documentary from the team, Toy Empire: The British Force Behind Star Wars Toys.