Shaper: George Wood
George Wood grew up in a family of theatrical producers. His parents were responsible for musicals and plays but specialised in pantomime. Unsurprisingly, George started his career as an actor, appearing in West End musicals, films and in children’s television series. It was whilst appearing in a play in London and commuting in on a scooter that he was knocked off and broke his leg. Upon hearing that he would be out of action for five or six months, he decided to set up an open-air cinema screening in his local park, Dulwich Park in South London, calling the council from his hospital bed. The Luna Cinema has gone on to become the largest producer of open air cinema in the UK, producing over 175 screenings each year at sites right across the country from Edinburgh to Brighton and everywhere in between. The Luna team have come to specialise in bringing cinema events to heritage sites ort those of particular historical sensitivity, from medieval castles to Royal Palaces, via botanic gardens and even an open-air lido. 2018 is an exciting year for George with the launch of two new brands, “Luna Kids”, the country’s first open air cinema specifically for children, and “Luna Beach”, a big screen on Brighton Beach showing the World Cup and Wimbledon.
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“I remember lying in my hospital bed, thinking, “Well this is the time, this is the opportunity, I am going to do my open air cinema idea.”
“It wasn’t one of those ideas that I thought, well there is something in this, I wonder if I can make this work? I knew instantly that was it, this is what I was going to do.”
“It was a lunatic idea but ten years on I still love it just as much as I did the first time I experienced it myself.”
“Our country was so far behind other countries when it came to open air cinema that I didn’t feel that there was a model that I was going to follow.”
“I get a real buzz. I stand at the back of the audience, and I think they are having a great time, I can see it’s not like going a traditional cinema, a fixed location cinema, where you can’t gauge the audience enjoyment of the event, until the end when they are walking out.”
“I often look back on it thinking I should have done a Business Degree really, that probably would have been really useful for what I do these days, which is far more about running a business than really about being creative.”