What is Elstree 1976?



If you are even remotely interested in Star Wars and engage on Twitter, you’ll have been intrigued by a cryptic new Twitter account, @Elstree 1976, and its countdown to May 7. Now, the mystery can be revealed.

Elstree 1976 is a new documentary by Jon Spira, a documentary “about ten very different lives connected by having appeared on screen wearing masks or helmets in Star Wars.” The title derives from the time and place where the cultural behemoth that is Star Wars first impacted these lives, and the lives of many others. How does it feel to be a small cog in the machine that fans won’t let go of? Jon elaborates on the film’s site:

“One day, I met John Chapman. He signed up to a screenwriting class I was teaching, we got chatting and he revealed to me he had been an extra in Star Wars. It became quickly apparent that these few seemingly insignificant days he had spent on set had gone on, many years later, to shape him and influence his life in ways he could never have predicted.

That’s where the idea came from. It was easy to hear the often-told stories of Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford and the production side of the process has been detailed to the minutiae. I just wanted to know who the people were in the background. The ones you saw fleetingly for a second but are now preserved forever as part of our cultural heritage. What got them on to that film set? What are they doing right now?

We found them and we interviewed them at length about themselves and their lives, of which Star Wars always turned out to be a significant part, but in completely different ways.

So, this is not a documentary about Star Wars. It’s a documentary about 10 people whose lives are linked by having appeared (sometimes for less than a second) in Star Wars. Yes, there are plenty of completely new stories and insight for the Star Wars fanbase but, at its heart, we want this to be a thoughtful, engaging and entertaining independent documentary about the effect a cultural behemoth can have on the lives of those involved on even the slightest basis.”

elstree 76 poster


Jon and the rest of the film’s team previously made the acclaimed Anyone Can Play Guitar. All the filming of interviews and so on has been completed, now Jon is looking for help via Kickstarter to finish the project off. Click here to go to the site, view the trailer,  and see how you can help. I have a feeling the Force will be strong with this one …



Originally posted 2014-05-07 11:43:57. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Read and post comments on this article