All great stories start with a cliche and this one is no different.
Months of walking the rainy streets of London searching for a space in which to house our artists complex we found UNIT 7 Gourley place. A building that was originally a textile factory with huge looms hung between the brick pillars sat on the Seven Sisters road at a time when all around was fields.
The premise was to gut the building and install 20 self contained artists studios with a communal coffee lounge area. All very ARTY and East London but as we literally ripped the layers of poor workmanship and dated design we began to find something special.
The place had been derelict and squatted in for the previous 5 years. From the local chat we discovered sad stories of a sweatshop where workers were locked in for 12 hour periods with no break , having to winch fast food takeaways from the street through the windows.
As we started working we stripped back each layer of flooring it revealed another more ridiculous layer of MDF or chipboard, skips of lino pulled up, until one day we were back to the skeleton, and what a skeleton it was. The space revealed stunning timber flooring running angular across the space, steel beams criss crossing the roof space, details and history, peeling paint and in the dim morning light or the din of the afternoon we realised rather than build again we had unearthed a gem. Unbeknown to us at that time that would soon transform in to Belt Craft Studio. A week later after a small advert on gumtree and we had our first shoot with no toilets , power or running water it was still a success.
These days things are different in some regards. We have every angle covered for the needs of professional location jobs but one thing that hasn’t changed is that stunning shooting space.
About a year or so after Belt Craft was up and running we acquired a new space almost next door and again stripped back what was once a car chop shop and transformed the space into what is now our second studio, The Buckle Factory.