Burnley firm’s role in James Bond film ‘Skyfall’

Skyfall movie poster (S)
Skyfall movie poster (S)

SECRET agent James Bond has famously always relied on gadgets from Q...but in latest outing “Skyfall”, a piece of high-tech hardware from Burnley ensures he is shaken but not stirred.

Actor Daniel Craig certainly looks the part of the world’s most famous spy, but he also sounds it thanks to Burnley’s AMS Neve and its revolutionary mixing kit used for the film’s soundtrack.

AMS Neve founder Mark Crabtree at the Oscars in 2004

AMS Neve founder Mark Crabtree at the Oscars in 2004

AMS founder Mark Crabtree (60) is now hoping to make it a hat-trick of Oscars for the company he launched in his home town almost 40 years ago.

And the former Burnley Grammar School pupil has no intention of moving his business stateside from Billington Road despite regular trips across the pond to meet movie moguls.

“We’ve never wanted to relocate. This is a great place to live and work. We bring people over from Hollywood and they love it here.

“We’ve got great commuter links with Manchester Airport on our doorstep. We’re a hive of industry here in Burnley with world-class manufacturing and are right on the edge of beautiful countryside. We’ve taken some of the biggest names in music down to the local pub for a pie and a pint. They love it here.”

“Skyfall”, the 23rd instalment of Bond on the big screen, is the latest to benefit from the Burnley-made giant consoles which also contributed to the success of “Avatar”, “The King’s Speech” and “Titanic”.

Mark and his team have already won two Oscars, an Emmy and a Grammy for their efforts. Even the hit theme song to “Skyfall”, performed by superstar Adele, was produced on one of Mark’s studio consoles, following in the footsteps of other famous recording artists.

Indeed, it all started with music for Mark who years ago took his newly–invented recording kit down to the world famous Abbey Road studios to show an intrigued Paul McCartney. Cambridge graduate Mark had always been fascinated by what you could do with electronics and sound.

“It was a small box which added a range of effects to a recording. Paul tried it out, loved it, and the rest is history. I never thought that one day I’d be walking down the red carpet at the Oscars with photographers snapping at me and wondering who the heck is that.”

Over the years, AMS Neve has developed a reputation for creating the world’s sweetest-sounding and longest-lasting analogue and digital consoles.

It is a mark of Neve’s global respect that Mark frequently crosses the Atlantic to work with film directors including James Cameron and Sam Mendes.

And the credits show no sign of ending in this great adventure. Having equipped studios in more than 50 countries, Neve is now celebrating a huge order from the historic Twickenham film studios which were recently saved from demolition by an Indian entrepreneur.

Mark added: “I am delighted that Twickenham Studios are now set to go from strength to strength with very substantial new investment designed to match the best that Hollywood can offer.

“We are immensely proud to play our part in the renaissance of this iconic British enterprise, having been selected to supply three DFC consoles. I have no doubt that Twickenham Studios will be using the consoles’ power to the full to drive a new stream of landmark British Film production to add to its 100 years’ output of classics.”

The Burnley Express recently reported that AMS Neve was also looking to expand into South America with the announcement that a Brazilian distributor would take delivery of its new Neve Genesys music production console.