Who are the men behind the ambitious plan for the riverside site on the banks of the Medina and what are they hoping the studio will bring to the IW?

When the Isle of Wight County Press met them on the Kingston site this week, they explained how they see the plot unfolding.

Funding for the multi-million pound studio is still being finalised although they are confident that investors see film and TV as a sound banker. 

Scroll down to see the site where Medina Studios would be built

Isle of Wight County Press: An artist's impression of the proposed Medina Studios on the banks of the River Medina at Kingston.An artist's impression of the proposed Medina Studios on the banks of the River Medina at Kingston. (Image: Medina Studios.)

They say the growth of streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney and Apple TV mean that there is an unquenchable desire for high-end series and consumers just can’t get enough.

David Godfrey, one of the directors, said: “If we can build this and marry it up with the Isle of Wight’s beautiful locations, I am sure there will be a big demand for the studios. 

“We are looking at a mix of larger and smaller investors in the project.”

David started his working life well away from the film business as an aircraft technician but always wanted to work in movies and got a job as an assistant manager with the Scott brothers (Ridley and Tony) when they took over Pinewood Studios, rising through the ranks to be involved in blockbusters such as Gladiator, Black Hawk Down and Spy Game.

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He then became Pinewood’s director of international operations, supervising studio builds in Dominican Republic, USA, Canada and China, as well as Malaysia, where the film Marco Polo was shot.

In 2019 he started his own consultancy, working in Europe, North America and the UAE among other places. 

His view of the Medina Studios venture is that the experience being brought to the table will ensure things are done properly.

“This will ensure international film makers are interested.

“The benefits for the Isle of Wight will be huge, from the jobs for plasterers, carpenters etc, through educational partnerships we would like to see, to the exposure it will give the IW as a location.

“There is a tourism benefit too as people love to visit the spots were iconic film and TV scenes were filmed.

“We would love to partner with educationalists here to offer courses leading young people into careers in film.”

Neil Blewett also started his career as an engineer with Siemens but put himself through college to get his first opportunity in TV. 

He went on to work with ITN on Channel 4, Channel 5 and ITV news. was part of Kelvin McKenzie’s Live TV set up and won a Royal Television Society Award for his documentary on boxer Michael Watson.

He set up a travel company which eventually morphed into Datasat, the tech firm he owns, which deals with network and security solutions for the film industry.

Neil said he saw the Island project as being a test bed for the sort of tech which will see directors able to supervise projects from their home in LA, as if they were on set on the IW.

The third partner is super agent Duncan Heath, who has had a home on the Island for 50 years 

Duncan’s clients include leading figures in the British film industry, such as Sir Michael Caine, Dame Maggie Smith, Sam Mendes and Mike Newell.

David Godfrey said: “We need to make it clear we are not speculators. This is a commercial venture and we have an incredible Little Black Book of contacts within the industry.

“We are all hopeful we can work with everyone on the Island to make this a big success.”