During his career, spanning more than 50 years, Peter Beale worked with many Academy Award Winning and critically acclaimed directors including: David Lean, Fred Zinnemann, Ridley Scott, George Cukor, Charles Crichton, Roman Polanski, Bernardo Bertolucci, Richard Donner, Ronald Neame, Gene Wilder, Mel Brooks, George Lucas, Irvin Kershner and Mel Frank.
Working his way up through production Peter became Managing Director at Twentieth Century Fox Productions UK, Managing Director of EMI, President of the Showscan Corporation and Illusion Inc. He has produced features and written and directed documentaries and corporate films.
Today, almost everyone gains a screen credit if they are involved a film. This was not the case in the 70’s – executives were never credited – it was the dedicated Star Wars fan community that discovered Peter ‘s critical role in making Star Wars a reality. His name regularly came up when the key technicians were interviewed, as in the 2017/2019 BBC documentary “The Galaxy Britain Built”.
At 20th Century Fox, Alan Ladd Jnr. took a risk on the Star Wars property after Peter had said he could solve the immense production challenges. The daunting production hurdles of the script, the critical selection of the film-crew, the technical development of the ‘droids” and the delicate process of obtaining work permits for an unknown American cast became his responsibility.
Planning and budgeting such a difficult project was a critical factor in making the film possible at a time when the British film industry was in rapid decline.
Working on British films with British talent and starting at the bottom allowed Peter to gain practical knowledge of the logistics of making films.
The following posters are key films that he worked on and there are numerous anecdotes being developed into a book about his movie experiences – tidbits like saving Raquel Welch from swimming difficulties during the filming of Fathom.
He was the 2019 recipient of the Premio Bayra de Honor of the Vera Festival. Watch an interview with Peter discussing his career: