Back in the late 1990s I was asked to take on the role of chairman of the Elstree Studios Partnership company and I was tasked with helping to relaunch and rebuild Elstree Studios as I had spent eight years as the Chairman of the campaign that helped save it. For me it was a very rewarding role: I was able to organise a star studded opening party in 1996 through to organising a visit from Prince Charles in 1999 to open the two new huge sound stages.

However, we also agreed to assist young film makers by allowing them the use of the studio facilities while we were in the process of getting work in. I recall one such student project back in 1998 called The Dance Of Shiva, which was a short film set during the First World War. They cleverly got established names to appear and I still remember having a drink in the bar with Kenneth Branagh, Paul McGann and tennis player Pat Cash who all took on small roles. Just as good was they got some old behind the scenes veterans to 'shadow' the young film makers, for instance the legendary Oscar-winning cameraman and director Jack Cardiff. Alongside the short film they made a documentary about the making of it and I was filmed welcoming Jack back to Elstree, where his career had begun in the 1930s.

The young director of Dance Of Shiva, Jamie Payne, is now a successful television director with credits ranging from The Bill to Luther. Alas, I have never been shown a copy of the finished film or the documentary but such is life.

By contrast I was invited to a screening of a Lottery-funded movie made by and starring unknowns a few years ago. They had apparently spent nearly a million pounds on something that I considered was a waste of money and to my knowledge has hardly been seen. If those in charge of such funding will give me a similar or even smaller budget then I would be in seventh heaven. I would use young talent behind the camera shadowed by veterans of the business. I would line up a cast of famous names and produce an anthology film comprising five tales of the supernatural.

Such films had a brief spell of popularity in the 1960s and 1970s. They were cheap to make as they were filmed quickly and the guest stars were only required for a few days at most. For instance one I recall was called Tales From The Crypt, packed with stars of that era who were paid peanuts. Ralph Richardson and Peter Cushing each got £3,000, with Joan Collins settling for £1,200 and the 1950s Robin Hood star Richard Green paid £1,000.

One of these films got me the chance to meet Hollywood legend Rita Hayworth, who was staying at a famous London hotel. Afterwards she so kindly sent me a handwritten note thanking me for the compliments I naturally bestowed on her during our chat. Very sadly the producers of the movie had to replace her as filming was not going well. Rita was a heavy drinker and some surmised that was the problem but in reality it was the onset of dementia that reduced her to a baby-like state, during which she was for by her daughter.

I fear my idea of making a film that might appeal to the general public rather than the box-ticking Chelsea brigade will not get past the starting point. However, blending young talent with veterans could be an exciting venture and by calling in favours and my diminishing address book, we could bring it home. There is no shame in using Lottery money to make experimental films, but alongside something that might actually make a popular impact and thus pay for itself. Naturally I would not direct my movie, albeit I do have a megaphone, riding boots and a director's chair carrier on standby. I do have a successful Hammer film director in mind who is an old pal. Until next time let us enjoy our dreams.