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Skeggs and Lawrence were former board members of Hammer Films who had resigned to form their own production company, Cinema Arts. When Hammer entered receivership in 1979, Skeggs and Lawrence returned at the request of company management to develop a new direction for the ailing production house.
Skeggs relocated Hammer Films to Hapden House in Buckinghamshire, and shifted production away from remakes of traditional Dracula and Frankenstein horror films towards anthologies and television serials. Production times were shortened and new features were largely shot on location in Buckinghamshire rather than the more expensive studio backlot.
The Hammer House of Horror series, which appeared in September 1980, was Skeggs' brainchild and was well received in both the United States and the UK.