Commended productions include ‘First Day: On Set’, ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’, ‘War of the Worlds’ & ‘The Pursuit of Love’.
The Production Guild of Great Britain (PGGB) has announced the winners of the 2020 PGGB Innovation Awards, in association with Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, which recognise the innovative work of production professionals who have navigated new ways of working to keep UK film and TV production moving forward during lockdown.
The Awards celebrate the achievements of PGGB members working in film and High End TV in the fields of the production office, accounts, locations, assistant directing, post production or VFX, who have shown exceptional resilience and resourcefulness in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic since March 2020.
The following four Awards were presented in the online ceremony, which is now available for members and non-members to watch on the PGGB YouTube channel.
Producer and ScreenSkills Head of Film & Animation Gareth Ellis-Unwin, Line Producer Georgette Turner and Production Coordinator Marco Calabrese won the PGGB Innovation Award for a Production Team, sponsored by Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, for First Day: On Set. Made with a stereoscopic 360 camera, ScreenSkills’ First Day: On Set is an innovative VR film that showcases the variety of roles available on a film and TV set, designed to be experienced on Oculus Rift/Go VR headsets and free to watch on YouTube. Since launching on YouTube in June, it has had over 25,000 views and has been an invaluable outreach tool throughout the pandemic. The filmwas supported by the BFI with National Lottery funds and made with assistance from EON Productions and Pinewood Studios who provided stage space and MBS Lighting and MovieTech who donated equipment.
“First Day: On Set uses technology in a compelling way to unravel the mystery of production. It’s a truly engaging and accessible film that explains what each department does. Available free to anyone, anywhere in the UK, who is interested in entering the industry, it will help ensure that much-needed new entrants from all backgrounds continue to choose to work in Film and High End TV.”Alex Boden, Jury Chair, Producer and PGGB Chair
“This was a real passion project. We wanted to open up the hustle and bustle of a ‘real’ set to as many people as possible. Covid has made it more challenging to take visitors onto set, so this film has been an excellent tool. This award is for the many people who helped make this film a reality, the industry figures and companies who lent their time and resources, and our fantastic hardworking careers team at ScreenSkills. I’m pleased to reveal that we’re already in development for the second edition in our VR series, which will open up the world of post-production.”Gareth Ellis-Unwin, Producer and ScreenSkills Head of Film & Animation
A special mention in the PGGB Innovation Award for Production Team category is also made for season two of War of the Worlds (Urban Myth for Canal+ and Fox TV). The first High-End TV production to resume in the UK after lockdown, War of the Worlds restarted filming on 13th July in a Newport studio and on location in South Wales and Bristol. The production team had spent 12 weeks putting plans in place, with changes on set including temperature checks, PPE, regular COVID-19 testing, distancing between departments and partitions between make-up and costume areas that were previously communal spaces. The eight-part second series, which wrapped in October, is expected to air in Spring 2021.
Andy Hudson, Film Laboratory Manager at Cinelab London, received the PGGB Innovation Award for an Individual, sponsored by Netflix. Known as a ‘Film Superhero’ by his team, Andy ensured the Laboratory could stay open despite almost all of its 28 employees having to work from home when lockdown hit. Drawing on his 25 years’ experience in the film industry, Andy took on all of the physical film lab work that could not be done remotely, continuing to deliver a high quality service which led to the company receiving projects from clients around the world. Bringing a host of talents to the table, Andy implemented new working guidelines, whilst rostering work and also keeping staff updated and personally checking in on vulnerable team members at home.
“Andy went above and beyond, demonstrating extreme dedication and selflessness in keeping the laboratory running, whilst keeping a positive attitude and finding solutions. Delivery of rushes plays a pivotal role in the filmmaking process and Andy’s work helped keep this vital stage moving. On top of this, he personally checked in on colleagues to check on their wellbeing. Well done Andy, you thoroughly deserve this award.”Jo Burn, Jury Chair, Producer
“We knew it was going to be tough. Productions had ceased, there was no work coming through the door. It meant going back to my roots to get more involved in the processing side, working in the dark room, chemical mixing, admin, despatching, anything to get the rushes through the Lab. As the weeks went by, the workload picked up, work being sent to us from around the world, and we’re now back to full strength. This award is a great recognition. A big thanks to everyone that works at the Lab, this is for all of us.”Andy Hudson, Film Laboratory Manager at Cinelab London
John McVay OBE, Chief Executive of Pact, and Hakan Kousetta, Pact Council Member and COO Television of See-Saw Films, received the PGGB Innovation Special Recognition Award, sponsored by MBSi for their extensive work with Government to put into place the £500m Film and TV Production Restart Scheme. From early stages of lockdown, the pair made a compelling case to the Chancellor that in addition to comprehensive Covid-safety guidelines, Treasury intervention was also needed, to cover Covid-related insurance costs if domestic productions were going to be enabled to restart. McVay went on to Chair the industry working group on insurance for the BFI’s Screen Sector Task Force which worked with Government to inform and shape the scheme. It’s expected that the scheme, which opened on 16th October, will support more than 40,000 jobs by ensuring planned productions can proceed after a period of disruption due to the pandemic.
“Hakan and John at Pact absolutely stepped up to the mark and have done an incredible job in achieving the Production Restart Scheme with a £500m insurance fund, underwritten by the Government. This is a vital part of the UK film and TV industry’s recovery, it’s providing the safety net domestic productions need to get back up and running whilst also helping future productions to plan how to proceed amidst this pandemic.”Andrew Noakes, Jury Chair, Co-Producer and Financial Controller
“The Restart Scheme is the product of months of hard work by many, many people across the industry. I’d like to thank everyone who worked with us on the insurance working group, the BFI Screen Sector Taskforce, the broadcasters and of course the dozens of productions that worked so hard to contribute the data we needed to make the case to the Treasury that this support was absolutely necessary.”John McVay, Chief Executive of Pact
“It was clear early on that insurance was going to be an enormous problem when it came to getting production going again. We knew we had to move quickly to persuade Government to step in and help the industry back on its feet. Working with John, and the many others involved in this ambitious task, we were able to meet the challenges and thankfully get the result the industry needed.”Hakan Kousetta, Pact Council Member and COO Television of See-Saw Films
The Jurassic World: Dominion UK production team wins the PGGB Innovation Award for Special Contribution to the Industry. The first major studio feature to get back underway in the UK after government gave the greenlight to restart production, Jurassic World: Dominion’s crew included 27 PGGB members* including Alexandra Derbyshire (Executive Producer), Tim Wellspring (Unit Production Manager), Simon Mills (Production Supervisor), Tom Ormerod (Production Coordinator), Matt Jones (Unit Production Manager – Malta), Tom Asquith (Covid Manager), Camilla Stephenson (Supervising Location Manager) and Jon Duncan (Financial Controller).
After production halted on 14th March, the team researched and devised a host of complex safety protocols, ranging from temperature testing, Covid-testing and PPE, to sanitation, fogging and perspex screen use. Consulting with studios, unions, Guilds and industry bodies including the British Film Commission, they produced a 119-page document outlining how to proceed safely during the pandemic which was approved by Universal. By early June, the production team were back at Pinewood Studios, and less than a month later on 6th July, filming recommenced with a 1,000-strong workforce including cast, crew, construction and craft departments. A second unit also overcame restrictions to travel to Malta. The blockbuster wrapped filming on 7th November after a multinational shoot which required a total of 40,000 Covid tests and cast bubbling together for four months.
“The Jurassic World: Dominion team were genuine trailblazers. The worldwide production community was watching as theoretical COVID-19 protocols were put into action. Their real-time experiences were invaluable in helping inform and refine industry Covid-Safety guidance. Their work paved the way for other major features and the team fully deserves this special recognition.”Samantha Perahia MBE, Head of Production UK, British Film Commission
“We’re delighted to win this award, which we accept on behalf of the entire Jurassic World: Dominion cast and crew. Everyone pulled together and contributed in every single way, the whole team was required to constantly learn and adapt. Everyone wore masks and put up with being tested three times a week, it was tough! Socially distancing on set when you’re not used to doing it is difficult, so all credit goes to the entire crew, they really did pull this off. Huge thanks also to Donna Langley and everyone at Universal who backed us all the way.”Tim Wellspring, Unit Production Manager
A special mention in the PGGB Innovation Special Contribution to the Industry category is also made for The Pursuit of Love (Open Book and Moonage Pictures for BBC One and Amazon Studios). The Pursuit of Love production team overcame a raft of challenges to become one of the first High-End TV projects to resume production in the UK after lockdown, including deciphering early sanitary protocols, coordinating location shifts and holding on to in-demand talent. Filming for the three-part mini-series successfully restarted in July on location in the Bristol and Bath area and at The Bottle Yard Studios, before wrapping in October.
The Awards’ In Memoriam section remembered the life of Producer and long-standing PGGB member, Alan J. ‘Willie’ Wands.
“Willie was a proud champion of the Scottish film and television industry and a highly valued member of the Production Guild of Great Britain throughout his career. As 1st AD, UPM and Producer, he worked with some of the greatest directors in the world including Mike Figgis, Shekhar Kapur, Guy Ritchie and Terence Davies, always finding time to guide and mentor trainees and junior crew members. There are many in the industry today who owe their careers to Willy. He is sorely missed.”Alex Boden, PGGB Chair
“There’s no disputing that 2020 has been the toughest year in UK production history. Tonight’s awards have given us the welcome opportunity to celebrate some of the positive and inspiring achievements of our members. Congratulations to all our winners, whose outstanding resourcefulness has helped keep UK film and High-End TV moving throughout the pandemic.”Professor Lyndsay Duthie, CEO of PGGB
“This is a great opportunity to celebrate the membership of PGGB and to acknowledge the determination and resilience of the industry through this extraordinary year. These awards have highlighted the creativity of Guild members and their ability to find solutions to apparently insurmountable challenges. Congratulations to the very worthy winners who have shown an exceptional range of talent and have made a significant contribution to the industry.”Emily Stillman, SVP Studio Operations, Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden
All the PGGB Innovation Award winners are nominated by PGGB’s industry membership and selected by juries of leading industry professionals** except the PGGB Innovation Contribution to the Industry Award, which is nominated by members and voted on by the PGGB board.