The Production Guild Awards - the winners
Now in its third year, The Production Guild Awards in association with Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden recognise the expertise of Production Guild members working in film and television drama.
Specifically, the awards acknowledge roles in the production office, production accounts, location management, VFX, post-production and assistant directing roles, and the people who support them.
Five awards were presented at a ceremony supported by Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden held at The Grove, Hertfordshire, on Saturday 24 September 2016.
We take a look at the winners, their backgrounds and their projects.
The Production Guild Member/Team of the Year Award, in association with Panavision
Winner: the production team on The Night Manager
Shot over 75 days in four countries, this Emmy-winning contemporary interpretation of John le Carré's spy drama told a tightly-woven story about modern criminality with lavish locations and high-octane set pieces.
The series was developed, financed and produced by The Ink Factory and co-produced by AMC/BBC. It has been sold to over 180 countries internationally and the final episode was watched by nearly 10m consolidated viewers.
The winning team was extensive, and included the associate producer; line producer; UPM; production co-ordinator; chief accountant; 1st assistant accountant; payroll accountant; assistant accountant/cashier; accounts assistant; 1st assistant director (Devon); 1st assistant director (Mallorca); 2nd assistant director (Crowd - UK shoot); supervising location manager, location manager; location co-ordinator and London contact, travel, accommodation and shipping co-ordinator.
The production was overseen by head of physical production at The Ink Factory and Production Guild member Jane Frazer.
Line producer Matthew Patnick had this to say about the most thriiling aspects of the complex shoot on The Night Manager, along with some of the challenges faced: "Filming in such incredible locations was a huge pleasure. To have the Matterhorn as the backdrop for your office was a pretty spectacular start to the day and there was a great team spirit between all the crew.
“The main challenges of the shoot were the logistics of transporting the cast and crew to different countries, shipping equipment from the UK to Morocco to Majorca then back to the UK, and working in extreme temperatures in both Majorca and Morocco."
In comments to The Knowledge, supervising location manager Tom Howard added: “Working on The Night Manager as the supervising location manager was extremely thrilling. We had a great script set over six different countries but the main challenge for me was the short preparation time.
“Only 10 weeks to scout and select locations in three different countries - the pressure was on from the start! But working with this talented and dedicated production team made it less of a challenge and more of an adventure."
The Production Guild Inspiration Award, in association with Working Title
Winner: location manager Harriet Lawrence
Harriet Lawrence (right) began her career in location management in 2004, working in commercials before moving into feature film and TV drama.
Over the last 12 years, she has ‘found’ the moon on Earth, Scotland inside the M25, the Maldives in a Heathrow hotel and Wolverhampton in central Scotland.
Her projects have varied considerably in size and budget, and include My Cousin Rachel; Death of Stalin; Outnumbered; Fleming; all Stephen Poliakoff’s dramas of the last years and the TV biopic Burton and Taylor.
Lawrence's work on Suffragette was notable for securing permission to shoot inside the House of Commons – a first for feature film crew. She has also run training for assistant location managers at both Film London and The Production Guild, and has trained more than 65 of the next generation of location managers.
Here at The Knowledge we often hear concerns raised about a shortage of trained crew, and were keen to get Lawrence’s opinion on whether she thought there were enough schemes and courses for the UK to continue producing world-class crew.
"I can’t speak for other departments but for the location department I think we have some very good courses now from one-day or three-day introductions for runners and location assistants, as well as a really comprehensive six-month course.
“I would love to run the six-month course every two, or at most every three years as an effective and knowledgeable location department enables the rest of the crew to go about their daily job safely, smoothly and with ease. It really is the bedrock on which everyone else operates when on location.
"There is a gap in specific areas such as unit managing that could certainly benefit from a one-or two-day course being developed. I think the main problem is still reaching crew so that they know about it. There still is no one central point at which all people coming into the industry can find out about courses and the location department is still quite independent."
The Production Guild Spotlight Award, in association with Pinewood MBS Lighting
Winner: assistant accountant Pollyanna Gill
Pollyanna Gill (left) is a graduate of The Production Guild’s 2014 Assistant Production Accountants Training Scheme (APATS) supported by Creative Skillset. As a trainee, she started out on ITV’s Midsomer Murders and Now You See Me 2, returning to both productions as accounts assistant after finishing her training. She has since worked as payroll assistant on upcoming wartime romantic thriller Allied, starring Brad Pitt, and is currently assistant accountant on a feature in pre-production.
We asked Gill if she favoured working in film or TV.
"I wouldn't say I had a preference as they both have different things to offer. TV projects have a much smaller team which is really nice as you get to know everyone and have the opportunity to work across a wider range of activities.
"There is less variety on big feature films as the accounts team is much bigger so you tend to focus on just one aspect of the process, but the scale of the production and the names attached can make it more exciting."
The Production Guild Contribution to the Industry Award, in association with Kodak
Winners: Hugh Whittaker and Jackie Rowden
Over the years and at various service companies Whittaker and Rowden have supported new DoPs, gaffers, lighting crews, directors and producers.
Rowden (right) joined Lee Electric Lighting in 1972. In 2010 she was approached by Warner Bros. to set up a brand new production rental business at Leavesden and has built from scratch a strong team and inventory for lights, mobile generation, trucks and scaffold, supporting productions at Leavesden and beyond.
Whittaker (left) joined Kodak Motion Picture Group in the late 1970s, supplying camera negative and camera equipment to features, TV and commercials. In 1987 he joined JDC, which subsequently became Panavison London. He is now director of Panavision Europe.
Between them they have supplied equipment to hundreds of productions from Steptoe and Son through to the Harry Potter series and many of the James Bond films as well as The Bourne Ultimatum and Star Wars: Episode VIII among others.
The winners had this to say about the award:
“It’s a great honour to be recognised by the Production Guild of Great Britain and to receive an award for all the hard work I have put into the industry over the last 44 years. I enjoy what I do and the industry and people I serve." (Rowden)
“It's a great way to highlight the role of service companies and the support they give to the UK film and TV industry but it's also really nice to see my contribution acknowledged on a personal level." (Whittaker)
The Production Guild Special Award
Terry O’Neill was given this award posthumously, in recognition of his work over 30 years in the UK entertainment/media insurance industry, across all production genres.
As client director at Arthur J Gallagher he provided services to international productions around the world for companies including Time Warner, Viacom/Paramount, Disney, Fox Corp, Eon, MGM, CBS and Sony.
Highly regarded by risk managers, he was an instrumental figure for many film producers and production managers. Terry regularly supported The Production Guild by providing insurance tutorials for its courses and passing on his wealth of knowledge.
With thanks to The Production Guild for their help in compiling this article.
The Night Manager Morocco location photo via Tom Howard; cast photo via AMC Holdings.
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