A huge thank-you to the UK production industry
We wanted to send a message to all our readers to wish them a very happy and healthy holiday. But I felt that a simple Season’s Greetings wasn’t going to cut it this time around. It’s not been a simple year.
Where to start when reviewing 2020 through the lens of the film and TV industry? How to sum up the colossal impact when production fell off a cliff in March, as the lockdown brought everything to such an abrupt halt?
Around that time, I wrote a blog about how, when the bounce-back came, it would be fast-moving and robust, largely due to the fact that the UK production industry is just too big and important a beast to lie down and roll over.
Yet I had no idea then of the resilience, imagination and sheer effort that would be displayed over subsequent months.
Individuals and companies alike scrambled to re-purpose their offering, launched online Covid training courses and set up recovery funds and mental wellbeing helplines for those hardest hit.
Costume teams called upon their skills to produce medical scrubs, VFX firms used their 3-D printers to produce PPE and art departments fitted out new screens to create mini-hospital wards. Much of this work was done for free by people - many of whom are listed in this directory - who were, at the time, desperately insecure about their own futures in the industry.
Confidence started to build again when the BFC’s vital safe-filming guidelines were greenlit in early June. And when the government confirmed the insurance backstop in July, productions started re-assembling at top speed, with fully-trained Covid supervisors in place and crew adhering to new, strict rules, both on and off set.
We have always known why the UK production industry is so well-regarded: the world-class crew and studios, the amazing locations, the tax breaks on offer, to name but a few of the attractions.
But the adaptability, positivity and level of support that have been shown over the past, very difficult year, is outstanding. Mettle has been well and truly tested, and has passed with flying colours.
If this sounds like a paean to the UK production industry, that’s fine. That’s exactly what it is.
Also on The Knowledge
BBC Elevate is now open for applications for 2022, aiming to provide meaningful placements for mid-level deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people on flagship BBC shows.
ScreenSkills is running courses for experienced 2nd assistant directors working in HETV and/or feature film who are looking to step up to 1st AD.
New ITV detective drama, Ridley, has started filming in Lancashire with Adrian Dunbar in the title role.
Diane Morgan’s Philomena Cunk is set to return to BBC Two and Netflix with Cunk on Earth, a 5 x 30 from Broke & Bones.
The second series of Netflix’s fantasy drama, The Witcher, filmed entirely in the UK, utilising around 15 key locations.
Screen Scotland and the BBC have renewed their commitment to Scottish-produced content with a £3m investment boost for the country’s screen sector.