Written by Shona Smith on Dec 2, 2020. Posted in Awards and Festivals

Jurassic World: Dominion and War of the Worlds among commended productions at Production Guild of Great Britain Awards

The 2020 Production Guild of Great Britain (PGGB) Innovation Awards, in association with Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, recognised the innovative work of production professionals who have navigated new ways of working to keep UK film and TV production moving forward during lockdown.

First Day on Set BTS - (c) ScreenSkills

The Innovation Awards for a Production Team, Individual, Special recognition and Special Contribution to the Industry were presented during an online ceremony that is now available to watch.

Head of Film & Animation Gareth Ellis-Unwin, Line Producer Georgette Turner and Production Coordinator Marco Calabrese win the PGGB Innovation Award for a Production Team, sponsored by Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden. First Day: On Set, an innovative VR film showcased the variety of roles available on a film and TV set. Since launching on Youtube in June it has had over 25,000 views and been used as an outreach tool during the pandemic.

Gareth Ellis-Unwin (Producer & Head of Film Animation, ScreenSkills)

Gareth Ellis-Unwin says: “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.”

War of the Worlds (Urban Myth for Canal+ and Fox TV) received a special mention in the Production Team category. The first High-End TV production to resume in the UK after lockdown, 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, and the eight-part series wrapped in October.

Andy Hudson (Film Laboratory Manager, Cinelab)

Andy Hudson, Film Laboratory Manager at Cinelab London, receives 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 and scanning work that could not be done remotely, continuing to deliver a high quality service which led to the company receiving hundreds of additional 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 Hudson says: “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.”

Hakan Kousetta (Pact Council member, COO See-Saw Films), John McVay OBE (Chief Executive, Pact)

John McVay OBE, Chief Executive of Pact, and Hakan Kousetta, Pact Council Member and COO Television of See-Saw Films, receive 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.

Jurassic World Dominion (c) John Wilson, Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment

Jurassic World Dominion (c) John Wilson, Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment

The Jurassic World: Dominion UK production team wins the PGGB Innovation Award for Special Contribution to the Industry. Jurassic World: Dominion was the e first major studio feature to get back underway in the UK after government gave the greenlight to restart production and included 27 PGGB members. After production halted on 14th March, he 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.

Jurassic World Dominion (c) John Wilson, Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment

Samantha Perahia MBE, Head of Production UK, British Film Commission says: “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.”

Other Special mentions in the Special Contribution to the Industry Category was The Pursuit of Love (Open Book and Moonage Pictures for BBC One and Amazon Studios). The 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.

The Awards’ In Memoriam section remembered the life of Producer and long-standing PGGB member Willy Wands. PGGB Chair Alex Boden said: “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.”

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