Production Guild Awards honour British talent

This Saturday 19th September sees the return of the prestigious Production Guild Awards. The awards celebrate the wealth of British excellence within the Production Guild Membership, and recognise the talent behind the UK’s thriving and world-renowned film and television industry.

Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden is the headline sponsor of the awards, which are held at The Grove, Hertfordshire.

BFC chairman leads UK production team to victory for Fox’s 24: Live Another Day

The event awards outstanding work in four categories including ‘The Production Guild Member/Team of the Year Award’ in association with Millbrook.  This prestigious award will go to the UK production team behind Twentieth Century Fox Television’s hit TV series 24: Live Another Day.

Producer and British Film Commission Chairman Iain Smith OBE led a team that comprised a number of Production Guild members, and a complex shooting schedule involving many UK locations including West London’s Gillette Building, Longcross Studios, major London airports, roads and transport systems and several iconic buildings including Wembley Stadium and the Royal Courts of Justice.

The choice to entrust a British crew with the production and VFX of its highly successful US series’ was viewed as a massive gesture of trust by Twentieth Century Fox, and is a shining example of the international acknowledgement of UK talent.  The production team lived up to this reputation, delivering on every count and achieving a fast-paced, challenging shoot with precision.

The British Film Commission was instrumental in securing the production of the series for the UK, funding and co-hosting with Film London an early recce for Bruce Margolis, Senior Vice President of Production at Twentieth Century Fox Television.

Bruce had nothing but praise for the experience of shooting in the UK with the British team: “We had a spectacular experience shooting 24: Live Another Day in London, and could not have been more pleased or impressed with our UK production team led by Iain Smith. 24 is by its very nature a tremendously challenging series to film, and it was further complicated by the fact that we were bringing this show back years after we ended production in Los Angeles, with the eyes of the world upon us. By every measure, thanks to our talented team overseas, we pulled it off, and we are so grateful for their incredible contribution to the legacy of this series.”

Read all about 24: Live Another Day filming in the UK.

Awards showcase rising stars and shapers of the UK film and television industry

The team behind 24: Live Another Day are by no means alone in recognition, as the three other prestigious awards are to be presented to:

Jessamyn Keogh, Assistant Production Accountant , who receives ‘The Production Guild Rising Star Award’ in association with Warner Bros, Studios Leavesden. Jess began the Production Guild’s Assistant Production Accountant Training Scheme (APATS) funded by Creative Skillset in 2012 and her skills and ambition saw her move upwards in an astonishingly short period. Jess has subsequently worked on shows such as E4’s Misfits, ITV drama Downton Abbey, as well as upcoming comedy drama Miss You Already (S Films/New Sparta Films), and the upcoming BBC One drama Taboo, starring Tom Hardy, for which she is the 1st Assistant Accountant.

Roy Button OBE, DL, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Warner Bros. Productions Ltd, receives ‘The Production Guild Contribution to the Industry Award’ in association with Panavision, for his outstanding contribution to the development and sustainability of the UK film and TV industry.  Roy is a fundamental figure within the industry, having started as a runner, and worked his way through the ranks on productions such as Richard Attenborough’s Cry Freedom and Gandhi and A Bridge Too Far, and Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and Temple of Doom, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Empire of the Sun. Roy is now Head of Physical Production for Warner Bros. Productions Ltd,  and was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty The Queen for services to the film industry as well as appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Hertfordshire.

Mairi Bett, producer, who receives ‘The Production Guild Inspiration Award’ in association with Creative Skillset, in recognition of her long-standing dedication to assisting the career development of young producers and production crew. Described by those in the industry as a ‘rock’, Mairi is widely regarded as an inspirational figure who is always prepared to lend her expertise, experience and time to mentor others. Mairi is an award-winning producer, and her many co-producing credits include the BAFTA winning and Oscar®-nominated United 93 (Working Title/Universal) Oscar®-winning and BAFTA-nominated Jane Eyre (Focus Features/Ruby Films), and the upcoming Victor Frankenstein (Davis Entertainment), to name but a few. In May 2014 Mairi joined Archery Pictures as Head of Production and acted as Exec Producer on Asif Kapadia’s upcoming Ali and Nino, adapted from the classic novel of the same name by Oscar®-winning screenwriter Christopher Hampton.

A pivotal event for a thriving industry

Discussing the necessity and merit of the award, Alison Small, CEO of The Production Guild commented, ‘…Production Guild members apply their experience and expertise across TV and feature film productions of all sizes, budgets and genres, both home-grown and international, via a wide and varied range of specialisms encompassing everything from production management, to VFX, to production accountancy. Their tireless contribution is integral to keeping the UK production industry at the top of its game, internationally renowned for its consistently high standards of expertise. We’re proud to celebrate their achievements with tonight’s awards.”

The British Film Commission is this year sponsoring the winners’ videos which you’ll be able to find here after the event.