As part of its 90th birthday celebrations, the RTS has doubled the prize for the Shiers Trust Award 2019 to £4,000. This has been split between two projects – a celebration of Yorkshire Television and a history of TV graphic design.
The Shiers Trust jury was unable to decide between the two projects, which were part of a record number of applicants this year.
The documentary feature Made in Yorkshire will tell the story of how a group of young men and women took over a derelict trouser factory in a rundown part of Leeds in 1968 and set about creating television studios.
“In the decades that followed, Yorkshire Television made programmes that were viewed across the planet,” said producer/director Stuart Ramsay, who will make the film.
“It was a ground-breaking period in television history – for the first time, local news was beamed into millions of homes across the north. There were documentaries that challenged the status quo and changed society, there was pioneering drama and shiny-floor entertainment series – all created within Yorkshire TV’s Kirkstall Road studios.
“Through interviews with the key protagonists from Yorkshire TV’s past, we will record for posterity the memories and first-hand accounts of those who were there to witness, and help create, TV history.”
The Shiers Trust will also fund filmed interviews with ex-BBC motion graphic designers who worked on many different programmes, series and campaigns for the Corporation over the years. These will contribute to an archive of the history of BBC motion graphic design.
Former TV graphic designer Mark Craig – now a documentary-maker, who made the feature film The Last Man on the Moon – will film the interviews.
“Stemming from the mid-1950s to the present day, the interviews will reveal the creative processes behind the seminal work, and practices that have now passed into motion graphics history,” he said.
The Shiers Trust Award offers a grant towards work on any aspect of television history. George Shiers, a distinguished US TV historian and member of the RTS, provided a bequest to fund the award. Normally it is worth £2,000, but this year, to mark the 90th anniversary of the RTS, it was raised to £4,000.
Past Shiers Trust projects include an oral history of BBC Pebble Mill and a biography of Grace Wyndham Goldie, the first head of BBC TV News and Current Affairs.