If there’s one industry that knows how to problem solve it’s the TV industry. Royal Television Society North East and the Border (RTS NETB) will explore how our creatives got extra creative and kept dramas and soaps like Vera and Emmerdale in production despite lockdown.
In an online panel discussion TV execs will reveal the extraordinary lengths production crews had to go to in order to maintain social distancing on set and ensure TV viewers could keep on watching their favourites.
Scripts had to be rewritten, cast & crew numbers reduced or kept apart, new camera angles found. Fight scenes and struggles had to avoid any physical contact but remain convincing. Electricians and set designers who would never normally step in front of a camera now found themselves on screen as extras. A whole new set of tricks of the trade have been added to the ‘magic of television’.
The “Covid – creativity in a Crisis” panel includes ‘Emmerdale’ Director Ian Bevitt, ‘ Kid’s TV show ‘Danny & Mick’ production co-ordinator Victoria Griffin, Teesside based independent producer Matt McGough (Ithica Films) and Fahima Chowdhury, Line Producer with 'Vera'.
Emmerdale was the first soap to get back into production during the first lockdown and global hit series Vera was able to get back out on location across the North East and provide much needed work for regional crews who as freelancers faced an uncertain future.
The panel hosted by TV presenter/producer Chris Jackson will also look at the positives. “A fascinating silver lining from coping with Covid is that many of the producers I have spoken to say the heightened awareness amongst the crews has given everyone a much better appreciation of each other’s craft skills. Just like the rest of society the TV industry isn’t taking anything for granted.