Northern Film & Media’s staff and board members offer our heartfelt congratulations to colleague Gayle Woodruffe, Production Service Manager, for receiving the prestigious Centre Award at Saturday’s Royal Television Society North East and the Borders Centre Awards 2012.
The Centre Award, presented at the climax of the ceremony, recognises a person, team or organisation whose work has made an outstanding contribution to the industry and a significant and lasting impact on audiences and viewers within the region and beyond.
In the words of Theresa Wise, Chief Executive of the Royal Television Society, who presented the award:
“The winner of this year’s Centre award really is one of the unsung heroes, or should we say heroines, of the North of England production sector. For the past twenty years she has been key to bringing countless films and television productions to this corner of the United Kingdom. Without her charm and determination, Harry Potter would never have set foot in Alnwick Castle and TV detectives Vera Stanhope and George Gently would be policing very different beats.
“Her number is on speed-dial for every crew, facilities house and production company in the North of England, and she is known and trusted by the big network players both here and in Hollywood. She has been the lynchpin for locations and crews through her time with the Northern Screen commission and more recently with Northern Film & Media’s Production Service, which offers location and logistical support for anyone making television or movies in the North East. It’s also an important resource for North East crews looking to secure employment and further their careers.
“In the past 12 months, NFM have negotiated their way through a series of catastrophic funding cuts; they have streamlined their overheads and staffing levels, and reshaped their services. Yet, all the while, the volume of production is as high as ever, with returning brands like the BBC’s George Gently and ITV’s Vera, The Paradise, new titles such as The Dumping Ground and Hebburn, and a steady stream of factual entertainment shows including Climbed Every Mountain. All have benefited in some way from the infrastructure, knowledge gathering, crew and facilities database development and the ground-breaking Filming Friendly Charter developed with all the local authorities in the North East.
“Of course, filming brings major economic benefits to the region — more than fifty million pounds of production spend in the last ten years alone, creating and sustaining hundreds of jobs — and importantly showcasing the life and landscape of this amazing part of the world to millions of television and cinema viewers.
“So…for twenty years of securing so many productions to be made here, for her attention to detail, her encyclopaedic knowledge of buildings and landscape, for her terrific understanding of the needs and nuances of everyone involved in the production sector from crews to councils, and of course for her legendary cake-baking skills… this year’s Centre Award goes to Northern Film & Media’s Production Service Manager – Gayle Woodruffe.”
Our thanks go to the judges and organisers of the Awards for this recognition of Northern Film & Media’s work and for the efforts which went into making the Awards such a memorable evening.