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Production Guild of Great Britain and British Film Commission to launch new international programme of Covid Supervisor Training



Date Posted: November 5, 2020

The Production Guild of Great Britain (PGGB) and the British Film Commission (BFC) are partnering to roll out a new accredited programme of Covid Supervisor training for film and TV production professionals.

Backed by £100,000 investment from BFC, the new High-Level Covid Supervisor Training Programme will be delivered by PGGB and is being developed in consultation with the US-based Producers Guild of America’s Production Safety Task Force. Targeted at Production Managers, Line Producers and Location Managers, it will build on the BFC’s Working Safely During Covid-19 in Film and HETV Drama Production’ guidance published in July, to introduce an international standard of best practice for the Covid safety role during film and television production.

Alex Boden, Producer and Chair of PGGB says: “I’m thrilled to see the PGGB partnering with the BFC on this essential new initiative. The film and TV industry has done an incredible job in re-starting production, but as we head back into lockdown in the UK, keeping the on-set environment safe is paramount. This training programme will help us ensure that Covid supervisors and other production specialists will receive the relevant ongoing training to keep our productions safe and to meet the challenges of the future.”

Samantha Perahia MBE, Head of Production UK, British Film Commission, said: “BFC is delighted to partner with PGGB for this vitally important training programme. In addition to safeguarding the health of the workforce, the right Covid safety measures can also protect production budgets, particularly when Covid Supervisors work with producers from an early stage. The UK remains very much open for business. This significant investment in training shows our commitment to supporting the ongoing excellence of our professional crew.”

Professor Lyndsay Duthie, PGGB CEO says, “Production teams around the world are adapting to new conditions in a united effort to keep the pipeline of  content flowing. Our High-Level Covid Supervisor Training, developed in partnership with the British Film Commission and in consultation with the Producers Guild of America’s Production Safety Task Force, will be the new international standard of best practice for what is now one of the most vital roles within the production team. It will empower the Covid Supervisor to work as efficiently as possible, ensuring the safety of crews in the UK and helping to keep production moving during the pandemic.”

“As productions have restarted around the globe, the Producers Guild of America’s Production Safety Task Force is proud to collaborate with the PGGB and BFC on this important endeavor. This is a moment where Guilds and industry organizations can step in to collectively prepare us for current challenges and forge new practices that move us all forward. We are honored to have the opportunity to help pave the way for producers to create safe and secure work environments while continuing to produce great content,” said Lori McCreary, former PGA President and CEO of Revelations Entertainment.

PGGB’s newly appointed Director of Training Helen Curston, who takes up her role on 9th November, will lead the delivery of the accredited programme. With a background in production, Helen gained more than a decade’s experience working at the BBC as a Producer and Director before moving into education, first as Lecturer at the University of Kent and then Programme Director for the University of Creative Arts’ BA (Hons) Television Production degree at Maidstone TV Studios, for which she gained ScreenSkills accreditation. She also led on the UCA’s partnership with the BAFTA Albert programme.

Helen Curston says: “I’m very excited to be joining PGGB as Director of Training. These are challenging times and honing skills through structured training is more important than ever for those creative professionals working day-to-day in this industry. I look forward to leading on the new Covid Supervisor Training programme as a first priority, to help productions cut through adversity and move forward safely and successfully.”

The High-Level Covid Supervisor Training will provide a thorough overview of the impact of additional Covid measures on each department involved in production and how the Covid Supervisor’s role brings these elements together. An international standard job description for the Covid Supervisor role will be defined that can be adopted globally and the programme will also include online modules that will be rolled out to a wider international audience. Trainees will become trailblazers, part of the project’s online hub to share best practice and future-proof production techniques as the pandemic continues and evolves.

A call for participants in the training programme will go out later this month.

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