The PGGB High-End TV Production Team of the Year Award sponsored by Netflix - presented to the five-part miniseries The North Water, produced by See-Saw Films for BBC Two and starring Colin Farrell, Jack O’Connell and Stephen Graham. PGGB members Nicky Earnshaw (Head of Production, See-Saw Films), Alice Dawson (Co-Producer), Paul Murphy (Financial Controller), Edward Rastelli-Lewis (Production Manager), Adam Hutchings (Production Accountant), Owen Keys (1st Assistant Accountant - London/Budapest), alongside the wider production team are awarded for their outstanding work on the survival thriller set in the UK and the ice floes of the Arctic in the late 1850s.
Driven by director Andrew Haigh’s vision for maximum authenticity, shooting took place in the Arctic in Svalbard, up to 81 degrees north, making The North Water widely believed to be the most northerly drama shot to date. At times locked in sea ice and up to 24 hours away from land, filming took place on a period whaling vessel with just two small support vessels and on floating ice sheets. Cast and crew lived in close quarters for one month and endured hostile conditions and freezing temperatures, encountering polar bears and walruses. The production continued in Budapest at the end of 2019, and when the pandemic brought about international lockdown in March 2020, the team were forced to pull the Canadian leg of their shoot, moving the filming for remaining sequences to the UK. The shooting crew were a mix of British, Hungarian, Norwegian and Canadian.
Jury Chair and PGGB Chair, Producer Alex Boden says: “The North Water team demonstrated how to survive the perfect production storm: you take all the elements that make production tricky, throw in Covid and then sail north! The fact that they not only survived it, but they’d do it again, is testament to this team’s achievement. This is what UK High-end television looks like today.”
A Special Mention in this category goes to the production team behind upcoming crime drama series Suspect (w/t) produced by Eagle Eye Drama for Channel 4, for their progressive approach to scheduling the shoot in a way that reimagined the ‘work-life balance’ of the film set, placing well-being of crew at the heart of the show. PGGB members Chris Bunyan (Line Producer), Roger Evans (Production Manager) and Bex Scott (Production Accountant) receive the award.