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Production 100 2011 Back to Reports & survey Listing

Peer Poll

Wall to Wall takes top spot in the Production 100 peer poll for the third year running. But plenty of mid-sized and smaller indies also make it for the first time


The Production 100 peer poll is compiled by totting up the responses from all indies taking part in the survey to the question: which rival indie do you most respect and why?

Dozens of indies are cited by their rivals, and the ranking is based on those with the most votes overall while the quotes throughout this article come directly from the feedback received to the question.

The results this year are noticeably different from 2010. There’s a raft of mid-sized and smaller indies that make it into the Peer Poll for the first time, while fewer superindie outfits have gained entry.

Wall to Wall, part of the Shed Media Group, is described by one rival as a “quality producer.” Another competitor rates Wall to Wall’s “excellent, well executed and well made factual programmes.” As well as its long-runners Who Do You Think You Are? and New Tricks, recent Wall to Wall credits include BBC1’s Turn Back Time - The High Street. Other rivals cite Wall to Wall for “still making intelligent TV”, “innovative, accessible television” and “good films!”

Second place is jointly taken by three indie companies – The Garden, Keo Films and Windfall Films – which have stormed up the Peer Poll chart in a very short time.

The Garden is a brand new entrant – a hugely impressive feat given that it has only been trading for a year. Set up by the former owners of Dragonfly and with credits such as 24 Hours in A&E under its belt already, The Garden is noted for its “well crafted fixed camera documentary formats” and “for doing it all over again.” 24 Hours in A&E “is an impressive coup to pull off” and “a stunning ob doc”, say others.

Keo Films is another new entrant to the chart, winning plaudits on the back of shows such as Welcome to Lagos and Hugh’s Fish Fight. Keo, notes one rival, is a “great company and well focused.” Others like its “excellent anthropological and campaigning documentaries” and say it has “a great digital department.”

Meanwhile, Windfall, producer of C4’s Inside Nature’s Giants and Dambusters: Building the Bouncing Bomb, rises from 15th place two years ago and fourth place last year. Comments one rival: “Windfall has shown that it’s possible to create returnable formats with content.”

In fifth place is yet another new entrant to the Peer Poll, Liverpool-based Lime Pictures, the indie behind The Only Way Is Essex and Geordie Shore. Owned by All3Media, Lime is picked out “for forging ahead into new territories” and “for creating a new genre of programming in The Only Way is Essex.”

Blast! Films and Raw TV share sixth spot in the poll. Blast, whose credits include C4’s Coppers, is cited for its “excellent documentaries and dramas” as well as its “great variety and high standards.” Raw, the producer of Nat Geo’s Locked Up Abroad, BBC1’s Neighbourhood Watched and A&E’s Fugitive Chronicles, is seen as a “boutique player with US muscle” that makes shows “with great production values.”

Next up are Firecracker, Objective and Shine, which all share eighth place. It’s the first time in the Peer Poll for My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding producer Firecracker, rated for “clever, clever ideas which are well targeted” and for “great looking TV documentaries – it’s finally getting the respect it deserves.” All3Media owned Objective, producer of Peep Show, John Bishop’s Britain and The Cube, is feted for being a “streamlined juggernaut of a business that still has a creative edge” and for its “high quality entertainment and comedy programming.” And Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine TV, the producer of MasterChef, is picked out for its “amazing brands” as well as its “quality, drive and ambition.”

Ten indies then go on to share tenth place, each winning the same number of votes in the Peer Poll. They are: superindie group All3Media –“a smart business”, says one respondent; Downton Abbey producer Carnival Films – “a proper company,” according to one admirer; drama outfit Company Pictures, hailed by one rival for “its pioneering vision across the TV drama landscape”; factual indie Darlow Smithson –“they consistently come up with the goods”; One Born Every Minute indie Dragonfly – for “innovative documentary ideas”; Horrible Histories producer Lion Television – “they never stand still” and make a “great range of highly creative programming”; documentary maker Minnow Films – for “focusing on absolute quality” and “director led films”; drama indie Red – “they remain distinctive, content driven and have a true industry leader in Nicola Shindler”; Case Histories and Toast producer Ruby Films – “has astutely repositioned itself as a successful TV producer”; and documentary maker True Vision - for “consistently high quality and integrity.”

The Production 100 Peer Poll Top 20
We asked every indie taking part in the Production 100 to name the rivals they most respected.
Below are the 20 most nominated production companies
1 Wall to Wall
2= The Garden
2= Keo Films
2= Windfall Films
5 Lime Pictures
6= Blast! Films
6= Raw Television
8= Firecracker Films
8= Objective Productions
8= Shine Television
11= All3Media
11= Carnival Films
11= Company Pictures
11= Darlow Smithson
11= Dragonfly Productions
11= Lion Television
11=Minnow Films
11= Red Production
11= Ruby Films
11= True Vision

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