The Royal Television Society has announced the winners of the RTS Craft & Design Awards 2020.

Across the 31 categories, the BBC led the way with 19 wins, three of which were for the BBC One & HBO series His Dark Materials for the Design – Titles, Effects, and Production Design – Drama categories. ITV and Channel 4 each took home four awards with ITV’s The Masked Singer garnering the Costume Design – Entertainment & Non Drama, and documentary For Sama winning two awards for Channel 4 for Director – Documentary/Factual & Non Drama and Music – Original Score.

The RTS Special Award was presented to Michaela Coel for her BBC One and HBO hit series I May Destroy You. Renowned casting director Nina Gold was given the Outstanding Achievement Award for her extensive career which has included casting for internationally esteemed television and films such as The Crown, Chernobyl and Game of Thrones.

Chair of the Awards, Anne Mensah, said: “Despite not being able to meet as we usually would to revel in what has been a brilliant year of production, we are delighted we could celebrate together virtually this evening. Echoing the message shared by HRH The Prince of Wales, the industry has not only lifted the spirits of UK audiences this year, but also continues to be a major economic and cultural force on the global stage. Collectively we have produced an outstanding array of quality content during a time that has thrown up so many challenges, and I heartily congratulate all the winners!”

The Full List of Winners

 

Casting Award

 

WINNER – Yoko Narahashi, Shaheen Baig & Layla Merrick-Wolf Giri/Haji (Duty/Shame) SISTER for BBC Two & Netflix

“One of the great successes of Giri/Haji was the truly international casting in such culturally different parts of the world; the Japanese and British casting complimented each other beautifully. The artful approach to the casting created some stand-out performances that managed to be truly authentic.”

Nominees:

  • Kelly Valentine-Hendry Gangs of London Pulse Films / SISTER & Sky Studios for Sky Atlantic in association with Cinemax
  • Amy Hubbard White House Farm New Pictures for ITV

 

Costume Design – Drama

 

WINNER – Lynsey Moore I May Destroy You Various Artists & FALKNA for BBC One & HBO

“The look of this show is genuinely ground-breaking and created styles for the characters which will set trends for the future, while never compromising storytelling.  And all on an impressively tight budget.”

Nominees:

  • Dihantus Engelbrecht Noughts + Crosses Mammoth Screen / Participant Media & Roc Nation for BBC One
  • Arjun Bhasin A Suitable Boy A Lookout Point Production for BBC One

 

Costume Design – Entertainment & Non Drama

 

WINNER – Tim Simpson, Derek McLean, Daniel Nettleton & Claire Horton The Masked Singer (Series 1) Bandicoot Scotland & Plunge Creations for ITV

“To create such distinctive characters with costumes which fully concealed the performers identity, without compromising sound quality was a technical achievement which took our collective breath away. Outstanding!”

Nominees:

  • Roberto Surace The Goes Wrong Show (Series 1) Mischief Screen & Big Talk Productions for BBC One
  • Amanda Monk In the Long Run Green Door Pictures / Sprout Pictures & Sky Studios for Sky One

 

Design – Programme Content Sequences

 

WINNER – Made in Colour My World – Dadaab Refugee Camp BBC World

“An intimate and emotive piece of animation with a story so beautifully told – the jury absolutely loved this sequence and were even more impressed after realising the tight time frame, small budget and intimate team size behind it.”

Nominees:

  • Richard Norley, Wajahut Shah & Sancha Worthington, Jump The Supervet (Series 15 and Christmas Special) Blast! Films for Channel 4
  • Martin Johnson, Fleur Bone, Rob Harvey & Paul Crosby Mars: One Day On The Red Planet The Garden Productions for National Geographic

 

Design – Titles

 

WINNER – Titles Team His Dark Materials Bad Wolf for BBC One & HBO

“A visually sumptuous opening sequence that really lifts and transports viewers into the world of His Dark Materials. These titles convey the epic, cinematic scale of the show and the jury recognises and celebrates the artistry and technical skills required to pull off something of such scale.”

 

Nominees:

  • Titles Team Brassic Calamity Films & Sky Studios for Sky One
  • Rob Roberts-Facey, Lucy Adams, Dominic Robson-Smith & Alastair McIntyre World Athletics Championships 2019 BBC Sport

 

Director – Comedy Drama/Situation Comedy

 

WINNER – Ella Jones Enterprice (Series 2) Fudge Park Productions for BBC Three

“The director achieved an infectious dynamism and intimacy in the storytelling and made the viewer feel like they were an extra character in the show, which made the experience funnier, sadder and more inclusive.”

Nominees:

  • Simon Hynd There She Goes (Series 2) Merman Television for BBC Two
  • Tom George This Country (Series 3) BBC Studios for BBC Three

 

Director – Documentary/Factual & Non Drama

 

WINNER – Waad al-Kateab & Edward Watts For Sama, ITN Productions for Channel 4 & PBS

“A searing and cinematic film which captured attention and hearts with its beautifully human angle and brave directing skills.”

 

Nominees:

  • James Bluemel Once Upon a Time in Iraq Keo Films for BBC Two
  • Paddy Wivell Prison Spring Films for Channel 4

 

Director – Drama

 

WINNER – Lenny Abrahamson Normal People Element Pictures for BBC & Hulu

“Beautiful, stylish and confident. This was the work of an elite director, skilfully providing the space for his actors to shine and their chemistry to transmit through the lens. Nuanced, but always sophisticated, Abrahamson was magnificent in conjuring up all the angst, confusion and excitement of a first love. His portrayal of class and adolescence was thoughtful, cliché-free and totally captivating from start to finish.”

Nominees:

  • Sam Miller & Michaela Coel I May Destroy You Various Artists & FALKNA for BBC One & HBO
  • Destiny Ekaragha The End of The F***ing World 2 Clerkenwell Films & Dominic Buchanan Productions for Channel 4 & Netflix

 

Director – Multicamera

 

WINNER – Bridget Caldwell The Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance BBC Studios for BBC One

“Beautiful.  A masterclass in multi-camera directing. The choreography is 10 out of 10.  A Tour de Force and a real Director’s piece.  Bridget brings new life to The Albert Hall and brings everyone’s reactions to life. You feel like you are there.”

Nominees:

  • Simon Staffurth VE Day 75: The People’s Celebration BBC Studios for BBC One
  • Julia Knowles VJ Day 75: The Nation Remembers BBC Studios for BBC One

 

Editing – Documentary/Factual

 

WINNER – Abraham Teweldebrhan Tyson Fury: The Gypsy King Optomen Television for ITV

 

“A captivating story, told with bold choices that completely transcended the genre of sports documentary.”

 

Nominees:

  • Chloë Lambourne & Simon McMahon For Sama ITN Productions for Channel 4 & PBS
  • Justin Badger & Christopher Swayne Barrymore: The Body in the Pool Keo Films for Channel 4

 

Editing – Drama

 

WINNER – Pia Di Ciaula Quiz Left Bank Pictures for ITV

“The jury felt that there was some really excellent work involved in this highly entertaining and complex show. With multiple storylines and the viewer charged to make a decision about the guilt of the Major, the editing was required to be consistently smart, confident and cleverly balanced. The success of the show had much to do with how this was realised.”

Nominees:

  • Izabella Curry I Hate Suzie Bad Wolf & Sky Studios for Sky Atlantic
  • Nathan Nugent Normal People Element Pictures for BBC & Hulu

 

Editing – Entertainment and Comedy

 

WINNER – Dan Gage Staged Infinity Hill & GCB Productions for BBC One

 

“Witty, joyous and clever use of technology, this pushed the boundaries of what great editing can achieve.”

 

Nominees:

  • Edit Team Britain’s Got Talent (Series 14) Thames & Syco for ITV
  • William Webb Feel Good Objective Fiction & Objective Media Group Scotland for Netflix & Channel 4

 

Editing – Sport

 

WINNER – Joe Snell, Kevin Evans & Paul Roberts Time for a new season BT Sport Europa League final & BT Sport Champions League final BT Sport

“The jury described the entry as very big, very current, brilliantly put-together and with the feel and quality of a high-end music video. A remarkable and emotive piece of work, expertly crafted from inception. A very relevant and timely piece of sports story-telling during a year of incredible change.”

Nominees:

  • Nicholas Perry, Rob Roberts-Facey & Stephen Lyle One Day: Sport’s Super Sunday BBC Sport
  • Nicholas Perry, Tom Mallion, Sonja McLaughlan & Richard Hughes Six Nations 2020: Eddie Jones interview BBC Sport

 

Effects

 

WINNER – Framestore, Russell Dodgson, Dan May & Danny Hargreaves His Dark Materials Bad Wolf for BBC One & HBO

“Just glorious! The jury was impressed by the collaboration between the numerous teams who came together to deliver truly excellent creatures and rich FX work across the series.”

 

Nominees:

  • Vine FX War of the Worlds Urban Myth Films & Canal + for Fox
  • DNEG, Rowley SFX, Flash SFX & Goldcrest World on Fire Mammoth Screen co-produced with Masterpiece for BBC One

 

Lighting for Multicamera

 

WINNER – Nigel Catmur VJ Day 75: The Nation’s Tribute BBC Studios for BBC One

 

Every member of the panel described this as either “stunning” or “brilliant”. A high quality production of a hugely creative response to the restrictions suddenly placed on the event. Every detail was clear and no light was in sight. Stunning and brilliant indeed, a programme that will live long in the memory.”

 

Nominees:

  • Gurdip Mahal, Ross Williams & Rob Bradley Crazy Delicious Optomen for Channel 4 & Netflix
  • Paul Burton Coronation Street ITV Studios for ITV

 

Make Up Design – Drama

 

WINNER – Shabana Latif and Avan Contractor A Suitable Boy A Lookout Point Production for BBC One

“The hair and make-up in this drama achieved a hugely wide ranging spectrum of looks, with an extraordinary eye for detail, and contributed hugely to the storytelling.”

Nominees:

  • Bethany Swan I May Destroy You Various Artists & FALKNA for BBC One & HBO
  • Julie Kendrick Quiz Left Bank Pictures for ITV

 

Make Up Design – Entertainment & Non Drama

 

WINNER – Sheldon Wade Frayed Merman Television in association with Guesswork Television for Sky One

 

“The delightfully distinctive period aesthetic was created with subtlety and nuance, perfectly in keeping with the comic tone of the show.”

 

Nominees:

  • Kate Roberts & Team In My Skin Expectation Entertainment for BBC One
  • Marcos Gurgel Dancing On Ice ITV Studios Entertainment for ITV

 

Multicamera Work

 

WINNER – Suri Krishnamma & Camera Team Performance Live: The Way Out Battersea Arts Centre for BBC Four

“A properly original production in which the camera gained an identity and presence all of its own. To achieve such a seamless piece of storytelling in a multi-camera lighting rig was an astonishing technical feat.”

 

Nominees:

  • Camera Team VJ Day 75: The Nation’s Tribute BBC Studios for BBC One
  • Andrew Slater, Annie Tetchner, Sophie Oliver & Katie Collis 24 Hours In Police Custody – Murder in the Woods – Two Part Special The Garden Productions for Channel 4

 

Multicamera Work – Sport

 

WINNER – IGBS Camera Team The Rugby World Cup Semi Final 2019 England v New Zealand IGBS (JV between IMG and HBS) for ITV

 

“Amazing piece of storytelling. Everything from the haka onwards was shot in a dramatic narrative style. One of those moments when sport becomes truly epic. A properly narrative piece of drama brilliantly captured by the camerawork.”

 

Nominees:

  • Matt Roberts SailGP: Season 1 Finale and Season 2 Launch Whisper & Timeline TV for BT Sport & Sky Sports
  • Ken Burton FA Cup: Shrewsbury Town v Liverpool BBC Sport

 

Music – Original Score

 

WINNER – Nainita Desai For Sama ITN Productions for Channel 4 & PBS

“A painfully moving film enhanced by an equally emotional soundtrack which is subtle and spare and enhanced the dignity of the overall piece.”

 

Nominees:

  • Natalie Holt Deadwater Fell Kudos for Channel 4
  • Mark “Happi” Babatunde & Duriel “Komenz” Mensah Enterprice (Series 2) Fudge Park Productions for BBC Three

 

 

 

Music – Original Title

 

WINNER – H. Scott Salinas Baghdad Central Euston Films for Channel 4

 

“An instantly recognisable theme which was suitably haunting, dynamic and original – you understood exactly where you were in the world as soon as you hear the opening bars.”

 

Nominees:

  • Lorne Balfe His Dark Materials Bad Wolf for BBC One & HBO
  • Alex Heffes & Anoushka Shankar A Suitable Boy A Lookout Point Production for BBC One

 

Photography – Documentary/Factual & Non Drama

 

WINNER – Olivier Sarbil On The President’s Orders Mongoose Pictures for BBC Storyville

“Every bit of the photography is beautifully and brilliantly constructed. The framing and lighting was extraordinary giving a cinematic effect that completely drew the viewer into a haunting, sinister and menacing world. It is a bold, brave and masterful use of the lens.”

Nominees:

  • Drone Filming Crew The Great Mountain Sheep Gather Windfall Films for BBC Four
  • Camera Team Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins Minnow Films for Channel 4

 

Photography – Drama & Comedy

 

WINNER – Suzie Lavelle Normal People Element Pictures for BBC & Hulu

“The jury felt that the cinematography displayed an elegant simplicity, delivered with utter confidence and strength to hold on the detail of humanity and character. The framing was subtle but incredibly powerful, and the camera work enabled the audience to feel incredibly close and emotionally engaged with the characters. It is a very human piece of work, beautifully lit, always well motivated, and feels very real whilst retaining a very romantic tone.”

Nominees:

  • Ed Rutherford Little Birds Warp Films & Sky Studios for Sky Atlantic
  • David Odd Giri/Haji (Duty/Shame) SISTER for BBC Two & Netflix

 

 

Picture Enhancement

 

WINNER – Adam Dolniak Rise of the Nazis 72 Films for BBC Two

The jury was struck by the creative results of this grade, especially given the time and budget constraints. It was original, creative, supported the photography and made a notable difference to the story and subject matter.”

 

Nominees:

  • Asa Shoul Devs FX Networks & DNA Films for BBC Two
  • Aidan Farrell Catherine The Great New Pictures & Origin Pictures for HBO & Sky

 

Production Design – Drama

 

WINNER – Joel Collins His Dark Materials Bad Wolf for BBC One & HBO

 

“An epic, detailed and exciting design giving life to a fantasy world whilst still rooted in reality, the jury really felt the coherence of the design carried through from physical sets to virtual additions.”

 

Nominees:

  • Tom Burton Catherine the Great New Pictures & Origin Pictures for Sky Atlantic in association with HBO
  • Matthew Gant & Megan Bosaw Gangs of London Pulse Films / SISTER & Sky Studios for Sky Atlantic in association with Cinemax

 

Production Design – Entertainment & Non Drama

 

WINNER – Dennis De Groot The Goes Wrong Show (Series 1) Mischief Screen & Big Talk Productions for BBC One

“Such a unique show where the design of the sets and props are so integral to creating the comedy, sketches relied on well thought out design both practically and aesthetically to create humour.”

 

Nominees:

  • James Dillon Taskmaster Avalon Television for Dave
  • Catherine Land & Patrick Doherty Strictly Come Dancing BBC Studios for BBC One

 

Sound – Drama

 

WINNER – Howard Bargroff, Tim Barker, Steve Browell & Marc Specter Baghdad Central Euston Films for Channel 4

 

“The action scene dialogue was allowed to breathe within the artillery, explosions and music, providing a well designed and balanced soundscape.”

 

Nominees:

  • Paul Davies, Chris Durfy, Nick Cox & Ian Morgan The Salisbury Poisonings Dancing Ledge Productions for BBC One
  • Sound Team The Crown (Series 3) Left Bank Pictures for Netflix

 

Sound – Entertainment & Non Drama

 

WINNER – Nick Fry, Mick Duffield & James Evans The Last Igloo Swan Films for BBC Four

 

“Very well-crafted audio in extreme weather conditions and a delicate underscore woven into the bitter winds for the sense of isolation and remoteness.”

 

Nominees:

  • Kevin Duff & Andy Deacon VJ Day 75: The Nation’s Tribute BBC Studios for BBC One
  • Steve Speed, Nick Fry, James Evans & Hugh Dwan Formula 1: Drive To Survive (Series 2) Box to Box Films for Netflix

 

RTS Special Award

WINNER – Michaela Coel I May Destroy You Various Artists & FALKNA for BBC One & HBO

 

I May Destroy You, the series that unpacked a breath-taking exploration of sexual assault, race, and millennial life over twelve stunning episodes.  This year’s RTS Special Award is presented to the show’s creator, writer and co-director, Michaela Coel.

 

Just four years ago Michaela Coel won the Breakthrough Award at the RTS Programme Awards for her work on her ground-breaking Channel 4 series Chewing Gum. In the short time since then she’s established herself as perhaps Britain’s most exciting up-and-coming writer, producer, director and actor. In creating I May Destroy You she drew on her own personal experience of sexual assault, giving the story’s lead character Arabella a deep hinterland of complexity. Arabella navigates a bewildering world of social media addiction, recreational drug use, generational conflict, cultural misunderstanding and the seemingly shifting boundaries around sexual consent. In writing I May Destroy You Michaela wrote almost two hundred drafts, exhausting herself into a virtually trance-like state in the process, the intensity of the task almost overwhelming at times. In co-directing I May Destroy You she developed a style unique to this show – an immediacy and vitality that put the viewer right into the chaos of Arabella’s life. And by starring as Arabella in I May Destroy You, Michaela Coel showed us again that she’s an actor whose incredible potential is still revealing itself with each new project.

 

In presenting the Special Award to Michaela Coel, the judges said – “This piece sits in the true spirit of the Craft and Design Awards. The astonishing level of detail in all aspects of this production was humbling to see. A truly distinctive, highly creative and exemplary piece of work, in which the winner had also corralled outstanding demonstrations of expert craft skills across all the production disciplines.”

 

Outstanding Achievement Award

WINNER – Nina Gold

This year’s Award for an Outstanding Achievement in British Television is presented to a professional one newspaper recently called “the most influential casting director working today”. With almost two hundred screen casting credits to her name, the list of her television work reads like a directory of award-winning drama – Game of Thrones, The Crown, Patrick Melrose, Chernobyl, Top of the Lake, Harlots, Daniel Deronda, Tipping The Velvet, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, Secret State, John Adams, Wolf Hall…the list goes on and on.

Nina’s casting journey began while she was still at university, working on student productions. Then, one day in the mid-Eighties, she helped a friend out by casting extras in an AC/DC music video.  And so it began. One pop video led to another, and before long Nina was also casting television commercials. In 1992 she cast a McDonalds ad directed by Mike Leigh. He spotted her obvious flair, and later in the decade asked Nina to cast her first feature film, Topsy Turvy. Her subsequent work in cinema has gone on to cover the range of movie making from Hollywood blockbusters like Star Wars, Jurassic World and Mamma Mia, to modestly budgeted British films like Sunshine on Leith.

 

On television, Nina’s skills in the nuanced alchemy of casting have created a generation of stars who are now familiar faces but were given their early breaks by her. Every year she scours drama schools and acting workshops in her relentless search for new talent. She’s acknowledged to have the best antennae in the business, but she combines this with a gift for surprise – she often casts unexpected actors into roles that they then somehow end up appearing born to play.  Nina’s a risk taker, but one with exceptional judgment and great taste. The writer and showrunner of The Crown, Peter Morgan said, “She’s like a benevolent pickpocket. You walk in to meet her with a pocketful of what you think are brilliant casting ideas. By the time you leave, you’ve none of those ideas anymore, but your pockets have been filled with others, which you then find out are all inevitably better.”

 

The truth is that when casting is done really well, the audience don’t notice. It becomes invisible. It’s only when it’s done badly that it becomes conspicuous, when someone’s uttered those deadly words, “They’ll do”. But that’s never been Nina’s way. She never settles for second best, never compromises in her mission to find the right actor for the role. Her unwavering respect for actors, her perceptive understanding of what kind of actor the text might need, the way she forges deep bonds with directors, producers and agents – these are the qualities Nina brings to her work. More than anything, she cares profoundly about the difference that casting can make to a production. During her thirty years in the business, she’s raised the game of casting in British television…setting a new standard. The Gold Standard. By any measure, an outstanding achievement.

 

Jon Creamer