HRH The Earl of Wessex has become Royal Patron of The Production Guild of Great Britain (PGGB), the UK’s leading membership organisation for professionals working in film and television drama production.
To mark the new patronage, His Royal Highness visited Twickenham Film Studios in West London, the UK’s oldest film studio. His Royal Highness met production crew at the studios to hear about their experiences of working in the industry, and the support provided by the PGGB, as he takes up his new role as Patron. The Earl also joined Oscar winner Tim Cavagin, who won for sound editing Bohemian Rhapsody, at the studio’s mixing desk to learn more about the craft and importance of sound editing in film and TV production.
His Royal Highness is the first Royal Patron in the history of PGGB, which represents skilled professionals working behind the camera within the production office, accounting, locations, assistant directing, post-production and VFX. As well as providing industry advice, employment opportunities and training to UK crew, PGGB also works closely with national agency the British Film Commission to increase access to a diverse and experienced workforce. The achievements of its members are recognised at the biannual PGGB Awards in association with Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, the next edition of which will take place this Saturday (26 March 2022).
On becoming Patron, HRH The Earl of Wessex said: “The Production Guild of Great Britain provides incredibly valuable support to the UK’s production industry and crews, especially those in the less glamorous and visible roles. If we want more young people to consider a career in production, then we ought to be shining a brighter light on where the opportunities lie. I look forward to working with the Guild and trying to help them in their efforts to broaden access and inclusion within the UK production workforce.”
Alex Boden, producer and chair of The Production Guild of Great Britain says: “As a patron of the arts with a personal interest in developing employment opportunities for young people, The Earl of Wessex is uniquely qualified to become PGGB’s first Royal Patron. We’re at a point where the creative success of the UK film and TV industry delivers an increasingly significant contribution to the national economy. With His Royal Highness’ support we will continue to showcase our members’ outstanding work as well as the importance of broadening the diversity and inclusion of the UK production workforce, and nurturing new talent entering the industry.”
Lyndsay Duthie, CEO of The Production Guild of Great Britain says: “We are absolutely delighted to have the support of HRH The Earl of Wessex as our inaugural Patron. We are excited to develop this relationship and shine a spotlight on the work that our brilliant members do as world class content creators.”
Cara Sheppard, managing director, Twickenham Film Studios, said: “We were honoured to welcome The Earl of Wessex, a long-time supporter of our industry, to Twickenham Film Studios today. We were delighted to give His Royal Highness a tour of all of our filming stages and our BAFTA and Oscar-winning Sound and Picture department, and to introduce The Earl to some of our clients and in-house creative talent. It is hugely encouraging to feel the genuine support for increasing diversity and inclusion within our industry and attracting and training the next generation of filmmakers.”
The Earl of Wessex takes a keen interest in the arts and is Patron of a range of organisations that aim to widen opportunities within the sector, including the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, Northern Ballet and The Orpheus Centre Trust. His Royal Highness formerly worked in theatre and television production, before becoming a full-time working member of the Royal Family in 2002.