Liverpool-based film and TV production company LA Productions is celebrating its most successful year on the small screen.
Over the past 12 months, LA Productions created two prime time dramas for the BBC and Channel 5’s drama channel, 5STAR.
Clink, a gritty drama based around life in an all-female prison, proved a hit with viewers with the series consistently featuring in the channel’s top 10 most viewed shows.
It was the first original drama to be commissioned by the channel, and included a predominantly female cast, writing team and directors. Clink aired in April and lasted 10 weeks.
Pitching In also made its debut on BBC One in March this year, reuniting Gavin and Stacey’s Larry Lamb and Melanie Walters. The four part series told the story of Frank, a widower played by Lamb, who owns a holiday park in Wales, and the semi-permanent park community.
LA Productions’ long-running day time show Moving On returned in February. The award-winning programme, now celebrating 10 years, featured five episodes tackling social issues and the theme of ‘moving on’ in life. Series 11 of Moving On is set to appear on screens in the New Year.
It has also been a highly successful year behind the camera both domestically and internationally with multiple awards.
LA Productions’ one-off drama Care, which was shown on BBC One last December, won the highly coveted Monaco Red Cross Prize at the Golden Nymphs. The prize recognises a fictional program that demonstrates the fundamental principles of the Red Cross. Care was handpicked out of hundreds of entries by the Prince of Monaco himself, Prince Albert II.
The company was also named ‘European Champions’ after it took home the award for Best TV Movie or Mini Series for Care at the PRIX EUROPA ceremony in Germany. It was the only UK nomination in its category and was showcased alongside the 11 other class nominations.
Care was also nominated for the Best Single Drama at the BAFTA Television Awards and scooped the prize for Best Drama at the annual 02 Media Awards.
Other departments of LA Productions also celebrated an excellent 2019. LA Factual, the documentary-making arm of the business, produced The Cavern Club: The Beat Goes On, a 70-minute documentary telling the fascinating story of the iconic Liverpool music venue. It was given top billing at Brit Week, an annual festival celebrating British talent, in Los Angeles before airing on UK screens on Sky Arts in September.
LA Post, which specialises in post-production, completed numerous projects in 2019. In addition to the post-production work completed for Clink, Moving On and Pitching In, LA Post also supported big filming ventures taking place in Liverpool. This included offline and DIT (Digital Imaging Technician) services for BBC’s War of the Worlds as well as data and upload services for a new Netflix drama, hitting screens next year.
It has also completed several voice over and dubbing projects for dramas, documentaries and radio, both locally and remotely.
The team is currently providing full post services from acquisition to delivery for the new children’s drama The Snow Spider, due to air on CBBC and BBC Wales in 2020.
Other clients for post-production this year include The National Lottery, The One Show, Everton Football Club, Merseyside Police and Cheese Strings.
Colin McKeown, executive producer and founder at LA Productions, said: “I am so proud of everything that my team has achieved this year. It has been an incredibly positive year across the board and that is reinforced with the multiple accolades we have received.
“Being a local lad from Huyton, it is great to see that award-winning dramas can be made right here on Merseyside and in the North West. A special thank you to those that have supported us, whether that’s being an extra in one of our productions, helping create the magic behind the camera or even watching one of our shows.
“2020 is a huge milestone for the business with some very special projects in the pipeline. I’m looking forward to everyone hearing about them soon.”
Next year marks 20 years of LA Productions. Throughout its lifespan, the business has produced multiple award-winning shows and been credited with giving many young people their first break in the television industry. Colin was awarded an MBE in 2016 for his services to drama production and the community in Liverpool. The business was also the first to sign up for the Lord Mayor’s 201 Club.
LA Productions is home to 15 full time staff with up to 200 additional employees taken on during filming of its biggest productions.