'Get Carter' director Mike Hodges receives his award from Alun Armstrong. The award was made by National Glass Centre.
A piece of an iconic Tyneside car park made famous in the 1970s film Get Carter has been enshrined on a glass plinth created at the National Glass Centre (NGC) and presented to the movie’s legendary director at a star-studded awards ceremony.
Mike Hodges received the special award from Alun Armstrong – who made his film debut in the North East thriller – at a Royal Television Society celebration at the Sage, Gateshead.
More than 500 television professionals and guests gathered at the venue, where Hodges was guest of honour. The award was made to mark the film’s 40th anniversary and to recognise the impact it had on the region’s production sector.
The concrete came from the demolition of the multi-storey car park at Trinity Square in Gateshead, which featured in a number of memorable scenes in the gangster film.
Chris Blade, Senior Manager Enterprise at the NGC, which is part of the University of Sunderland, collaborated with renowned artist Katya Izabel Filmus to create the striking glass award on which the concrete fragment sits.
Chris said: “It’s been a great honour turning a piece of our cultural heritage into a commemorative piece that has been immortalised in materials that will last forever, from an iconic building which has sadly been demolished.”
He added: “The glass was cast, not blown, echoing the process by which the concrete was formed and took four weeks to create, weighing in at four-and-half kilos. Although it’s highly polished we’ve given it a slightly heavy industrial look to reflect what was going on in the film and the Brutalist architecture of the car park. It’s slightly unusual but very striking and the structure lifts your eye up to the concrete.”
A special a-capella performance of Roy Budd's famous Get Carter theme by Streetwise Opera was another highlight of the awards show.
The singers were accompanied by a new film version of the thriller's iconic title sequence. The new footage has been created by graduates of the Northern Stars Academy based at Newcastle's Tyneside Cinema - organisers of Carter Is 40, a season of events celebrating the anniversary of the film.
The event - hosted by BBC presenter Kirsten O'Brien - also showcased television and on-line productions from the North East and Borders over the past 12 months.
Stars and production teams from shows including Tracey Beaker Returns, Joe Maddison's War, Inspector George Gently, North East Tonight and Inside Out were also out in force to find out who had won in the 12 production categories.
RTS chairman Graeme Thompson, Dean of the University of Sunderland's Faculty of Arts, Design and Media, said: “"This is the biggest media awards ceremony outside London. And we're delighted that Mike Hodges and Alun Armstrong joined us to mark the unique contribution made by Get Carter to the production life of this region.
“We hope Mike will enjoy this unique glass creation as he reflects on the impact his film has had on the cultural landscape of North East England.”
"The awards venue itself is very close to the site of the recently-demolished Trinity Square car park - which played such a famous role in the 1971 movie."