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Dee Edwards: 4th August 1955 - 19th December 2022

Deanne Edwards (‘Dee’) began her career in the film and television industry by working for the BBC’s Documentaries Department.  She rose from PA to Researcher, working on several ground-breaking and multi-award-winning RTS and BAFTA documentary series and single documentaries.  She went on to production manage, line produce and then produce – as an independent - over 180 hours of TV drama, documentary, music, history and contemporary science programmes (her specialty).


As an independent producer, Dee has produced several award-winning documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4, Turner Broadcasting Systems (TBS), WGBH Boston, WQED Pittsburgh, KCET Los Angeles, Film Australia and SBS Australia.  


She was then approached by the National Film and Television School in the UK to head up its self-funding Short Course Unit. At the NFTS, Dee designed a vast selection of courses tutored solely by working industry professionals.  Her efforts built the Short Course Unit from running an average of 40 courses per year to over 130, regularly training in excess of 1500 participants per annum.


Based on her success at the NFTS Short Course Unit, Dee was invited to bring her innovative vocational training programmes to countries across the globe including the United States, Australia, Malta, Ireland, Denmark, Vietnam, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Palestine, Israel, Abu Dhabi, Malaysia and China.


After leaving the NFTS, Dee was appointed General Manager and Director of Special Projects at the Guild of British Camera Technicians.  She was able to continue her work in film development training and education, and the GBCT became one of the most formidable training organisations in the business.


Mike Fox, GBCT-HonMem. wrote: Deanne Edwards, the luckiest find the Board of Governors ever enjoyed when they brought in Deanne to run the Guild. She did more than that, putting the GBCT on the map as the most respected source of training courses at all technical levels in the filmmaking world.

Our GBCT Trainee Scheme quickly earned itself a badge of merit, attaching bright young rookies to working with top-class camera crews on major movies. ‘Trained by the GBCT’, became simple passwords not only for a he-or-she young ‘un’s efficiency, but their cando attitudes as members of a team.


‘Dee-Dee’, as I always addressed her, would ask my advice here and there, and I was flattered sometimes when she actually followed it. But quietly and considerately, Deanne herself always found the best way to respect the GBCT’s Board while fully dedicating herself to the wellbeing of the membership.


I can’t think of anyone who was more honest, more polite, more respectful, and more considerate in her care for others than ‘Dee Dee’.

In her passing, and so young, may God rest her blessed soul. Mike Fox, GBCT, HonMem.


Dee’s Legacy

Dee was always passionate about education, training and continual improvement within the business. The paths into starting to work are sometimes frustrating and tough. Talented young people were finding it extremely difficult to get the first foot on the ladder, as they had no experience, yet can’t get work experience.


The GBCT Trainee scheme was launched, taking enthusiastic new people to be trained on set with real camera crews, and have training by qualified and experienced GBCT members. This provides real training and leads to scheme started with Trainee Camera, then the Trainee Grip and Trainee Script Supervisor schemes were developed into what they are today.


In addition, short courses are run on subjects such as Steadicam, Focus Puller, DIT and data wrangling, Optics and Lenses, and the art and craft of the Camera operator, and many more. This is a way to get the training to start, or to learn extra skills to move up to another level.


Her energy drove new training schemes within the guild, and many bright new careers have been launched for many people over the many years.

Dee was the driving force at the Guild for about two decades, and many huge changes happened in the business in that time.


Dee was inspirational and hugely respected by everyone who had the privilege of knowing and working with her. She will be greatly missed as a great friend, also as a valued colleague.

Tributes to Dee

"Dee, you were so wonderfully supportive and dedicated to us all and treated us like family, as so many others have also expressed,” commented Lol Crawley BSC. “I look back fondly on our time in Malta at a film festival you asked me to lecture at. It was a blast! I’ll miss those times of prepping at Panavision and coming into the office to see you. Thank you and rest easy.”

“She was so very kind and helpful – putting me forward for jobs, always making time for a chat,” stated Mark Dempsey. “She completely transformed the Guild when she took the reins, pushing ahead with many new courses and events, giving a great heart to the organisation.”


Chris Nunn added: “She was so helpful and generous to me when I was entering the industry as a camera trainee. She was so keen to help new people get their break in the industry and helped me no end, we’ve lost a wonderful, wonderful human being.”


Dee was a great friend of the British Cinematographer  magazine since it’s inception. British Cinematographer’s publisher, Stuart Walters said “It is with great sadness we heard the news of the death of Dee Edwards, who passed away this week. Over the years Dee has worked closely with the team at British Cinematographer, becoming a great friend and trusted colleague. Dee was instrumental in forging a strong relationship with the magazine and for us becoming media partners with the Guild.


John Keedwell remembers the pre-meeting for the first ever magazine. “I had just edited and written for an issue of Zerbmagazine from the GTC. The British Cinematographer was about to launch about with content supplied by the BSC and GBCT. Dee saw that Zerb magazine and the next thing I knew I was writing for the British Cinematographer magazine and I have done so ever since.


Dee saw potential in people, inspired, motivated and also nurtured, always giving feedback and having extremely high standards all the time. I think Dee was an inspiration to everyone who ever met her, and she helped people to move in the direction they wanted to go.


Jamie Harcourt summed up most people’s feelings.  “Everyone is so sad to hear of Dee's passing. A great tragedy. The entire British Camera department and especially members and former members of the GBCT owe her a massive vote of thanks for her tireless efforts on their behalf. 


Her kindness and generosity of time were unparalleled. Her knowledge and abilities in regard to training schemes and funding have helped so many people to establish themselves in our crazy industry and to that end she is practically irreplaceable. 


I took over the chairmanship of the GBCT several years ago at a particularly difficult time, and I was so relieved when she agreed to take over the reins of administrating the Guild. It would have been virtually impossible to get things back on track without her skills and devotion.

I have heard many members say how brilliant she was at making them feel special. She was like a caring mother to so many of us. She was unique and we will miss her tremendously. I send my heartfelt condolences to her family and friends.

God bless Dee. Rest now in peace. With love, Jamie

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1 Comment

Unknown member
Feb 21, 2023

Well said Jamie.

God bless and RIP my friend “Dee”

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