Rankin had a challenging latest project, directing the BAFTA TV Awards portraits remotely as the COVID-19 pandemic causes the ceremony to be held virtually.
Being commissioned by the Virgin Media Baftas, the British photographer had to create portraits of this year’s nominees for the TV awards, that are being presented virtually by The IT Crowd’s Richard Ayoade on Friday, July 31st.
Rankin worked via a series of video calls with the stars’ partners, friends, or even their children to direct them on how to be celebrity photographers for the day, and many did extremely well as they took the challenge on.
“With Stephen Graham, his son took the camera and he quickly shot some pictures and sent them to me,” Rankin said.
“I looked at it and said: ‘Yeah, you got it.’ In two frames he’d managed to capture a great picture.” – Rankin added.
Stephen Graham, who is nominated for best leading actor in The Virtues, was photographed jumping on a trampoline by his son.
Ncuti Gatwa, who is nominated for best male performance in a comedy programme for Sex Education, wore a tuxedo jacket at the end of his garden.
Rankin had a few others that he had to work a little more on as the stars took things into their own hands, such as Joe Absolom, who has a best supporting actor nomination for ITV’s A Confession, and Suranne Jones, who is also up for best lead actress for her performance in Gentleman Jack, took their own photographs without any guidance from him.
“I curated them, let’s say,” Rankin said.
Though many actors made it an easy task as they took a selection of photographs and then sent them to Rankin to choose from.
Rankin found that remote photography worked ‘for the most part’ and that it may ‘become a normal part of his working life’.
“I don’t think it’s going to completely go back to normal,” he said.
“I’ve done a few shoots now and it is weird shooting without that kind of intimacy, but there’s a different kind of intimacy that you get through digital.” – Rankin added.
COVID-19 did not stop Rankin and BAFTA from really coming together and creating a unique shoot for this years’ Awards ceremony while doing it from the safety and comfort of the nominees’ homes.
Some other stars that took part are Guz Khan nominated for best male performance in a comedy programme in Man Like Mobeen, Katie McGlynn nominated for Sinead Tinker’s death scene in Coronation Street as part of the Virgin Media Must-See 2020 Moment category, and Naomi Ackie as supporting actress for The End of the F***ing World, among many others.
The BAFTA awards were meant to take place on May 17th but have been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic and are now being held virtually.