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'interviews' Posts

Robin Laing: Producing our stories…

Posted on 6 November 2012

Gaylene Preston has called Robin Laing "an oasis of reason and practicality" in the chaos that is filmmaking. Laing began making feature films at a time when women producers were rare in New Zealand. Since then she has produced an eclectic mix of features, short films and arts documentaries, and often lent a hand to emerging filmmakers. In this ScreenTalk interview, the MBE-awarded producer talks about:

  • A movie-mad childhood
  • First meeting director Gaylene Preston, who persuaded Laing to try out producing
  • Being told to go get a man –  and also that women "are not an audience" – while getting debut feature Mr Wrong off the ground
  • Distributing Mr Wrong themselves, after sellout festival screenings somehow persuaded distributors and TV networks the film had no audience
  • Her interest in history and telling our stories
  • Behind-the-scenes stories of covert property-buying for comedy hit Ruby and Rata
  • Persuading MP Sonja Davies to let a man write her story on the acclaimed Bread and Roses
  • Paying tribute to treasured collaborator Graeme Tetley
  • Working with filmmakers Shirley Horrocks (Flip & Two Twisters) and Niki Caro (The Vintner's Luck)
  • Her interest in working with emerging filmmakers, including on an anthology series for television
  • How women's stories have become more acceptable in the market place

This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.



bread and roses, ruby and rata, history, friendship, producers, women, filmmaking, feminism, herstory, producing, interviews, mr wrong, graeme tetley, sonja davies, niki caro, the vintner's luck

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Rob Sarkies: Three movies and two little boys

Posted on 18 September 2012

Rob Sarkies' first three movies have all begun in southern climes, then headed in unexpected directions. Scarfies celebrates Dunedin student life, before morphing into a twisted examination of morality under fire. Out of the Blue celebrates community and the ordinary person, while recreating the 1990 killings at Aramoana. New feature Two Little Boys is a black comedy featuring Flight of the Conchords star Bret McKenzie and Australian comedian Hamish Blake. In this ScreenTalk interview, Sarkies talks about:

  • How he enjoys making films which mix different flavours, genres and ideas
  • How Two Little Boys mixes elements of comedy, relationship drama and shock horror
  • How the film's lovable but heinous characters offer a chance to explore relationships - especially relationships in decay
  • Signing up Flight of the Conchords star Bret McKenzie
  • Writing scripts with his multi-talented brother Duncan Sarkies
  • Being aware of the stakes when he made his first feature Scarfies
  • Using marketing to overcome the Kiwi cultural cringe
  • Creating a perception that Out of the Blue was made with heart and artistry, so people could feel comfortable about being involved

This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.



interview, directors, marketing, directing, out of the blue, robert sarkies, bret mckenzie, duncan sarkies, two little boys, scarfies, aramoana, cultural cringe, friendship, interviews

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Peter Hayden - conservation on screen

Posted on 9 November 2010

Peter Hayden has one of the best known faces and voices in New Zealand, having presented and voiced hundreds of nature documentaries on television. His many documentary series include the hugely successful Wild South and Latitude 45. Hayden is also a successful actor and has appeared in range of dramas including: The Fire-Raiser, Footrot Flats and Beyond Reasonable Doubt. In this ScreenTalk interview, Peter talks about:

  • Being a story teller for both documentary and drama productions
  • How Wild South mirrored the growth in conservation in New Zealand
  • Creating Moa’s Ark with famous conservationist David Bellamy
  • The delight of making Latitude 45 and sailing on a reed boat on Lake Te Anau
  • Acting a small role in The Governor and riding a terrified horse in a battle scene
  • Playing the “dupe” who finds the bullet cartridge in Beyond Reasonable Doubt
  • Breaking the jaw of a fellow actor in The Fire-Raiser

This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence



producer, presenter, actor, footrot flats, interviews, the governor, wild south, moa's ark, latitude 45, beyond reasonable doubt, the fire-raiser

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Jason Stutter - the Comedy of Murder

Posted on 7 September 2010

Jason Stutter - director of Ronald Hugh Morrieson adaptation Predicament - has a talent for going for the jugular, yet doing it in style. In Stutter’s movies, the camera plunges headfirst into haunted hospitals, dodgy smalltown dealings, and fight scenes with Pacific Island Ninjas whose parents were unexpectedly half-gobbled by fish. In this ScreenTalk interview, Stutter talks about

  • why he makes films
  • his many projects featuring Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement
  • falling in love with the dialogue in Ronald Hugh Morrieson’s novel Predicament
  • the lessons that can be learnt from Morrieson’s career
  • the bravery of comedians, and why he loves giving them acting roles in his movies
  • the genesis of Tongan Ninja, Stutter’s no-budget, three years in the making feature debut
  • the unusual way haunted hospital tale Diagnosis:Death was funded
  • the importance of staying loyal to the original text

This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.



comedy, funding, directors, directing, comedians, business, raybon kan, ronald hugh morrieson, heath franklin, interviews

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