Rachel Lang - creating NZers' favourites

Posted on 13 September 2010

Rachel Lang has been one of the driving forces behind some of New Zealand’s most popular television dramas. Beginning as a story editor on 80s dramas Shark in the Park and Open House, she moved onto Shortland Street as a story-liner and then as the show’s executive producer for a number of years. Lang collaborated with writer Gavin Strawhan to create the South Pacific Pictures dramas Jackson’s Wharf and Mercy Peak. Later she developed the enormously successful Outrageous Fortune, as well as Maddigan’s Quest and Go Girls. In 2010, Lang helped develop another major TV drama – This is Not My Life. In this ScreenTalk interview, Lang talks about:

  • Enjoying her first acting role and learning to march in Marching Girls
  • How Shortland Street changed the face of drama on New Zealand television
  • How the soap gave voice to the Kiwi accent
  • Loving creating Mercy Peak with its subtle approach to drama
  • How initial despondency over network responses to the show led to major improvements
  • How a spark of creativity in the shower led to Outrageous Fortune
  • Wanting to make the show rude enough that people ‘had’ to watch it
  • How Sex in the City influenced the home-grown show Go Girls
  • Why This is Not My Life proved to be the most difficult show she’s worked on
  • The need for a writer to be involved in the process of casting parts

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



writer, outrageous fortune, shortland street, nz television, go girls, nz drama

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