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Mark Hadlow: From a teenage bully to a troll and a dwarf…

Posted on 21 January 2014

Actor Tandi Wright once called Mark Hadlow "the best physical comedian I've ever seen". 

Hadlow first appeared on our TV screens as a teenage bully in Children of Fire Mountain. Later he worked alongside Ilona Rodgers and Billy T James in the sitcom version of The Billy T James Show. His flair for comedy earned him starring roles in the film Just Me and Mario, and TV series Willy Nilly. Hadlow has worked twice with director Peter Jackson – first providing voices to a range of characters in Meet the Feebles, and then playing both a dwarf and a troll in The Hobbit trilogy.

In this ScreenTalk, Hadlow talks about:

  • Turning disappointment into triumph with Children of Fire Mountain
  • Being hospitalised after an accident on set
  • Working hard in the starring role of film Just Me and Mario
  • Having fun playing a dopey Australian on The Billy T James Show
  • Being nominated for a 'best actress' award after playing a hippo and a hedgehog in Meet the Feebles
  • Never having a bad day on the set of Willy Nilly
  • How co-star Sean Duffy influenced him on the show
  • The best six weeks of his life: rehearsing for King Kong with Naomi Watts
  • Bringing Bert the Troll to life in The Hobbit
  • Being teased mercilessly by fellow actor Martin Freeman

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

 
 

  Tags

mark hadlow, children of fire mountain, actor, ilona rodgers, billy t james, the billy t james show, just me and mario, willy nilly, peter jackson, meet the feebles, the hobbit, sean duffy, martin freeman, king kong, naomi watts, bert the troll, best actress, tandi wright, bill johnson, terence cooper, mike smith, heidi the hippo

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James Griffin gets serious about Kiwi comedy

Posted on 13 January 2014

Scriptwriter, playwright and columnist James Griffin has been writing for most of his life. Since becoming a scriptwriter in the 1980s Griffin has written many of New Zealand’s most well known and best loved TV shows (including co-creating Outrageous Fortune) as well as the feature film Sione's Wedding. In this interview (originally published 8 July 2009), he discusses

  • His love of writing from an early age but his desire to be a TV director
  • Getting “side-tracked” into script editing and learning the mechanics of how a script works
  • The popularity of Gloss and blending comedy and drama
  • His surprise that the TV drama City Life flopped
  • The rollercoaster ride that is Outrageous Fortune and when its run should end
  • Criticism of NZ comedy
  • What it takes to make a “hit” TV show

This video is also available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence. Credits:  Interview, Camera & Editing – Andrew Whiteside

 
 

  Tags

writer, outrageous fortune, james griffin, city life, television, nzonscreen, south pacific pictures

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Shortland Street: Happy 21st Birthday..…

Posted on 6 January 2014

This ScreenTalk marks the 21st birthday of Shortland St on May 25. Produced by South Pacific Pictures for TVNZ, the serial drama has screened five nights a week on TV2 since its inception. It has won awards, sold internationally and become a part of our national landscape and pop culture. A who's who of New Zealand acting talent, writers, directors and producers have worked on the soap.

In this special edition of ScreenTalk (published on 27 May 2013), some of the show's stalwarts reflect on their Shortland St days, and on the programme's importance to NZ and our screen industry. 

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

 
 

  Tags

tv, drama, television, shortland street, shortland st, birthday, 21st, soap opera

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Brent Hansen - MTV, RWP, and the future of music

Posted on 30 December 2013

His favourite music videos include Joy Division’s Atmosphere and Tall DwarfsTurning Brown and Torn in Two. And Brent Hansen has sure seen a lot of music videos. From producing famously eclectic Kiwi music show Radio with Pictures to rising up through the ranks to become head of MTV Europe, Hansen has been a major player in putting music on screen. In this ScreenTalk interview, the life-long music fan and ideas man talks about:

  • his first invitation to work as a floor assistant for television, while studying to be a teacher in Christchurch
  • what made long-running Sunday night music show Radio with Pictures so special
  • how RWP host Karyn Hay was “singularly independent and the first real New Zealand television presenter”
  • how an OE with his wife Philippa Dann timed in with the European launch of music channel MTV, and revolutionary change in the way music was showcased on screen
  • making sure that MTV playlists mixed mainstream acts like Madonna with more alternative artists like The Cramps
  • early days at MTV Europe, and rising through the ranks to become Creative President and Editor-in-Chief of MTV International
  • his achievements at MTV, including launching the MTV Europe Music awards, and enabling the channel to operate on a more regional basis
  • where he sees music television going in an age where music has been tribalised - and devalued

This video was originally uploaded on 29 April 2010; it is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.

 
 

  Tags

music video, music, trends, popular music, countdowns, distribution, mtv, europe, graham parker, the cramps, madonna, ready to roll

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Shane Cortese: On being a bad guy...

Posted on 23 December 2013

Shane Cortese made a name for himself on stage in London’s West End before coming home to New Zealand to begin a career in television. Since his return, Cortese has played TV roles across the spectrum of characters, including the evil Dominic Thompson in Shortland Street, and more recently Hayden Peters in Outrageous Fortune. In this ScreenTalk interview [originally published on 4 December 2010], Cortese reveals:

  • His tumultuous contract wrangles upon leaving a UK stage show to return to NZ to be in Shortland Street
  • What it is like playing the bad guy
  • His initial feelings about the prospect of being on Dancing with the Stars
  • How he developed his craft hosting So You Think You Can Dance
  • The amusing story of learning about his starring role in Burying Brian
  • How it felt to be part of the West family in Outrageous Fortune
  • Details of his latest work in Brown Bruthas and The Almighty Johnsons

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

 
 

  Tags

outrageous fortune, actor, shortland street

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Shavaughn Ruakere: The leap of faith from TV presenting to acting...

Posted on 16 December 2013

Shavaughn Ruakere began her career as a presenter on kids TV show What Now?. Later she graduated to presenting on music channel C4, after a stint co-presenting UK morning show SM:TV. Since then Ruakere has made the switch to acting, and appeared in a number of shows including The Jaquie Brown Diaries and Legend of the Seeker. She is currently starring in Shortland Street as core cast member Roimata Ngatai. In this ScreenTalk, Ruakere talks about:

  • Being scared by going on live TV for What Now?
  • Not being shy about being a ‘dick’ on a kids show
  • Witnessing two experienced actors ‘ad-libbing’ on the set of River Queen
  • Managing to avoid doing a nude scene in the film
  • How presenting on C4 showed a more mature side of herself
  • Wearing leather and high heels for Legend of the Seeker
  • How her role on Shortland Street pulled her out of a slump
  • The similarities and differences between her and her character Roimata
  • Coping with the time restraints and pace of shooting on the show
  • Loving working with George Henare and the rest of her on-camera family
  • How ‘being someone else’ on set helps her overcome doubt

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

 
 

  Tags

legend of the seeker, presenter, interview, actor, the jaquie brown diaries, river queen, what now?, shortland street, screentalk, shavaughn ruakere

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Trevor Haysom: Veteran feature film producer…

Posted on 9 December 2013

Prolific producer Trevor Haysom has collaborated with some notable emerging filmmakers including Gregor Nicholas and the late Brad McGann. His feature film credits include In My Father’s Den, After the Waterfall, Tracker, and User Friendly. Haysom has also produced several documentaries for television, including Pacific 3 2 1 Zero, and Peter Peryer: Portrait of a Photographer

In this ScreenTalk, Haysom talks about:

  • Dealing with his first feature User Friendly not being a great success
  • Not needing to change much of the script for Brad McGann’s short film Possum
  • Why the film received a mixed response in Germany
  • How a dream influenced In My Father’s Den
  • The sadness of dealing with McGann’s illness and death after the film was a success
  • Difficulties bringing the script for After the Waterfall together
  • Getting international co-production Tracker to the big screen
  • The challenges of being a filmmaker in the digital era

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

 
 

  Tags

trevor haysom, film, producer, gregor nicholas, brad mcgann, after the waterfall, user friendly, in my fathers, in my fathers den, pacific 3 2 1 zero, pacific 3 2 1 0, peter peryer, portrait of a photographer, possum, tracker

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Close to Home: New Zealand’s first TV soap opera…

Posted on 2 December 2013

Close to Home first screened on TV One in May 1975 and ran for eight years. The popular and ground-breaking series was New Zealand television's first soap opera. It was based in Wellington and centred around the trials and tribulations of the Hearte family. At its peak in 1977, Close to Home attracted a twice weekly audience of one million viewers.

In this special edition of ScreenTalk, writers and cast members reminisce about their time with Close to Home.

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

 
 

  Tags

close to home, tv, television, soap opera, soap, hearte family

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Bailey Mackey: The man behind the GC…

Posted on 25 November 2013

Bailey Mackey is a former news reporter on Te Karere and 3 News, who is now producing and directing commercial Māori series through Black Inc Media. He is the main creative force behind controversial show The GC, and new reality series The Life and Times of Temuera Morrison.

In this ScreenTalk, Mackey talks about:

  • The shock of going from iwi radio to TVNZ show Te Karere
  • The challenge of working on 3 News
  • How the show Code brought sports talk to Māori Television
  • The origin of famous phrase 'Mean Māori Mean'
  • Feeling very proud of rugby series Beneath the Maori Moon
  • Wanting to show a different side of Māori life in The GC
  • His thoughts on the controversy surrounding the show
  • Pitching the idea of The Life and Times of Temuera Morrison
  • Getting the right mix of drama, vulnerability and humour on the show

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

 
 

  Tags

te karere, 3 news, sports, reporter, journalist, producer, director, black inc media, the gc, the life and times of temuera morrison, code, maori television, mean maori mean, beneath the maori moon, maori

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Mark Ferguson: On playing the bad guy…

Posted on 18 November 2013

Australian import Mark Ferguson made a big impact as an actor in New Zealand from his first appearance on Gloss. He went on to play Darryl Neilson, one of Shortland Street's most memorable villains, followed by Darryl’s good guy brother Damien. Since then, Ferguson has appeared in the Spin Doctors series and international shows such as Hercules and Spartacus.

 In this ScreenTalk, Ferguson talks about:

  • How being Australian got him the part on Gloss
  • Being amused by the over-the-top costumes and dialogue on the show
  • Not expecting Shortland Street to last beyond a couple of years
  • Playing both a baddie and a goodie on the soap
  • How Richard Taylor from Weta Workshop brought some centaur realism to Hercules 
  • Having his on-screen time in The Lord of the Rings stolen by an elf
  • Learning the scripts for Spin Doctors in one night
  • Banging a piece of wood on the set of Spartacus
  • Feeling fortunate to have had a career playing "evil bastards"

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

 
 

  Tags

gloss, shortland street, actor, spin doctors, hercules, acting, shortl, darryl neilson, hercules and the circle of fire, the lord of the rings, the fellowship of the ring, spartacus: war of the damned, baddies, villains, gil-galad, sauron

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