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Mia Blake: Learning from every role she plays...

Posted on 2 February 2015

Actor Mia Blake made her screen debut in ensemble comedy film Hopeless, which then became the TV series Lovebites. In 2006 Blake won an NZ Screen Award for her role in Toa Fraser film No. 2 and then starred in horror movie The Tattooist. Blake received another award nomination for playing a woman giving birth in short film This is Her. Blake has gone on to act in The Millen Baird Show, Auckland Daze and Golden.  

In this ScreenTalk, Blake talks about:

  • Being terrified as a newbie on the set of Hopeless
  • Learning the craft of acting on TV series Lovebites
  • Loving the rehearsal process for the film No. 2
  • How director Toa Fraser listened to her input on set
  • Working with American actor Jason Behr on horror film The Tattooist
  • Her emotional reaction to giving birth in This is Her
  • Dealing with being pregnant while acting in short film Isoceles
  • Having a huge amount of fun on The Millen Baird Show
  • Being proud of appearing in the TV drama Harry
  • Why she was thrilled at having a ‘tiny part’ on Auckland Daze
  • Feeling her career is a combination of all the things she loves

This video was first uploaded on the 2nd of February 2015 and is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.



mia blake, actor, hopeless, no. 2, the tattooist, this is her, auckland daze, lovebites, rehearsal, toa fraser, jason behr, isoceles, harry, the millen baird show, tv, film, nz screen award, horror film, love bites, no 2, number 2, naming number two, naming no 2, naming no. 2, acting

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Peter Williams: Veteran sportscaster and newsreader...

Posted on 20 January 2015

Peter Williams has had a long and distinguished career as a sports broadcaster and newsreader. He began his broadcasting career in radio while still in his teens, then joined TVNZ as a sports reporter and commentator in 1979. He went on to present major events such as the Olympic Games and the Rugby World Cup. Since the 90s Williams has read the news on TV ONE’s Breakfast, and on primetime weekend bulletins.

In this ScreenTalk, Williams talks about:

  • Being very nervous for his first live studio broadcast
  • The stresses of putting together weekend show One World of Sport
  • Interviewing Kiri Te Kanawa for A New Zealand Night at Covent Garden
  • The unsophisticated yet ground-breaking coverage of the 1987 Rugby World Cup
  • Being involved in sports quiz show A Question of Sport
  • Preferring the early morning shift of reading the news on Breakfast
  • Working with the mercurial broadcaster Paul Henry
  • The daily grind of covering the Commonwealth and Olympic games
  • Getting the tone right when hosting the Pike River Remembrance
  • Seeing himself as a competent but not exceptional broadcaster

This video was first uploaded on the 20th of January 2015 and is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.



peter williams, broadcaster, tvnz, sports, rugby world cup, tv one, breakfast, paul henry, commonwealth, olympic games, pike river remembrance, 1987, kiri te kanawa, one world of sport, studio, weekend bulletins

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Lisa Harrow: A home-grown international actress...

Posted on 9 January 2015

Lisa Harrow left New Zealand in the 1960s to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in England – it was this move that cemented her love of theatre and later enabled her to build an international screen career. She has visited New Zealand periodically and starred in locally-shot movies Other Halves and Shaker Run. Nowadays Harrow lives in the US and is involved in environmental campaigning. Her most recent Kiwi project was a role as the grandmother in TV2’s Step Dave.

In this ScreenTalk, Harrow talks about:

  • Her starring role in acclaimed BBC series Nancy Astor
  • How the lead in Other Halves enabled her to come back to New Zealand
  • Doing all sorts of dangerous stunts for car chase movie Shaker Run
  • Hating working with American actor Cliff Robertson
  • Enjoying working on Australian film The Last Days of Chez Nous
  • Making ‘ludicrous’ Omen movie The Final Conflict with Sam Neill
  • Filming From a Far Country under the threat of a Russian invasion
  • Loving being the grandmother in TV's Step Dave
  • Her dream that a director will cast her as a feisty old woman in a New Zealand film

This video was first uploaded on the 9th of January 2015 and is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.



lisa harrow, shaker run, step dave, bbc, other halves, the last days of chez nous, the final conflict, film, royal academy of dramatic arts, england, cliff robertson, hollywood, the man from a far country

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Judy Bailey: Newsreader extraordinaire...

Posted on 22 December 2014

Judy Bailey is sometimes referred to as the 'Mother of the Nation' thanks to 17 years as newsreader on TV One’s 6pm news bulletin. She began as a TV/radio reporter for the NZBC, before co-hosting the regional magazine show Top Half with John Hawkesby. In 1986 Bailey began her newsreading career on the Network News with Neil Billington, and a year later partnered with Richard Long. In 2004 she took on the role solo before leaving TVNZ a year later. In subsequent years Bailey has hosted a number of other shows, including the Māori Television Anzac Day Coverage and her travel show Judy Bailey’s Australia.

In this ScreenTalk, Bailey talks about:

  • Creating stories for both TV and radio during her early days at NZBC news
  • Having to create her own sound effects for a story
  • Feeling blessed working with John Hawkesby on Top Half
  • The challenges of live television when things went wrong
  • Coping with 24 hours of live television on Telethon
  • Being hated for replacing Philip Sherry as newsreader on One News
  • Having an amazing on air partnership with Richard Long
  • The embarrassment of being parodied by comedian Rima Te Wiata
  • The stress of having to read the news on her own
  • Being forced out of her role at TVNZ 
  • Presenting Māori Television’s coverage of ANZAC Day
  • Enjoying hosting travel show Judy Bailey’s Australia
  • Being grateful for all she has learned from people in her career

This video was first uploaded on the 22nd of December 2014 and is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.



judy bailey, mother of the nation, tv one, tv, network news, newsreader, presenter, john hawkesby, richard long, anzac day, nzbc, one news, judy bailey’s australia, tvnz, rima te wiata, top half, philip sherry, phillip sherry, telethon, parody, satire, impersonation, travel, maori television, māori television, news reader, presenting

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Jennie Goodwin: Pioneering female broadcaster...

Posted on 15 December 2014

Popular radio and television personality Jennie Goodwin (aka Jennie Forder) became the first woman in the Commonwealth to read a primetime news bulletin. Beginning as a continuity announcer on TV1, Goodwin moved to the fledgling TV2/SPTV channel in 1975 and read the news on the channel’s Two at Seven bulletin until 1982.

In this ScreenTalk, Goodwin talks about:

  • How having a photographic memory helped in her pre-autocue continuity announcing days
  • Being trained to annunciate perfectly in BBC style
  • Having to wear heavy theatrical makeup in the days of black and white
  • Being used as model for the change over to colour television
  • The excitement and challenge of reading the news on the new TV2
  • Not letting the fact she was the first woman newsreader in the Commonwealth go to her head
  • Having to remain detached from the emotion of the Erebus disaster when reading news about it
  • The reason she left TVNZ twice
  • Newsreading becoming more relaxed in the modern era
  • The joy of returning to read the news on Breakfast

This video was first uploaded on the 15th of December 2014 and is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.



jennie goodwin, tv1, broadcaster, two at seven, news, tvnz, presenter, network news, newsreader, tv2, radio, jennie forder, jenny goodwin, jennie forder nee goodwin, erebus, newsreading, news reader, pronunciation, flight 901

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Shaun Brown: TV newsman turned network boss...

Posted on 8 December 2014

Shaun Brown’s distinguished television career spans 45 years, beginning as a reporter with the NZBC. In his early days as a journalist, he covered a number of historic stories including the nuclear bomb tests on Mururoa Atoll, and the funeral of New Zealand Prime Minister Norman Kirk. Brown moved from reporting to producing, followed by executive roles as the Head of TVNZ News and Current Affairs and then the boss of TV ONE. He then moved to Australia to head up the Special Broadcasting Service. 

In this ScreenTalk, Brown talks about:

  • The challenges of rather basic technology in the early days of NZBC news
  • Creating global coverage of the Mururoa Atoll bomb tests
  • Causing a ruckus by changing the presentation team on Fair Go
  • The rationale behind creating the late news show Eyewitness News
  • Coordinating the response to the competition from fledgling TV3, while running TVNZ News and Current Affairs
  • Starting the Holmes show
  • Controversially introducing advertising into programmes as head of SBS Australia
  • Being disappointed at the lack of true public broadcasting in New Zealand

This video was first uploaded on the 8th of December 2014 and is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.




shaun brown, news, nzbc, fair go, holmes, current affairs, tv one, eyewitness news, sbs australia

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Cliff Curtis: On his classic NZ movie roles...

Posted on 24 November 2014

From playing a human mule in The Piano, a dandy in Desperate Remedies and a hated villain in Once Were Warriors, actor Cliff Curtis has appeared in many of New Zealand’s most significant films. His most recent local role is as Genesis Potini in the acclaimed Dark Horse. Curtis has also forged a successful international acting career; and moved into working as a producer, because of his desire to work on Māori stories.

In this ScreenTalk, Curtis talks about:

  • The pros and cons of carrying a musical instrument in The Piano 
  • Being challenged by the sexuality of his character in Desperate Remedies
  • Being unsure if he wanted the film Once Were Warriors to be made
  • Detaching himself from the role of Bully in the movie
  • Loving the romance of the film Whale Rider
  • The “torturous” path of River Queen 
  • How The Dark Horse is the defining moment of his career
  • Hating having to gain weight for the role
  • The reason he became a film producer

This video was first uploaded on the 24th of November 2014 and is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.



cliff curtis, once were warriors, river queen, the dark horse, actor, desperate remedies, the piano, jane campion, vincent ward, whale rider, anna paquin, james naper robertson, tom hern

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Katrina Hobbs: Forging a career on both sides of the Tasman...

Posted on 10 November 2014

Katrina Hobbs is a TV presenter and actor who has had roles in New Zealand, Australia and even Russia. She kicked off her screen career as a teen hero in The Boy from Andromeda and a young wife in the war film Absent Without Leave. Since then she has appeared in a large number of TV shows such as Shortland Street, Marlin Bay, Cover Story and Willy Nilly. As well as acting, she has presented factual shows including More than Sport, Destination Ski New Zealand and Russia Today


In this ScreenTalk, Hobbs talks about: 

  • Getting good advice from her producer mother Aileen O’Sullivan about her first role in The Boy from Andromeda
  • Studying hard to gain experience for her next role in Absent Without Leave
  • Relishing playing her first ‘adult’ character in Marlin Bay
  • Being thrown by the pace of production on Shortland Street
  • Having a baptism of fire in a lead role on Home and Away
  • Feeling frustrated by playing a matronly doctor on the soap
  • How a character with schizophrenia challenged her in Cover Story
  • Enjoying the camaraderie on the set of Willy Nilly
  • Playing the dodgy neighbour on Rake 
  • Really appreciating having a career on both sides of the Tasman 


This video was first uploaded on the 7th of November 2014 and is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.



katrina hobbs, tv, presenter, shortland street, home and away, absent without leave, cover story, australia, russia

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Richard Harman: Veteran TV political reporter and producer...

Posted on 3 November 2014

Richard Harman is a seasoned journalist, TV reporter and television producer who began his career in newspapers before joining TVNZ News in the 1970s.

As a political reporter on Eyewitness and later Eyewitness News, he covered the 1984 general election as well as the Springbok Tour and the Rainbow Warrior bombing. In 1999 Harman set up his own production company which launched the current affairs shows Agenda and The Nation

In this ScreenTalk, Harman talks about:

  • Starting out with the news service for the ‘upstart’ TV2 
  • Working with the who’s who of current affairs on Eyewitness
  • Being nervous interviewing formidable ex PM Robert Muldoon
  • Introducing daily political coverage on Eyewitness News
  • The palpable difference between politicians during the 1984 General Election
  • Covering a fascinating time in NZ politics with the Frontline special Five Days in July
  • Being surprised by the ordinary in the documentary When the Landlord Comes to Call
  • The challenge of filming the documentary The Boy from Island Bay
  • How Agenda legitimised TV political discussion on weekend mornings
  • The blessing and curse of making The Nation 
  • Having worked through the best and worst times in TV current affairs

This video was first uploaded on the 3rd of November 2014 and is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.



richard harman, eyewitness, political reporter, frontline, the nation, current affairs

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Simone Kessell: Acting at home and abroad...

Posted on 20 October 2014

Simone Kessell first appeared on screen playing Hannah Tumai on short-lived soap Homeward Bound. She acted in both Hercules and Xena before being cast as a TV journalist on Cover Story, and as the lead in period drama Greenstone. Kessell has worked in both America and Australia, and appeared in Aussie dramas Underbelly and Wonderland.

In this ScreenTalk, Kessell talks about:

  • Learning an Australian accent to play a Māori role on Homeward Bound
  • Getting a role on Cover Story when only 18 years old
  • Having to find a ‘fake’ way to cry on set 
  • Having issues with her character in period drama Greenstone 
  • Being proud of the part she played in series two of Underbelly
  • Becoming a ‘kickass’ soldier fighting dinosaurs on Terra Nova
  • Feeling devastated after being shot in the head on set
  • Rehearsing in 40 degree heat for time travel tale The Lovers 
  • Playing a hooker with a heart of gold in Aussie drama Wonderland

This video was first uploaded on the 20th of October 2014 and is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.



simone kessell, actor, hercules, xena, underbelly, homeward bound, hannah tumai

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