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Michael Firth: Oscar-nominated action man ...

Posted on 24 March 2014

Producer/director Michael Firth first made his mark directing the documentary feature Off the Edge. The ski movie was a key early film in the NZ 'new wave' (with contemporary Sleeping Dogs and later Goodbye Pork Pie) and earned an Academy Award nomination in 1977. Since then Firth has produced and directed the dramatic feature films Sylvia, Heart of the Stag and Vulcan Lane. But it is sport and the outdoors he loves best: he went off the edge again in 1987 with the zany adventure sport movie The Leading Edge, and Firth is the key creative behind the internationally successful TV series Adrenalize and fishing show Take the Bait.

In this ScreenTalk, Firth talks about:

  • How a love of snow skiing led to his first feature Off the Edge
  • How perfect timing enabled the filming of an avalanche
  • Delving into a dark part of Kiwi life in Heart of the Stag
  • Facing financing issues while making Sylvia
  • Facing continuity issues recreating that film’s era
  • Creating the ‘crazy docudrama’ that was The Leading Edge
  • How the 1987 share market crash affected the box office
  • Being confronted by Billy T James and a machine gun
  • Selling sports show Adrenalize to 50 countries
  • Almost causing a diplomatic incident with a topless woman
  • How fishing TV show Take the Bait has just grown and grown

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

 
 

  Tags

director, producer, sylvia, michael firth, off the edge, heart of the stag, vulcan lane, adrenalize, take the bait

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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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Wayne Tourell: Creating landmark television…

Posted on 19 August 2013

Veteran drama and documentary producer/director Wayne Tourell's career has taken him from Shakespeare to Shortland Street. Tourell's credits include major television series such as Landmarks, Hanlon and Gloss, as well as numerous live TV events including Telethon 1988. More recently he has worked at Natural History New Zealand, and been a regular director on our nightly soap Shortland Street.

In this ScreenTalk, Tourell talks about:

  • Learning from directing legend David Lean on documentary Lost and Found
  • Working with geographic genius Professor Kenneth Cumberland on Landmarks
  • The tortuous process of bringing Hanlon to the small screen
  • How Gloss perfectly mirrored the era it was portraying
  • Why City Life was the wrong show in the wrong time-slot 
  • Worrying that no money would come in while producing Telethon 88
  • How Shortland Street is the Shakespeare of today

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

 
 

  Tags

drama, documentary, wayne tourell, shortland street, landmarks, hanlon, gloss, telethon, natural history, producer, director, lost and found

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Simon Bennett: On producing and directing the big TV dramas…

Posted on 15 April 2013

Simon Bennett's extensive CV includes producing and directing episodes of long-running successes Shortland Street and Outrageous Fortune. He has also spent time in executive roles at South Pacific Pictures, the production house behind these shows, and directed SPP feature film Sione's 2: Unfinished Business.

In this ScreenTalk, Bennett talks about:

  • Having to clean up horse manure for his first TV directing job on Riding High
  • Learning to direct fast-turnaround TV drama on Shortland Street
  • Being told off by the actors when directing Mercy Peak
  • Taking up the reigns as Head of Drama at South Pacific Pictures
  • How fantastic writing and acting made Outrageous Fortune a hit
  • The unlikely premise of The Almighty Johnsons
  • The challenges of making a sequel to a successful film, with Sione's 2: Unfinished Business
  • Being intrigued by the scripts of The Blue Rose
  • Enjoying the fast-paced nature of the show

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

 
 

  Tags

outrageous fortune, tv, director, producer, television, shortland street, simon bennett, south pacific pictures

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Bruce Morrison: Heartland, poetry and liquor bottles…

Posted on 4 March 2013

Bruce Morrison's career as a producer, director and writer has brought some memorable New Zealand stories to the screen. He has been involved in a number of arts shows such as Kaleidoscope and Profiles, as well as poetry documentaries The Roaring 40's Tour and The Road to Jerusalem. Morrison directed the feature films Constance, Shaker Run and Queen City Rocker, and was a long-time director on Gary McCormick's iconic Heartland documentary series.

In this ScreenTalk, Morrison talks about: 

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

 
 

  Tags

the road to jerusalem, kaleidoscope, raglan by the sea, queen city rocker, screentalk, the roaring 40s tour, interview, heartland, bruce morrison, director, shaker run, profiles, producer, writer, bastion point, constance

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Murray Keane: From acting to directing in primetime…

Posted on 15 January 2013

Actor and director Murray Keane's first big role on screen was in 1980s television series Peppermint Twist. His acting credits also include Away Laughing, Chunuk Bair and Braindead. In the 1990s, Keane moved into directing, working on popular drama series Shortland Street, Outrageous Fortune, The Almighty Johnsons and Go Girls. In this ScreenTalk, Keane talks about:

  • Playing a semi-mute drummer on Peppermint Twist
  • Working in mud and unwashed costumes for movie Chunuk Bair
  • Why the film Braindead was the worst experience of his career
  • The pressure of directing episodes of Shortland Street
  • Being proud of directing Diplomatic Immunity despite its disappointing ratings
  • Enjoying public praise for his contribution to Outrageous Fortune
  • How Go Girls proved a great way of improving his directing skills
This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.

 
 

  Tags

director, interview, actor, outrageous fortune, Go Girls, shortland street, Screentalk, The Almighty Johnsons, peppermint twist, murray keane, away laughing, chunuk bair, braindead

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Fiona Samuel: Marching to success…

Posted on 10 December 2012

Fiona Samuel has found success as an actor, writer and director. Her first acting job was in long-running soap Close to Home, and she followed that with appearances in a number of film and TV shows. Samuel’s greatest passion, however, is for writing and directing. She was the creative force behind The Marching Girls, and has written scripts for shows such as Outrageous FortuneThe Almighty Johnsons and Rude Awakenings. Samuel also wrote and directed award-winning one-off dramas Piece of My Heart, and Bliss: The Beginning of Katherine Mansfield. In this ScreenTalk, Samuel talks about:

  • Being too theatrical on the set of Close to Home
  • Creating the concept for The Marching Girls
  • Discovering her scriptwriting skills needed an overhaul
  • Adding a prostitute to the original story in Home Movie
  • How a surprising statistic led her to create the documentary Virginity
  • Taking 10 years to get Piece of My Heart funded
  • The reasons she picked the main actresses
  • Bringing a fresh but authentic feel to Bliss
  • Wishing she’d had even more opportunities in her career
This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.

 
 

  Tags

director, interview, rena owen, actor, writer, outrageous fortune, close to home, bliss, katherine mansfield, Screentalk, The Almighty Johnsons, the marching girls, fiona samuels, wude awakenings, piece of my heart, home movie

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Sean Duffy: From cop shows to comedy…

Posted on 12 November 2012

Sean Duffy started his TV career as a news and documentary editor, then later began mixing in acting roles on film and television. His major breakthrough role was in Mortimer’s Patch. Since then he has starred in numerous TV shows including Willy Nilly, Plain Clothes, Tiger Country and The Neighbourhood Network. His film credits include Utu, Came a Hot Friday and Smash Palace. Duffy has also directed a number of TV documentary series. In this ScreenTalk, Duffy talks about:

  • Being laughed at for his acting in The Governor
  • Mortimer’s Patch being his favourite acting experience
  • How the pace of the show was incredibly slow by modern standards
  • Seeing a horse being spray-painted on the set of the film Utu
  • Ending up buried under a concrete airport runway on Gloss
  • Terrifying fellow actor Simon Prast in one scene
  • Being surprised that TV3 commissioned quirky comedy The Neighbourhood Network
  • How illness ruined his performance in Tiger Country
  • Forming a brilliant working partnership with Mark Hadlow on Willy Nilly
  • Not understanding why the show was cancelled
This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.

 
 

  Tags

director, interview, actor, Documentary, The Governor, came a hot friday, willy nilly, sean duffy, Screentalk, mortimer’s patch, tiger country, the neighbourhood network, utu, smash palace

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Angela Bloomfield: on being Rachel

Posted on 15 May 2012

Angela Bloomfield made a splash on Shortland Street when she first joined the show as messed up teenager Rachel McKenna. Over her long stint on the 20-year-old series, her character has battled bulimia, survived a lightning strike and recovered from alcoholism. Once voted NZ’s sexiest TV star, she has acted in the films Bonjour Timothy and Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners, and appeared in the TV shows Ride with the Devil, and Dancing with the Stars. As well as acting, Bloomfield has directed episodes of Shortland Street, Jackson’s Wharf and Go Girls. In this ScreenTalk, Bloomfield talks about:

  • Getting the bug for acting on the set of Bonjour Timothy
  • Learning to act differently for film in The Frighteners
  • Being terrified on her first day on the set of Shortland Street
  • Enjoying playing the role of Rachel McKenna on the show
  • Feeling flattered but surprised by being seen as a sex symbol
  • How directing episodes of the soap has influenced her acting
  • Treating her stint on Dancing with the Stars as another job
  • Really wanting to have a lead role in a feature film
This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.

 
 

  Tags

director, interview, actor, Go Girls, shortland street, jackson's wharf, dancing with the stars, angela bloomfield, rachel mckenna, bonjour timothy, the frighteners, ride with the devil

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Paul Gittins - from doctor to director

Posted on 12 October 2011

Actor Paul Gittins is best known for his portrayal of Dr Michael McKenna, the original clinic director, on the long-running soap opera Shortland Street. He has also acted in a number of feature films, including Other Halves, The End of the Golden Weather, and The Whole of the Moon. Gittins’ love of history led to the creation of two popular docu-drama series Epitaph and Shipwreck, which he hosted and sometimes directed. In this ScreenTalk interview, Gittins talks about:

  • How a novice actor inspired him on the set of Other Halves
  • Learning lessons about life in Ian Mune’s The End of the Golden Weather
  • Initially struggling to adapt to the face-paced shooting schedule on Shortland Street
  • How Epitaph gave him a unique sense of New Zealand history
  • Learning how to research, write, and direct television by doing the show
  • Finding a solution to his seasickness while shooting Shipwreck
  • Loving the process of ‘getting into someone else’s head’ when acting
This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.

 
 

  Tags

history, Shortland St, presenter, NZ television, director, actor, television, shortland street

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