You are here:

'producer' Posts

John Keir: Documenting Erebus, Sir Ed, Mani, and more...

Posted on 7 April 2014

Veteran producer John Keir has had a long career producing both documentaries and films. He has collaborated on several film projects with director Grant Lahood, including Lemming Aid and Chicken. Keir has also produced large live TV events such as the Sir Edmund Hillary special On Top of the World and Anzac Day coverage for Maori Television.  

In this ScreenTalk, Keir talks about: 

  • Telling the quirky story of temperance in the documentary Fight the Good Fight
  • Battling lawyers in order to film in court for Flight 901: The Erebus Disaster
  • How live coverage of the Sir Edmund Hillary special On Top of the World nearly came a cropper
  • Why the weather created havoc during the filming of Grant Lahood short Lemming Aid
  • Disappointment over poor box office for the feature film Chicken
  • Being fascinated by the idea behind Treaty of Waitangi series Lost in Translation
  • Finding Mani’s Story the most incredible documentary he’s worked on
  • Making actor Mark Mitchinson shave his eyebrows for the tele-feature Bloodlines

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

 
 

  Tags

john keir, lemming aid, chicken, on top of the world, fight the good fight, the erebus disaster, lost in translation, manis story, bloodlines, producer, documentary, grant lahood

Comments (0)

 

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

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

Comments (0)

 

Rhonda Kite: Telling great Māori stories…

Posted on 3 February 2014

Producer Rhonda Kite, who runs Kiwa Media Group, has worked on television, film, and interactive book projects. Her first production was award-winning 1998 documentary Otara: Defying the Odds. She also produced the controversial Chinks, Coconuts and Curry Munchers and, on the big screen, Squeegee Bandit. Kite produced anthology series Mataku and  long-running arts show Kete Aronui. Kiwa Media Group has also pioneered a process of dubbing films into other languages. 

In this ScreenTalk, Kite talks about:

  • Learning how to produce on her first documentary Otara: Defying the Odds
  • Wanting to tell her own 'truth' in the documentary
  • The trials and triumphs of a Māori woman in business in Hell for Leather
  • Pushing the boundaries in Chinks, Coconuts and Curry-Munchers
  • Telling real yet spooky stories in series Mataku
  • Discovering the power of drama from other cultures
  • The absolute joy of making arts series Kete Aronui
  • Being inspired and saddened by the story behind Squeegee Bandit
  • An emotional moment for Sandor Lau, the director of the documentary

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

 
 

  Tags

producer, rhonda kite, kiwa media group, otara, otara: defying the odds, documentary, squeegee bandit, mataku, kete aronui, hell for leather, chinks, coconuts and curry-munchers, sandor lau, starfish

Comments (1)

 

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

Comments (0)

 

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

Comments (1)

 

Allison Webber: From South Africa to sexuality on TV…

Posted on 8 October 2013

Journalist turned media trainer Allison Webber began in television at a time when women were more likely to be making the tea than making programmes. After working alongside names like Brian Edwards and Ian Johnstone, she became part of a new generation of women producers and directors who changed the shape of what went on air, especially with her ground-breaking documentary series Expressions of Sexuality.

In this ScreenTalk interview, Webber talks about:

  • The excitement of working as a researcher on 90 minute live show Edwards on Saturday 
  • The show's "hugely creative" presenter Brian Edwards
  • Sneaking around apartheid-era South Africa arranging secret interviews with legends like Donald Woods
  • An unforgettable encounter with Steve Biko
  • How journalists find courage under pressure, but sometimes lack gratitude for opportunities given 
  • Working with masterful presenter Ian Johnstone, a man who would get just as excited interviewing a possum farmer as a president
  • Becoming a producer, at a time when women were starting to move up the ladder
  • Making ground-breaking series Expressions of Sexuality, and arranging special training so that those being interviewed were treated respectfully
  • How TVNZ, "scared and challenged by the content of the show", sat on it for more than 18 months before putting it on air
  • How women's rise into positions of power helped drive change in what played on screen

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

 
 

  Tags

women, steve biko, biko, apartheid, richard thomas, pamela meekings-stewart, donald woods, desmond tutu, ian johnstone, brian edwards, johnstones journey, seven days, south africa, producer, expressions of sexuality

Comments (0)

 

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

Comments (0)

 

Mark Beesley: Bringing the ‘Westies’ out of the closet…

Posted on 15 July 2013

Director and producer Mark Beesley has worked on some of New Zealand's most high profile series, including Outrageous FortuneShortland Street, The Blue Rose and The Almighty Johnsons. Beesley also worked on the big American shows Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: Legendary Journeys. He also wrote and directed the 'Westie' feature film Savage Honeymoon, which some credit as an inspiration for Outrageous Fortune.

In this ScreenTalk, Beesley talks about:

  • Loving the discipline of making fast-paced drama on Shortland Street
  • Getting a job directing on Xena despite not knowing about CGI
  • Learning that the 'star' comes first on the set of Hercules
  • How Savage Honeymoon was inspired by an American cartoon
  • Working around almost constant rain on set
  • His thoughts on whether or not the film inspired another famous 'Westie' drama
  • The ground-breaking style of Outrageous Fortune
  • How The Almighty Johnsons has created a unique type of primetime drama

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

 
 

  Tags

mark beesley, producer, direct, shortland street, outrageous fortun, the blue rose, the almighty johnsons, xena warrior princess, xen, savage honeymoon, westies

Comments (0)

 

Steven O'Meagher: The 20 year Dream that is Harry…

Posted on 10 June 2013

As the founder of production company Desert Road, Steven O'Meagher has produced a long list of documentaries, films and television shows. His documentaries include The Understudy, Million Dollar Tumour, and Reluctant Hero. O'Meagher executive produced TV drama This is Not My Life; his latest dramatic project is Harry, featuring Oscar Kightley in the lead role.

In this ScreenTalk, O'Meagher talks about:

  • Throwing away the scripts while working with Paul Holmes on The Way We Were
  • Bringing an opera singer's "fantastic ego and sense of theatre" to documentary The Understudy
  • How feature film Out of the Blue challenged the people of Aramoana
  • Showing a personal journey towards death in award-winning documentary Million Dollar Tumour
  • How a phone call led to the documentary Reluctant Hero about Willie Apiata
  • Selling This is Not My Life to an American production company
  • Being disappointed with how the show rated in New Zealand
  • How producing Harry has been a 20 year dream

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

 
 

  Tags

production, producer, the understudy, million dollar tumour, out of the blue, film, tv, television, documentary, reluctant hero, this is not my life, harry, steven omeagher

Comments (0)

 

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

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

Comments (0)