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'producing' Posts

Mike Smith: On directing drama and passing on Russell Crowe...

Posted on 28 April 2014

Versatile director Mike Smith has made an enormous amount of New Zealand drama. Highlights of his lengthy television CV include Radio WavesDugganSerial KillersThe Almighty JohnsonsNothing Trivial, tele-movie Siege and upcoming docudrama Nancy Wake: The White Mouse. Smith also had a big hand in creating Heroes (80s pop band on-the-make show), yokels comedy Willy Nilly, children’s drama The Lost Children and 2013 comedy Sunny Skies. He was also one of the key players in the launch of Outrageous Fortune.

In this ScreenTalk interview, Smith talks about:

  • The unforgettable personnel officer when he interviewed to join state television
  • Vital lessons learned from drama head John McRae, while directing 70s soap Radio Waves
  • Producing and directing Heroes, the drama series about a pop band
  • Failing to cast a young unknown called Russell Crowe
  • Differences between Australia and NZ, after eight years largely working across the Tasman
  • Returning home for drama series Cover Story
  • Creating shows after setting up a production company with editor John Gilbert
  • Making successful short Willy Nilly, about two “rural idiots,” and learning about the complexities of comedy on the hit TV series which followed
  • Casting secrets from his days as producer of Outrageous Fortune: including a lack of network enthusiasm for star Robyn Malcolm, and Munter originally being a Pākehā
  • Working with “fantastic” producer/director Mark Beesley on The Almighty Johnsons
  • How in a sense directing is a little bit like sex
  • Taking different approaches to turning true life stories into drama with Siege and Underbelly: Land of the Long Green Cloud
  • Lessons learned as a director

This video was first uploaded on 28 April 2014 and is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence. 

 
 

  Tags

directing, producing, acting, comedy, farce, russell crowe, michael hurst, john gilbert, mark beesley, robyn malcolm, antony starr, antonia prebble, tammy davis, outrageous fortune, john mcrae, russell crowe, michael hurst, john gilbert, mark beesley, robyn malcolm, antony starr, antonia prebble, tammy davis, jan molenaar, outrageous fortune, radio waves, heroes, cover story, the almighty johnsons, siege, nancy wake: the white mouse, underbelly nz - land of the long green cloud, willy nilly

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John Laing: Beyond Reasonable Doubt to Outrageous Fortune...

Posted on 3 March 2014

Veteran producer/director John Laing has worked in film and television in New Zealand, Canada and the UK. His feature films include the Arthur Allan Thomas-inspired Beyond Reasonable Doubt, cross-cultural romance Other Halves and thriller Dangerous Orphans. Laing has also directed a long list of popular drama series for TV, including Go Girls, Nothing Trivial, Street Legal, Inside Straight and Marlin Bay; plus tele-feature Safe House.

In this ScreenTalk, Laing talks about:

  • Upsetting the National Film Unit with his unconventional film Kariotahi Beach
  • Learning how to direct a feature film on the set of Beyond Reasonable Doubt
  • Taking on too many roles on offbeat thriller The Lost Tribe
  • Getting back to basic story-telling on Inside Straight
  • Being unhappy with the end result on feature film Other Halves
  • Relishing the prospect of creating film noir feature Dangerous Orphans
  • The challenge of juggling different directors on Outrageous Fortune
  • Creating an 'intense' set for tele-feature Safe House

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

 
 

  Tags

john laing, beyond reasonable doubt, other halves, dangerous orphans, go girls, nothing trivial, kariotahi beach, the lost tribe, inside straight, outrageous fortune, safe house, directing, producing, national film unit, nfu, arthur allan thomas

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Robin Laing: Producing our stories…

Posted on 6 November 2012

Gaylene Preston has called Robin Laing "an oasis of reason and practicality" in the chaos that is filmmaking. Laing began making feature films at a time when women producers were rare in New Zealand. Since then she has produced an eclectic mix of features, short films and arts documentaries, and often lent a hand to emerging filmmakers. In this ScreenTalk interview, the MBE-awarded producer talks about:

  • A movie-mad childhood
  • First meeting director Gaylene Preston, who persuaded Laing to try out producing
  • Being told to go get a man –  and also that women "are not an audience" – while getting debut feature Mr Wrong off the ground
  • Distributing Mr Wrong themselves, after sellout festival screenings somehow persuaded distributors and TV networks the film had no audience
  • Her interest in history and telling our stories
  • Behind-the-scenes stories of covert property-buying for comedy hit Ruby and Rata
  • Persuading MP Sonja Davies to let a man write her story on the acclaimed Bread and Roses
  • Paying tribute to treasured collaborator Graeme Tetley
  • Working with filmmakers Shirley Horrocks (Flip & Two Twisters) and Niki Caro (The Vintner's Luck)
  • Her interest in working with emerging filmmakers, including on an anthology series for television
  • How women's stories have become more acceptable in the market place

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

 
 

  Tags

bread and roses, ruby and rata, history, friendship, producers, women, filmmaking, feminism, herstory, producing, interviews, mr wrong, graeme tetley, sonja davies, niki caro, the vintner's luck

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