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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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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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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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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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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

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

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John Callen: The distinctive voice behind Oin the Dwarf…

Posted on 22 April 2013

Actor and director John Callen has a voice that is hard to forget. Callen has appeared in a number of TV shows and films including Close to Home, The Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior and, most recently, The Hobbit. His directing credits include Shortland Street, and the documentary series Epitaph and Taonga.

In this ScreenTalk, Callen talks about:

  • Why The Hobbit has been his most extraordinary job
  • Still enjoying a good fight despite being older than his contemporaries
  • How costuming proved to be a big hassle on the set, and a light moment with co-star Billy Connolly
  • How playing a murderer on Close to Home appealed to autograph hounds
  • The excitement of directing actors on Shortland Street
  • Enjoying directing 'real' stories for Epitaph
  • Learning about Māori history on the series Taonga
  • The challenge of re-writing scripts on war documentary The Kiwi Who Saved Britain

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

 
 

  Tags

close to home, the hobbit, tv, film, shortland street, oin, dwarf, john callen, epitaph, taonga, the sinking of the rainbow warrior

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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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Stelios Yiakmis: From heart-throb to bad guy …

Posted on 18 March 2013

Actor Stelios Yiakmis created a name for himself playing doctor Johnny Marinovich for five years on Shortland Street. He gained further acting credentials in a range of Australian and Kiwi TV shows such as McLeod's Daughters, All Saints, and Underbelly – Land of the Long White Cloud, and the Australian feature film Jindabyne. Yiakmis is currently appearing as bad guy Derek Peterson in crime drama The Blue Rose

In this ScreenTalk, Yiakmis talks about:

  • Being overawed by his first scene on Shortland Street
  • How a fellow actor couldn’t help him adjust to the work schedule
  • Loving the polarising nature of his character Johnny Marinovich
  • How a role in Street Legal gave him a chance to stretch his acting wings
  • Confusing the local population on the set of McLeod's Daughters
  • Wanting to punch director Ray Lawrence while filming Jindabyne
  • Playing a real life criminal in the Kiwi version of Underbelly
  • Relishing the chance to be a 'bastard' in The Blue Rose
  • How not knowing the plot in advance made the role harder

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

 
 

  Tags

the blue rose, street legal, McLeod’s Daughters, underbelly, actor, shortland street, stelios yiakmis, jindabyne, johnny marinovich, all saints

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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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