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Kate McDermott: From learning the ropes on Shortland St to creating Step Dave...

Posted on 16 February 2015

Kate McDermott is a scriptwriter whose words have been heard in a long list of popular TV comedies and dramas. She began as a writer on Shortland Street, and later became a story-liner for the soap. McDermott then moved on to writing for series like Being Eve, Mercy Peak, Go Girls and Outrageous Fortune. In 2014, McDermott’s own creation Step Dave became a popular series for TVNZ. Series two is now in production.

In this ScreenTalk, McDermott talks about:

  • Making a mess of her first Shortland Street script
  • Eventually becoming a story-liner on the show
  • Bringing a little Shakespeare to hit kids show Being Eve
  • Binge-watching episodes of Mercy Peak in order to write for the show
  • Loving the freedom to write swear words in Outrageous Fortune scripts
  • Becoming a showrunner for Go Girls
  • Enjoying working on the comedy drama Nothing Trivial
  • Initially declining a job writing for drama The Blue Rose
  • Having to work at a fast pace creating season one of Step Dave

This video was first uploaded on the 16th of February 2015 and is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.

 
 

  Tags

kate mcdermott, shortland street, being eve, mercy peak, go girls, outrageous fortune, step dave, soap, tvnz, writing, shakespeare, comedy, drama, swearing, swear words, nothing trivial, the blue rose, scriptwriting

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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.

 
 

  Tags

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

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Kelly Johnson: Saying Goodbye to Pork Pie...

Posted on 9 June 2014

Kelly Johnson is best remembered for his lead role in the iconic Kiwi film Goodbye Pork Pie. He followed that success with roles in the films Carry Me Back, Bad Blood, Battletruck and Utu. In more recent times, Johnson has worked as a lawyer, but he still does occasional guest acting roles, including in Shortland Street and Maddigan’s Quest

In this ScreenTalk, Johnson talks about: 

  • Understanding the process of filmmaking on the set of Goodbye Pork Pie
  • Feeling excited to be acting in the country’s first road movie
  • What the film means to him now
  • Having problems with an old car in the television film Hang on a Minute Mate
  • Underplaying the comedy on Carry Me Back
  • Hanging out with the American crew on Battletruck
  • The moody nature of the area when filming Bad Blood
  • Trying to work out the acting style required for the movie Utu
  • Feeling proud and privileged to have been a part of New Zealand’s early film industry

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

 
 

  Tags

kelly johnson, goodbye pork pie, carry me back, bad blood, battletruck, utu, shortland street, actor, maddigans quest, hang on a minute mate

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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

shortland st, shortland street, tv, television, birthday, 21st, drama, 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

actor, outrageous fortune, 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

interview, actor, presenter, what now?, shortland street, legend of the seeker, the jaquie brown diaries, river queen, 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

mark beesley, producer, direct, shortland street, outrageous fortun, the blue rose, the almighty johnsons, 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

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

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