Live Panel: Join the team from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon II

Taken from DEGNZ newsletter.

DEGNZ and The Techo's Guild invites members to a live panel discussion.

Communicating with Art Department, Stunts and Special Effects. Fresh from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon II: The Green Legend, the team tells us what they want from their directors.

Grant Major (Production Designer), Nick Bassett (Art Director), Augie Davis (Stunt Coordinator) and Brendan Durey (Special Effects Supervisor) will speak on what they look for from the director to make a project fo smoothly. The discussion will be facilitated by director Jesse Warn.

6.30pm - 7.30pm
Tuesday 28 October
The Loft, Q Theatre, 305 Queen Street, Auckland

Free to DEGNZ and The Techo's Guild members. Non members $10.

Kiwi actress Gwendoline Taylor named the face of Silent Assembly

Taken from Silent Assembly.

Kiwi actress Gwendoline Taylor has been named the face of Silent Assembly's 2015 Spring / Summer Collection - Ether.

The effortlessly stylish 26-year-old is best known for her role as Sibyl on the hit US television show, Spartacus.

Read the full article here.

Brett Stewart wins at Festival des Antipodes

Taken from Screen NZ.

The St Tropez-hosted event closed out Sunday evening local time, handling out its gongs. Aaron Wilson's Singapore-set Canopy won the festival's Grand Prix while Everything We Loved took one of the acting gongs.

Canopy premiered in Toronto last year and has played in and out of competition at a number of major Asian festivals including Busan, Shanghai and Taipei. The film has also played a half dozen other international film festivals, although the win in southern France is its first on the festival circuit.

Ma Currie's Everything We Loved, the only NZ title in the Festival des Antipodes competition line-up, took the Best Actor gong for Brett Stewart.

Read the full article here.


by Victor Rodger
16 - 25 October

Noah McFarlane is a successful young TV music host. He's also afakasi (half-caste). After a ten year silence, he goes to see his dying father, Manu'a. During his visit, he sees a photograph of his half-brother and sister, whom he always knew existed but has never met. Ignoring the advice of his mother and grandmother, he delves into his unexplored Samoan heritage with explosive and emotionally-gripping consequences.

Victor Rodger is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter whose works, including Sons, Rantershantrum, My Name is Gary Cooper and Black Faggot, have changed the face of Pasifika theatre. In this, his semi-autobiographical first play, he explores a volatile, fractured extended family that includes Samoans, palagiand afakasi, and a variety of family "legitimacies". Referencing Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night, Sons is a play of old sorrow, written in tears and blood. Once the emotional screws are turned up, it grips an audience and never lets go.

featuring Beulah Koale, Alison Bruce, Max Palamo and Rima Te Wiata
direction by Dave Fane

for more information and to book tickets visit the Auckland Theatre Company website

Sins of the parents dominate family drama with laughs thrown in

Taken from NZ Herald, by Janet McAllister.

This cross-cultural family soap opera is a revival of celebrated playwright Victor Rodger's 1995 play about respect and broken promises, written when he was in his mid-twenties. And it is palpably a young man's play, showing anger about how the sins of the parents are laid upon their children. Younger characters may ask why the older generations have stuffed things up, and why have they not yet stopped meddling?

The play follows 24-year-old Noah (an affable Beulah Koale), brought up by his palagi mother (Alison Bruce, easily playing a character 12 years younger than herself), and now trying to reconnect with his absent Samoan father Manu'a (an authorative Max Palamo). As it turns out, everybody has their own motive for wanting or not wanting this family reunion and they each stubbornly cling on to these once meritorious reasons.

Confrontingly, nearly all eight characters show a lack of empathy for each other on at least one occasion. It is easy to get angry at them - for either their self-righteousness or lack of backbone - which is somewhat cathartic.

Read the full article here.

Outrageous Fortune prequel cast

Taken from NZ Herald, by Russell Baillie.

One of its stars is going from goalkicker to safecracker. Another plays her own television grandmother.

That's the cast of Westside Story and its stars are promising it will be a sexy and stylish 1970s-set prequel to Kiwi television classic Outrageous Fortune. The actors in the leading roles have been revealed exclusively to the Weekend Herald as the wide-collared big-moustached retro-revival of hit Kiwi dramedy begins shooting in Auckland tomorrow.

Original series star Antonia Prebble has been confirmed as playing her grandmother Rita in Westside Story. It's a role she took on earlier while starring as Loretta West in OF, during flashbacks to the earlier days of safecracking grandpa, Ted West who was played by the late Frank Whitten.

Read the full article here.

MediaWorks seeking new soap

MediaWorks has released a RFP for “a long running, daily serial drama”, with the intention of moving it forward fairly quickly.

The deadline for submissions is a tight 29 October, with the RFP available for download here

The MediaWorks release follows:

Mediaworks is very pleased to announce that we will be looking to commission a long running, daily serial drama for TV3, for on-air in 2015.
We invite production companies (and their co-production partners) to submit an initial proposal by 29 October, 2014.

We are looking for a broad appeal, five day a week, contemporary soap which will play a critical role in attracting viewers to TV3 in 2015 and beyond.
We want appealing, accessible characters and rich, dramatic narrative.
The series must be bright and entertaining, compelling and at times provocative. It will deal with real issues.
It’s likely to be family-centric (and suitable for a G timeslot). It must be firmly rooted in contemporary New Zealand, have must-see story lines and inherent longevity.
The soap must connect with the New Zealand audience, in particular TV3′s target demographic which is primarily 25-54.

We appreciate the tight three-week turn around but would like your initial proposal to include:

Brief concept, setting, core characters, treatment, and ideas for story arcs
We need to see evidence of a high calibre creative team – producers, directors and an experienced writing team. If you do not have direct experience in daily soaps or network television drama, this should not stop you submitting a proposal as we may be able to match you with someone who has the relevant experience.
We are also keen to see ideas for integrating cross platform – online, interactive, radio – which may involve creating specific content for those platforms.
We are very open to new and innovative production techniques and settings to ensure the high-volume, quick turnaround, nature of a daily soap.

Your initial proposal should not exceed 20 pages and should be submitted electronically to Pip Lovell-Smith ( no later than 5.00pm Wednesday, 29 October, 2014.

You will be advised within two weeks of submissions closing if you have been successful in making it through to stage two of our process.
Stage two will involve a pitch to a panel.
Mediaworks plans to begin development immediately upon choosing the successful proposal. The successful company will be required to follow a specific timetable for development over early summer.

We thank you for your interest and we are very excited about receiving your great ideas.

NZ On Air funds television comedy

Taken from NZ On Air.

There will be lots to laugh about next year with the two new and three returning television comedy series funded by NZ On Air.

In its latest funding decisions, NZ On Air has committed support for a new sketch comedy series that will give local female comedians a platform. Funny Girls will be written by and predominantly feature women. Made by Mediaworks it will screen on TV3.

The second new series is Word Up which will be made by South Pacific Pictures for TV One. With a quiz show format, three comedian-led teams will compete for laughs.

NZ On Air will also fund new seasons of the popular 7 Days and Jono And Ben At Ten on TV3 and Best Bits on TV One.

"Locally made comedy is performing well on TV right now. We are happy to see new concepts coming through, as well as continuing to support existing series that have built faithful audiences. In particular it is good to see a show specifically written for our excellent female comedians," says Ms Wrightson.

Read full funding details here.

Nancy Brunning heads to Canada

Taken from Creative NZ.

Acclaimed Maori actor and director, and now writer, Nancy Brunning will shortly leave for Canada to participate in The Banff Centre's Indigenous Writing Programme over the coming weeks.

The opportunity is funded by Creative New Zealand as part of its International Cultural Exchange Programme. It will allow Nancy to develop her writing as part of a vibrant community of a distinguished faculty and fellow writers from September to December.

The Banff Centre is on of the world's largest arts and creativity incubators. Its Indigenous Writing Programme encourages the artistic and creative development of indigenous writers and storytellers. The programme comprises two weeks of intensive writing time at The Banff Centre followed by 10 weeks working online from home or a work space with a mentor (editor).

Read the full article here.

Coverband: Even losers get lucky

Taken from NZ Herald, by Greg Dixon.

So you wanna be a rock 'n' roll star?

Then listen now to what I say: just get an electric guitar and take some time and learn how to play. Then, maybe, if your hair's combed right and your pants fit tight, you'll have a big hit and move to LA and ... then what?

Well hopefully, like Meatloaf bellowed, your rock 'n' roll dreams will come true. Bt what if they don't? It is with this alternative universe, the shaky afterlife following the half-life of rock 'n' roll success, that new local comedy, the terrifically silly and rather mishchievous Coverband (9.30pm, Thursdays, TV One) has decided to have some fun.

This is the story of the brothers Gibson, Matt and Alex, who started a band at high school. They played guitar and bass; Ivy was the singer. At first they called themselves Ivy and the Poison (ha!) "It was Ivy's idea," the opening voiceover from Matt told us, "to change the name of the band to just 'Ivy'." (a poke at the ego of singers! ha again!) And then they had the big hit and Ivy and Matt moved to LA - dumping brother Alex and drummer Knuckles in the process - and then ...

it all went pear-shaped.

Read the full review here.
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