AFK - The Webseries Kickstarter

AFK is a webseries following the adventures of six gamers trapped inside their characters' bodies in the world of an online RPG and features Auckland Actors' Mia Pistorius as character 'Q'.

AFK: Series One would be a 10 part series, with episodes ranging in length between 7-10 minutes. It is obviously an ambitious webseries, but at the trailer shows, the creators have the experience and resources to pull it off. The dream cast and crew who have already put in a great deal of work at no cost are all totally committed to this project and its success.

You can watch the trailer below.

For more information on the project and to donate to the Kickstarter Campaign visit their page.


Lippy Pictures releases Field Punishment No.1 trailer

screening in New Zealand in 2014

The First World War gave rise to New Zealand's first "conscientious objectors", men who stood out against jingoism of the day and declared their opposition to a war fought thousands of miles away and for which New Zealand were conscripted, many against their will.

This is the story of the fourteen of those men who were arrested and shipped off to war, where on the battlefields and military prisons of Britain and France they were stigmatised and tortured in an attempt to break their spirit. New Zealand's most famous conscientious objector Archibald Baxter, father of James K. Baxter, was one of these men.

We follow the conchies' journey from their initial proud stance when first arrested, through their time spent in prisons, punishment camps, an asylum for the insane and at the Front Line in France, until the end of the war heralds their return to New Zealand. But not all fourteen returned home.

starring Fraser Brown, Byron Coll, Colin Moy and Richard Chapman, and featuring Auckland Actors' Damien Avery, Paul Barrett, Daniel Cleary, Paul Glover, Andrew Munro
direction by Peter Burger

to watch the trailer click through to Vimeo on the below link

Field Punishment No.1 Trailer 1080p from Donna Malane on Vimeo.


The Adventures of Suzy Boon

The Adventures of Suzy Boon is a new 6 part web series written by Thomas Sainsbury and Louis Mendiola, and created by Roberto Nascimento.

The show follows the (mis)adventures of our hero, Suzy, who is trying to find where she belongs in this world - and by world she means New Zealand. She is at the last week of her trial period at the Immigration Service of New Zealand and stakes are high - there's a lot to prove if she wants to stay on the job. Thing is, Suzy has a lot on her mind right now. Love, happiness, her own identity; you know, the works.

The series features actor Kura Forrester as the titular Suzy Boon, along with Yvette Parsons, Charles Chan, Liesha Ward-Knox, Genevieve Cohen, Scott Cotter, Andrew Munro, Mick Innes and Thomas Sainsbury.

You can watch the complete series online at The Adventures of Suzy Boon website.

Banshee bags largest audience for a Cinemax original series

The second-season finale of Cinemax drama Banshee drew 733,000 viewers for its initial telecast Friday — making it the most-watched original series to date on the premium cable network, which has been trying to increase its output of first run programming.
The previous high for the network was 591,000 viewers for an episode of Banshee in early February, according to Nielsen.

Including the 11 p.m. replay, Banshee was watched by 968,000 viewers for the network, also a network high.

The second season of Banshee has an average gross audience (linear viewing as well as HBO On Demand/HBO GO) of 2.7 million viewers.

Banshee has been renewed for a third season.

NZ On Air fund Nothing Trivial finale

Taken from NZ On Air.

Fans of Nothing Trivial will finally get some answers - NZ On Air has agreed to fund a two-hour tele-feature to wrap up the series, after series three ended unexpectedly on a cliff-hanger.

NZ On Air will provide $1.6million for the tele-feature which will trace the lives of the popular characters over a year. Produced by South Pacific Pictures, it is expected to screen on TV One later this year.

"The storylines, acting and production values on Nothing Trivial were terrific. We have supported this tele-feature because there was still a loyal fan base of 265,000 throughout the third series, and we think they deserve the catharsis of a conclusion," said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

Viewers had been left hanging about whether central character Catherine was dead or alive.

"We think it's important to encourage top quality local drama projects. A conclusion may also make the possibility of overseas sales of the series more viable," said Ms Wrightson.

A second dramatic tele-feature funded in this round will re-tell one of this country's more bizzare crime cases. The 'truth-is-stranger-than-fiction' story Operation Venus and Mars dramatises the true story of Palmerston North cop Brent Garner, who faked a satanic attack on himself as part of an elaborate insurance scam. He was found out thanks to great detective work by a mate.

"We think viewers can't help but be riveted by such an incredible story. We look forward to seeing how Screentime translates it to the screen," said Ms Wrightson.

Webseries - Potent portent of things to come

Taken from NZ Herald, by Nick Grant.

Such is the dearth of new free-to-air shows this week that for several seconds I semi-seriously entertained the idea covering the latest Aussie iteration of The Block, starting tomorrow on TV3. Subtitled Sky High, it involved turning each floor of a rundown hotel into a luxury apartment. Then I remembered I'd rather hire my head out as a hammer than willingly watch yet another competitive home reno show.

Given this has been  allotted the insalubrious slot of 4.30pm weekdays, I'm clearly not the only one entirely over this genre.

The week's other debut, Troy, kicks off 7.30pm Wednesday on TV3. Sadly, it's not a new swords-and-sandals series with wooden horses full of vengeful Greeks. Intead, it's about the stunts and street magic of Troy Von Scheibner. Heavy sigh. Yes, I get the appeal of tricks performed live before your credulous eyes but, given the jiggery-pokery that goes with making a television programme, I fail to feel any wonder when shown sleight of hand on the small screen.

So thanks, but no.

Due to FTA's slim pickings, then, and prompted in part by Telecom announcing its web-based ShowMeTV service, I decided to check out what's currently available in the way of made-for-internet New Zealand shows. Turns out there are rather a lot and the best place to find many of them is conveniently gathered together is a site with the to-the-point, easy-to-remember URL of

Read the full article here.

Actor to play Stephen Donald revealed

Taken from Stuff.

New Zealand-born actor David de Lautour has been cast as All Black Stephen Donald in The Kick, a TV ONE drama on the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Plucked from whitebaiting after injuries to the original selections and wearing a rugby jersey several sizes too small, the man nicknamed Beaver landed "the kick" in the nail-biting 8-7 cup final win over France.

Based in Los Angeles, de Lautor has acted in United States television shows such as Hart of Dixie, Mom, Once Upon A Time, NCIS: Los Angeles and Beauty and the Beast. He will return to New Zealand for the role.

"Stephen Donald's kick as an iconic moment in All Blacks history, and as a huge rugby fan, it's an honour to be playing an All Black such as Stephen," he said.

Read the full article here.


Stephen Donald - David de Lautour
Richie McCaw - Tim Foley
Graham Henry - Tim Gordon
Dan Carter - Josh McKenzie
Sonny Bill Williams - Xazier Horan
Steve Hansen - Geoff Dolan
Piri Weepu - Troy Kingi
Richard Kahui - Clinton Randell
Mils Muliaina - Joe Naufahu
Ma'a Nonu - Matt Renata
Wayne Smith - Eryn Wilson
Ian Foster - Ross Anderson
Jimmy Cowan - Luke Thompson
Andrew Hore - Jonathan Hodge
Ali Williams - Aaron Cortesi
Jerome Kaino - TK Tuhaka
Kieran Read - Aaron Jackson
Colin Slade - Kirk Bremner
Aaron Cruden - Jordan Selwyn
Conrad Smith - Harry Summerfield
Andy Ellis - Dean Curtis
Brad Thorn - Brad Johnson

ABC TV unveils new 2014 show The Code

ABC unveils first publicity images for new mini-series The Code starring Auckland Actors' Lucy Lawless and Chelsie Preston Crayford.

Stretching from the spectacular red desert of Australia's outback to the cool corridors of Canberra, The Code tells the story of two very different brothers who stumble across information that people in the highest political echelons will kill to keep secret.

In the middle of the desert a stolen 4WD collides with a transport truck. The two Aboriginal kids in the car are hurt. Badly. Someone should have called for help. But they didn't.

And they didn't because that 'someone' works for a major stakeholder in the energy industry, and the 'cargo' is a prohibited substance bound for a research project no-one talks about.

The mystery of the kids' accident would have remained secret if it weren't for Ned (Dan Spielman) and Jesse Banks (Ashley Zukerman) - a young internet journalist desperate for a break, and his brother, a hacker on a strict good behaviour bond.

The question is how far those in authority will go to keeo their secrets safe. And just how far our two brothers will go to reveal the truth.

Online Channel for NZ Web Series Launches

New Zealanders - and the rest of the world - can now watch independently produced web series shows created by fellow New Zealander, online, any time and for free, with the launch of an online New Zealand Web Series Channel.

Web series are short videos, usually episodic in form, released on the internet and are part of the newly emerging medium called web television, web TV.

NZ Web Series Channel was created by Ferb Media, who also publish Viewfinder magazine for creators of NZ indie film, video and web TV. Founder and publisher, Fiona Powell says "When interviewing the creators of web series we realised there was a huge need for a place on the internet that brought all these amazing web series together, so audiences could find them in one place; a hub for New Zealand made web series. That way the shows could also leverage off each other. So we went ahead and created it."

Powell sees the web series medium as a win/win for both audiences and creators:

“For audiences there’s the benefit of viewing content when they want to, rather than waiting for scheduled content, and where they want to, including of course on mobile devices. Web series are the perfect medium for the digital generation with shorter attention spans who expect content on demand”.

The NZ Web Series Channel already has 50-odd web series, created by Kiwis, on the Web Series Channel, and Powell says there’s no shortage of content.

“This year we saw a huge spike in the number of local web series being created,” says Powell. “Self-funded projects included the highly rated shows Flat3 and High Road. NZ On Air funded series included Woodville, Hook Ups and The Factory, and currently in crowdfunding stages are Tina, Oddballs and Project J.

“For its latest round of Digital Media funding, NZ On Air received 54 applications for web series funding – and four projects have received $100k each. That means there are 50-odd web series wanting to be made. And if you consider the 800 or so teams that competed in the 48 Hour film competition earlier this year, and all the film graduates – there are a lot of New Zealanders keen to make film and video content.”

While web series are fairly new to New Zealand audiences, in the States and elsewhere, web series are an established medium, with their own web festivals and award ceremonies. Web series are making their creators rich and famous with some web series being picked up by the TV networks; for example US broadcaster Fox bought Couple Time, a single-camera comedy web series project.

Powell says brands and advertisers are already keen to partner with the NZ Web Series Channel site and/or web series creators. “Brands wanting to target the digital generation – who don’t watch much TV – and early adopters, can see the potential to align with creative web series made locally, and there are a number of innovative opportunities to do that, which is really exciting for all of us.”

Step Dave: An unconventional love story

Taken from Stuff, by Stephanie Holmes.

Less than six months ago, Jono Kenyon was just a regular bloke, living and working in Auckland but dreaming of bigger things. A trained actor, Kenyon was working at a Ponsonby bar, filling in time while waiting for his big break to come along. He says he always knew it would arrive eventually.

"I would walk to the gym every morning and it was a half hour walk and I used to play the same set of songs and I would go over in my head where I was heading in life, what I wanted to be doing," Kenyon says. "I fantasised about it and I would feel as if I had it. I was consciously - and subconsciously I suppose - doing things in my life, setting myself up, ready so that when an opportunity arose I could take it."

Now the 24-year-old is about to hit our screens as the lead in a new locally produced comedy drama Step Dave - a South Pacific Pictures production vying to fill the Nothing Trivial and Go Girls shaped hole left in viewers' hearts.

Read the full article here.
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