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If you do a search on the Interweb, one of the definitions of a disruptor in business reads:

To be a disruptor is to create a product, service, or way of doing things which displaces the existing market leaders and eventually replaces them at the helm of the sector. Disruptors are generally entrepreneurs, outsiders, and idealists rather than industry insiders or market specialists.

Netflix is a great example of a disruptor. It started as a DVD rental company posting DVDs to customers before becoming the first major streamer. It now dominates screen content creation, delivery and the Hollywood studios globally. How long it maintains that dominant position remains to be seen—it’s certainly the hare among the tortoises. But those tortoises are weighed down by money and muscle through their parent entities as much by hard and relatively inflexible exteriors and slow-moving parts.

I’d posit though that COVID-19 is the ultimate disruptor. It’s creating dramatic change in the way of doing things that even if we overcome it with a vaccine, it has wrought such rapid transformation to business that just a year ago we would have considered inconceivable. We can see that transformation occurring right now, in the screen industry, in New Zealand. Anyone who watched the NZFC/NZ On Air/TMP webinar this week on the Premium Production for International Audience Fund saw an example of it in action.

In the Screen Sector Strategy, one of the ten initiatives in the short-term plan is to work with the Government to modernise the regulation that shapes the sector. I can tell you after two and a half years of working on the Copyright Act Review with Government and at least another year of work ahead, my expectations of quickly modernising the regulation that shapes the sector was not great.

Like the studios, our screen bureaucracy and Government around it is a cumbersome beast, pretty resistant to significant change. Note how we’ve sat on the sidelines as the Golden Age of Television reshaped the global screen industry. Or Netflix changed the screen content business model for creation, distribution, revenue flows and ownership. Or a commercially driven public broadcaster became a loss-making entity with a still-beating commercial heart and a decidedly permanent-looking hand in the taxpayer pocket.

But then COVID.

Now our screen bureaucracy is moving it’s stumpy little legs so fast in COVID recovery mode we are seeing changes mooted for rapid implementation or in place that in the old normal would have taken forever to bring about.

Such as in the Premium Production Fund:

• allowing productions to access NZ On Air funding and the New Zealand Screen Production Grant for drama.
• permitting productions to have no minimum level of Aotearoa New Zealand content.
• Requiring only a minimum level of private international investment for eligibility set at 10% of a production’s total value for TV.
• Doing away with the need for an NZ Free-to-Air broadcaster to get across the line.

Or in the COVID 19 Policy for the NZFC Terms of Trade for films under $2.5 million:

• dispensing with the requirement to have a distributor AND sales agent
• doing away with the need for an NZ theatrical release
• allowing a VOD platform as a distribution partner

I’m not sure if we are ever going to catch the hare, but I can certainly feel my hair—now longer due to COVID—getting ruffled with the winds of change.

Bring on the NZ Broadcasting Act and NZ Film Commission Act reform.

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director

Last updated on 30 October 2020

NZ On Air logo and NZFC logo

Tēnā koe,

The New Zealand Film Commission has issued a document for consultation on the Premium Productions for International Audiences fund ($50 million premium drama fund) across FY21-FY22, which is designed to support the production of high-quality feature films or series dramas that tell strong New Zealand stories with international appeal.

The Fund is a jointly administered initiative between NZFC and NZ On Air, developed in partnership with Te Māngai Pāho.

They have requested that all feedback be channeled through the industry guilds. DEGNZ is collating feedback and ask that you send yours, if you have any, to admin@degnz.co.nz by the end of business day this Friday 30 October.

NZFC is holding a public webinar today to brief the industry on the document and to answer any questions that arise. The webinar info:

How to join the Q & A

Join the event here at 5pm on Wednesday 28 October

  • This will open a new tab in your browser
  • Click ‘watch on the web’ instead
  • If you have a Microsoft account, sign in; if not, attend anonymously

To ask a question, click ‘Ask a question’ in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. Enter your name and type your question.

We encourage your participation in the webinar and feedback.

Noho ora mai, nā

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director

Last updated on 28 October 2020

DEGNZ is excited to present a workshop with director Rob Sarkies for South Island-based directors on November 28 – 29. Rob will outline his process and encourage participants to develop processes specific to them.


About Rob Sarkies

Rob Sarkies

Credit: Matt Grace Photography

Wellington-based, but a South Islander at heart, Rob works across feature films, series television and commercials. His work includes acclaimed feature Out of the Blue about the Aramoana shootings, Consent based on Louise Nicholas’s fight for justice, Jean about aviator Jean Batten, black-buddy-comedy Two Little Boys, Wanted, The Gulf and NZ classic Scarfies.

Process! Process! Process!

This will be a practical workshop that will take participants through Rob’s film-making process from development to shoot and examine how process can be adapted from project to project.

The workshop will cover:

  • Development process (how to avoid ‘development hell’ or at least ensure your project comes out the better at the end of it)
  • Process leading to production (script prep, visual prep, storyboards, casting process)
  • Pre-Production (rehearsal process, binding your collaborators to the same vision)
  • Practical process on set (scene blocking, working with cast, working with your DP)

A workshop full of practical hints to help you control the beast of a feature film rather than having it control you.

Workshop Details


When:

Saturday 28 November 2020, 9am – 5pm
Sunday 29 November 2020, 9am – 4pm

Where:

In Christchurch – venue TBC

And virtually on Zoom Meetings for those who cannot attend physically. Virtual participants will be able to interact with the tutor and moderator.

Price:

DEGNZ member – Free
Non-member attending Christchurch – $110*
Non-member attending Zoom – $80*

Lunch and refreshments provided for participants attending Christchurch.

*Discounted due to COVID-19. Normal Regional price $145

To Apply

The Guild invites directors based in the South Island to apply as there are limited spaces. Applicants should, ideally, have at least some directing experience on a short film/in other screen content OR production/crew experience. If you have a question, please get in touch.

STEP 1: Complete the application form below.

STEP 2: Send in one PDF to tema@degnz.co.nz:

  • Your filmography with a short bio or CV, and
  • a brief, maximum 1-page letter that tells us why you would like to participate and what you hope to gain from the workshop.

Application Deadline: 1PM, Monday 16 November 2020

Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Application Form

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Cancellation and payment policies

 


This initiative is brought to you with the generous support of the New Zealand Film Commission.

NZFC

Supported by Screen CanterburyNZ

Screen CanterburyNZ logo

Last updated on 23 October 2020

Our congratulations goes out to Show Me Shorts winners Dylan Pharazyn, winner of the DEGNZ Best Editor award for the music video Career by Wax Chattels, and Isaac Knights-Washbourn, who was awarded the DEGNZ Best Director award for Money Honey.

Stuck in the middle of Auckland’s housing crisis, two young hustlers discover some money and try to double it in the hope of buying an epic sandwich in Knights-Washbourn’s Money Honey. Catch the film in The Sampler. Dylan Pharazyn directed and edited the music video for Wax Chattels, which also took home NZ On Air Best Music video. This vivid tale plays as part of Tangled Worlds.

In another special mention, the Department of Post Best NZ Film Award went to Tweedie Waititi and DEGNZ member Cian Elyse White for Daddy’s Girl (Kōtiro).

Last updated on 15 October 2020

DEGNZ invites directors to join us for a one-day Wellington workshop, taught by Jennifer Te Atamira Ward-Lealand, on best practices for directing on-screen intimacy.

In Directing In the Intimate Zone, we will discuss and work with actors on the process of developing scenes that involve intimacy, nudity and/or simulated sex, developed by UK intimacy coordinator Ita O’Brien and based on Equity NZ’s Intimacy Guidelines for Stage and Screen. The workshop will also look at directing intimacy in the COVID-19 era.

There are four places for directors to participate, as well as places for directors to observe.

During the class, Participant Directors will take turns to direct pairs of actors in intimate scenes under Jennifer’s guidance. Participant Directors upon selection will each be invited to submit a short, intimate scene – either with or without dialogue – for consideration ahead of the workshop.

About Jennifer Ward-Lealand

Jennifer Ward-LealandSince training at Auckland’s influential Theatre Corporate, Jennifer has worked extensively in theatre, film, television, musical and radio for 40 years. One of New Zealand’s most recognisable acting talents and a respected theatre director, she has taught for The Actors’ Program, Toi Whakaari, UNITEC, Te Pou and NASDA.

Jennifer is currently President of Equity New Zealand, Patron of Q Theatre, and serves as a trust board member of The Actors Benevolent Fund. She was named SPADA Industry Champion in 2018 and in 2019 given a Women of Influence (Arts & Culture) Award. In the 2019 New Year’s Honours List she received a CNZM, Companion of the NZ Order of Merit for services to theatre, film and television and is this year’s New Zealander of the Year. Jennifer is a trained intimacy coordinator under the mentorship of Ita O’Brien, Intimacy on Set (UK).

Workshop Details

When: Sunday 15 November 2020, 9am – 5pm

Where: RANDOM, 43 Hanson Street, Mount Cook, Wellington 6021

Price:
DEGNZ member – Free
Non-member – $75 (discounted due to COVID-19. Normal price $95)

Lunch and refreshments provided.

Eligibility:

This workshop is R18.

To be eligible to apply as a Participant Director:

  • You must have experience directing at least short films/dramatic content.
  • Priority will be given to those who are actively engaged in directing or preparing to direct narrative drama, especially if you are dealing with scenes of nudity, intimacy and/or simulated sex.

To Apply

To register as an Observer, complete the registration form below.

To apply as a Participant Director, complete the registration form below and email your supporting documents to tema@degnz.co.nz before the registration deadline:

  • a CV/bio with filmography
  • a brief letter summarising why you would like to participate as a director, what you hope to gain from the workshop, and any experience directing intimacy (not a requirement for selection).

If you apply as a Participant and are unsuccessful, you will receive an offer to attend as an Observer.

Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. 

Registration Deadline: 1PM, Thursday 5 November 2020

Registration Form

 

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Cancellation and payment policies



This initiative is brought to you with the generous support of the New Zealand Film Commission.

NZFC

Last updated on 23 October 2020