View from the Top banner

Considering the significant impact of COVID on the entertainment industry, it’s hard not to be pleased with the incredible amount of activity going on in the New Zealand screen industry right now.

New Zealand is being seen as a good, safe destination to shoot in, with a number of international productions happening and others wanting to come in. This means crews are busy and getting paid well, more New Zealand actors are getting cast in roles that at another time would have gone to internationals, and the economic impact of the spend is going around the country.

As well, New Zealand productions, whether domestic or coproduction, are also happening. Vegas in Rotorua, One Lane Bridge in Queenstown, Mystic’s going again, Head High has gotten another series, The Panthers is shooting. These are just some of the bigger ones, in addition to the many small and medium-sized productions that typically get made in any given year.

Producers are lining up with projects for the Premium Drama Fund. A number of these will shoot this year. Shortly, the development component of the PDF will come out. All this on top of the typical funding from our three content funding bodies.

What’s the problem? Well crew rates and budgets for a start.

Crew are putting their prices up because demand exceeds supply, making it very difficult for NZ productions to get highly experienced crew. So if you’ve got an inexperienced teenager, relative or friend who’s been longing to get into film and TV, there’s never been a better time.

Budgets from the funding bodies for regular production haven’t increased, which means NZ can’t compete with their international dollars. The Premium Fund projects have hopefully taken increased rates into account, but for right now this is a one-off fund. Now is the time to lobby Government for more money for the funding bodies. This is particularly the case for NZFC as filmmakers are essentially paying—not getting paid—to make their low-budget films. While independently-funded films often operate in this way, it shouldn’t be the case for films funded by NZFC.

On the big picture front, we’ve heard that the Screen Industry Workers Bill is walking at tortoise pace while the government puts the afterburner on Fair Pay Agreements. Movement is happening on the proposed pan-sector body The Copyright Act Review is stuck in limbo. Considerable effort is going into the shaping and establishment of the Workforce Development Councils, driven out of the Reform of Vocational Education. This is a real positive for the screen sector as it will hopefully provide pathways into screen sector work that will address the shortages we face on the crew side particularly, but also in other areas.

Frankly, though, we are in a pretty good place considering. Now we just have to pray like hell that those COVID variants don’t wreak havoc on what could be a very good year for us all.

 

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director

 

Last updated on 27 January 2021

Rehearsal & Performance logo

The Rehearsal & Performance series provides regular opportunities for directors and actors to practise their craft and communication. Each workshop brings in an experienced moderator to guide participants as they explore a workshop scene in groups (one director, two actors) in a safe and non-pressured environment.

Join us in Auckland for our first workshop of 2021 with director Caroline Bell-Booth.

Moderator

Caroline-Bell-Booth

Caroline Bell-Booth started out her professional career creating theatre, before moving into television where she directed on Shortland Street, followed by blocks of the hit Australian show 800 Words and was head-hunted by Australia’s Channel 7 show Home and Away as a recurring guest director. Following this she joined Channel 7’s drama Between Two Worlds.

Within NZ, Caroline has been lead director on the final two seasons of TV3’s hit show Westside, and was director on TVNZ’s crime-drama The Bad Seed.

Most recently, Caroline joined the second season of the German-NZ co-production The Gulf, where she directed the finale tele-feature episode. This will go to air later in 2021, and will be available on Netflix AUS/NZ. Currently, Caroline is shooting Power Rangers which will screen on Nickelodeon and Netflix later in 2021.

Preparation

Selected directors and actors will be expected to do some script prep beforehand. DEGNZ will provide the scene at least one week in advance.

Cost:
DEGNZ / Equity NZ member – Free
Ngā Aho Whakaari Full member – Free
Non-member – $69

(Includes lunch and tea/coffee)

Register your interest

Registrations close Thursday 4th February, 11am.

Spots are limited to four directors and eight actors. If your name is selected, DEGNZ will contact you directly to confirm your participation.

Auckland

When: Sun 21 February, 9:30am – 2:30pm
Where: MTG RM, 2 Kingsland Terrace, Kingsland, Auckland

Loading…

The Rehearsal & Performance series is hosted by Directors & Editors Guild of NZ with the support of Equity New Zealand and funding from the New Zealand Film Commission.

Last updated on 27 January 2021

The Turn of the Screw

Having changed the location of Henry James’ Victorian ghost story to present-day Wellington, director Alex Galvin presents audiences with a fresh adaption of The Turn of the Screw. Join us for a screening of the film, which will be releasing in select NZ cinemas Jan-Feb. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with members Alex Galvin (director) and Ed Sampson (editor/producer), alongside Greer Phillips (lead actor) and Emma Beale (producer).

The film follows a young actress, Julia, who is a last minute replacement in a theatre production of the Henry James classic The Turn of the Screw. Julia becomes immersed in the gothic horror production. As her terror increases, she suspects it’s not the fictitious house that’s haunted, but the theatre itself.

When: Friday 22 January 2021 at 7:45pm
Where: Rialto Cinemas Newmarket, 167-169 Broadway, Newmarket, Auckland

Film Industry Member tickets $12

Book now

 

 

Last updated on 14 January 2021