The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ invites applications for a feature film documentary editing workshop with celebrated editor Annie Collins.

Annie is one of New Zealand’s most highly regarded editors in both documentary and drama. Her experience is extensive, encompassing projects with the likes of Merata Mita (Patu!) and Barry Barclay (The Neglected Miracle) to more recently with Rob Sarkies (Consent: The Louise Nicholas Story) and Jess Feast (Gardening with Soul).

Annie has a very clear process that lies at the heart of her successful feature documentaries, and which she would like to share with others.

You will cover:

  • What IS the Kaupapa?
  • Who are we talking to?
  • When it is essential for the director NOT to be present?
  • How to avoid superficial handling of the footage.
  • Systems that will give editor and director perfect freedom to create.
  • When to answer questions and when to let the questions answer themselves.
  • Finding and understanding what isn’t being said.
  • Working collaboratively with the director.

Eight positions are available on the workshop to be held in Wellington for editors with medium to advanced experience in documentary. Each editor will have an Avid to use with footage supplied.

The workshop will begin with an opening session on Friday 5 June from 6 – 9pm, followed by two full days on the Saturday and Sunday. Lunch will be provided each full day.

The selection panel will comprise Annie, and guild president and editor Peter Roberts. The selection will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Travel assistance may be available from the NZ Film Commission.

What: Documentary Features Editing Workshop with Annie Collins
When: Friday 6 – 9pm 5 June, 6 & 7 June 2015
Where: NZ Film & Television School, 86 Vivian Street Wellington
Fee: DEGNZ members free, non-members $100

To Apply:

Please send:

  • an email to with Doco Workshop in the subject line
  • a CV
  • links to samples of your work
  • a maximum one-page letter stating why you should be selected.

Deadline: 5PM Monday 11 May 2015
Notification: By Monday 18 May 2015

This event is brought to you through the financial support of the New Zealand Film Commission.

Our next Rehearsal Room workshop is coming up in Christchurch on Saturday 9 May, from 10am until 2pm.

This workshop beings together professional actors and directors in a safe, supportive environment to practice working with each other on scenes.

You can register on our event page to have your name in the draw to participate. 4 directors and 8 actors will be selected. There will be an experienced moderator guiding each event.

Directors must be DEGNZ members, while actors must be Actors’ Equity members.

Who is The Rehearsal Room for?
Professional actors and directors. It is open to members of all levels of experience; from novices to virtuosos.

Directors will be asked to provide a two-character scene (2 pages) or, if you prefer, a scene will be provided for you.

Structure of the event
Directors and actors will spend time rehearsing their scenes, with emphasis on connection and content.

After morning tea, participants will block their scenes, before presenting them for shooting, followed by viewing and discussion.

The Rehearsal Room is hosted by Directors & Editors Guild of New Zealand and the Equity Foundation, with financial support from New Zealand Film Commission.



The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ (DEGNZ) invites applications from proven writer/directors or director and writer teams, and their actors, to attend the Robert Marchand Character-based Improvisation Workshop from 20 – 24 March 2015 (five days).
Rob is an award-winning film director with over 25 years experience who is hailed as Australia’s foremost expert in this process, as used by British Director Mike Leigh. Rob runs his acclaimed workshops in Europe, the U.K. Australia and now in New Zealand.

“Whether you are planning to create work from scratch or you just want to expand your skills in exploring and creating character, using improvisation and generally working closer with your actors in the realisation of your work, this is an invaluable workshop. I highly recommend it.”
– Kate Woods, Director, Looking for Alibrandi

This workshop requires real commitment from teams. The benefits to participating directors, writers and actors are immense:
• improving communication between actor and director
• providing a new approach to script development—investigate backstory, look
at characters independently of script, build life around the character, create
the whole psychology of character before you start your film
• finessing Performance
• demonstrating how improvisations can really deliver results
• adding detail to scripted material
• exploring the unexpected
• auditions & casting
• provides an extra dimension to script development
• demonstrates how character detail can be added to the script
• reveals how bringing the character to life in non-scripted scenes throws up
new possibilities for further writing
• illustrates how to create an entire film through on-going collaboration
between filmmakers and actors.
• re-affirmation of the actor as artist
• ownership of character
• adding depth and complexity to performances
• accessing spontaneity
• improving communication with the director
• new perspective on texts
• assisting with preparation for auditions

Directors can apply with or without a script, but all must have:
• proven talent in directing drama
• a strong feature project or a strong idea to explore
• strong ideas for casting and bring actors who are willing to explore character
• be available for the full five days (including actors)
NB: This workshop will be most beneficial for those with stories based in a 21st century contemporary, urban world.

To apply, please provide:
• Names, contact details and CVs for all planned participants – director,
writer/s, actors
• 1 – 5 page synopsis of your film/idea
• Examples of director’s previous dramatic work
• A maximum one page letter stating why you wish to participate in this

Please send your application electronically to or by post to Directors & Editors Guild of NZ, Attn: RM Workshop, PO Box 47-294, Ponsonby, Auckland. Applications close 5PM, 4 February 2015.
The four successful candidates (four directors with teams) will be selected by a panel of experienced industry practitioners, with an announcement to be made by end February 2015. Fees would apply to those accepted, and those travelling would need to pay their own costs.

What: Robert Marchand Character-based Improvisation Workshop
Where: Auckland, venue tbc
When: Friday 20th – 24th March 2015 (5 days)
Cost: DEGNZ member director – $60 (including team), DEGNZ non-member
director – $150 (including team).
Application Deadline: 5PM, 4 February 2015

This initiative is brought to you with the financial assistance of the New Zealand Film Commission, and with the support of Script to Screen.

Last weekend independent filmmaker Jason Stutter of Tongan Ninja, Predicament and Careful With That… entranced 10 budding drama directors with his practical approach to directing film. Jason is a proponent of the Steven Spielberg-style, and covered the master shot method he uses to get fast, efficient and effective wide shots that deliver coverage with little need for relighting.


On Day One, Jason spoke at length on his method, reveal tips that work for him to get connection between actors. To illustrate some of his points, he engaged participants in improvisation, and gave his thoughts on rehearsing and how to deal with exposition.

Experienced actors Nicola Kawana and Steven Papps joined the class in the afternoon, when Jason ran through his blocking technique and how he moves actors to final performance using a scene from a highly acclaimed TV drama.

On Day Two, Jason introduced further techniques he uses with actors to develop connection, before moving on to visual effects, technical considerations and the importance of Art Department, Costume, Makeup and other tools that build character.

Having just returned from the American Film market where he pitched his film in post production and his next planned feature, Jason gave everyone the benefit of his market wisdom and knowledge, particularly on the US film making scene.

The afternoon was spent working with talented actors Steven Lovatt, Jeff Szusterman and Rene Lyons as Jason worked through blocking, coverage further techniques on how to get the best performance.


For the directors attending, the benefits were immense:
“This was a very valuable experience and I learnt a lot. I felt very free to question and participate in the workshop. Jason is a great communicator and can pass on the experience he has has to people in a warm and non-threatening way.”

Day Two ended with a discussion over drinks as the participants questioned Jason and the actors, seeking to draw out as much wisdom as possible. Our first, and highly successful, Directors Toolkit!

This event was made possible through the financial support of the New Zealand Film Commission.

The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ invites applications for up to 10 DEGNZ members to attend a 2 day Directors Toolkit Workshop run by filmmaker Jason Stutter on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th of November.

Jason is one of our most innovative and prolific filmmakers, having made more than 20 short films and four features, including the highly successful Careful With That… shorts series. Jason is an inspiration for today’s filmmakers.

During his 2 day workshop topics covered will include:

  • Communicating with actors
  • Getting actors to connect
  • Working with dialogue heavy scenes
  • Making the unreal feel real with your cast
  • Creating dynamic camera blocking
  • How to direct action sequences
  • Lens selection for best results

What: Directors Toolkit Worshop with Jason Stutter
Where: Auckland University, Pat Hannan Room, 18 Symonds Street, Level 5, Room 501 (Arts 2, Building 207)
When: Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th November 2015, 9AM – 5PM both days.
Refreshments and Lunch provided. DEGNZ
Cost: FREE for DEGNZ members. Non-Members $100.


Please provide no more than one page that outlines where you are at in your directing career and what benefit you will gain from attending the workshop.

Application Deadline: 5pm Thursday 20 November 2014 to

This event is brought to you through the financial support of the New Zealand Film Commision.