Posts

View from the Top banner

Just when you thought we were all stuck in our ways, along came COVID-19. Now changes are flowing thick and fast to adapt to the brave new world this deadly virus has inflicted upon us.

The Resource Management Act is being given the flick to allow for shovel-ready infrastructure projects. Tourism operators are now having to give a toss about Kiwi tourists. (I’m surprised nobody has questioned yet whether we really want all those international tourists to return and put the strain back onto our environment and infrastructure.) The Australian and New Zealand governments are figuring out how to hold hands and sing kumbaya in a Trans-Tasman bubble. We might even have a new National Party leader by the end of the week.

Just look at the changes the NZ screen sector has gone through in two months. We have temporary Terms of Trade at NZFC that say, amongst other things, goodbye to the NZ theatrical distribution requirement and hello to a VOD platform. TVNZ is commissioning Maori and Pacific genre drama with its supernatural anthology RFP. Domestic production has all of a sudden become vitally important to crew.

South Pacific Pictures took the bit between its teeth and developed its own COVID Health & Safety (H&S) protocols signed off by WorkSafe to allow Shortland Street to get back up. We now have the WorkSafe-approved COVID Protocols and Standard thanks to the hard work of individuals from the Screen Industry Guild of Aotearoa (Techos), the NZ Advertising Producers Group and a number of others.

And the draft Screen Sector Strategy unleashed on us during the lockdown? Well after further ‘feedback’ it’s going through some additional ch-ch-changes as well.

But what’s happening out there in the big wide screen world? Iceland, South Korea and Sweden are already in production, with Iceland unveiling details on how international productions can get back up and running there with a special immigration channel and quarantine rules. Some Eastern European countries, which get a lot of US and UK runaway projects, are restarting with the Czech Republic and Poland leading the way.

The UK government is allowing film and TV production to restart. A coalition of Britain’s top platforms have published a guide for TV production, while The UK’s new protocols for film and high-end drama are expected at the end of May. In the US, though, production is still at a standstill. Directors Guild of America board member and Contagion director Steven Soderbergh has been put in charge of the guild’s efforts to address COVID. According to an article in the LA Times, it’s the guilds and the unions that will determine when production will start there.

Across the ditch, Neighbours is up and running and Wentworth is supposedly about to restart. The guilds there have been working hard on their COVID-19 H&S protocols and expect government sign off on them shortly.

Thankfully, Level 2 is allowing production in film and TV here to get going, so we’re in a good place. But there’s much further to go, and more changes that need to occur before we can have the New Zealand screen industry humming again. Each one of us has a part to play in making this happen, whether it’s helping to effect the changes necessary, or just washing our hands, maintaining social distance and staying home when sick.

As we head into this next phase of life under COVID, stay safe, stay well and remember you can call on us here at DEGNZ at any time. We will do our best to help you out.

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director

Auckland Screenlink: Importance of Cast in the Current Climate

Back by popular demand, DEGNZ, SPADA and Equity NZ are excited to present the Auckland version of Screenlink: Importance of Cast in the Current Climate on August 14.

Members will hear from NZ Film Commission CEO Annabelle Sheehan. She will share on the importance of cast in financing feature films and dealing with US talent agents.

Annabelle’s background includes serving from 2004-2013 as CEO and Senior Agent at RGM Artist Group, representing high profile Australian artists in the entertainment industry.

Please join us for this evening of industry networking and insight.

WHEN Tue 14 August, 6 – 8PM. Talk kicks off at 6:30PM
WHERE Longroom, Short Rm, 114 Ponsonby Rd, Grey Lynn 1011

Cash Bar // Nibbles provided

DEGNZ, SPADA & Equity members – Free
Non-members – $5 koha appreciated

Screenlink banner

DEGNZ, SPADA and Equity NZ warmly welcomes members to join us for a Screenlink in Wellington.

At this discussion and networking event, NZ Film Commission CEO Annabelle Sheehan will share on the importance of cast in today’s feature film climate. Annabelle’s background includes serving from 2004-2013 as CEO and Senior Agent at RGM Artist Group, representing high profile Australian artists in the entertainment industry.

WHEN  Tue 3 July, 6 – 8PM. Talk kicks off at 6:30PM
WHERE  Henry Pollen’s, Level 2, 100 Willis St, Wellington

Cash Bar // Nibbles provided

DEGNZ, SPADA & Equity members – Free
Non-members – $5 koha appreciated