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Comedy Directing

The real skill of a comedy director is working out what kind of funny suits each project. There are so many different flavours of comedy, and it moves so fast, that deciding on your tone – then being able to execute it – is crucial.

This workshop presented by the Directors & Editors Guild of NZ and taught by award-winning comedy director Jonathan Brough, will be a deep dive into the how of making a scene funny, but also the why – not just how you get the laughs, but where you put them.

The sessions will have a particular emphasis on ‘serious comedy’ – shows like Fleabag, Search Party and Please Like Me – the evolving genre that’s rapidly becoming an audience and broadcaster favourite. We’ll analyse scenes and look at the laughs from all sides, so you can develop your own comedy storytelling taste and style.

About Jonathan Brough

Jonathan is a New Zealand-born director of film & television, based in Melbourne, Australia. Equally acclaimed for his work in comedy and drama, his television credits include The End, a black comedy about assisted dying featuring Frances O’Connor & Harriet Walter that will screen on Sky Atlantic (UK) and Foxtel (Aus) early in 2020, Rosehaven Series 1,2 & 3, Ronny Chieng: International Student, The Family Law, The Unauthorised History of New Zealand & Eating Media Lunch and Outrageous Fortune. With a great affinity for working with comedians, he has won two Australian Directors’ Guild Awards for Best Director, Comedy – in 2016 for his work on Sammy J & Randy in Ricketts Lane and again in 2018 for Rosehaven.

He has also made several acclaimed short films including The Model (Official Selection Cannes Film Festival), Permanent Wave (London & Sydney Film Festivals), No Ordinary Sun (‘Best Short Film’ New Zealand International Film Festival 2005 / Official Selection Edinburgh / Hof / Slamdance) and Snowmen (in competition, Interfilm Berlin/ Pacific Meridian Film Festival).

 

 

Workshop Details

When:
Saturday 13 June, 9:30am – 12:30pm
Sunday 14 June, 9:30am – 12:30pm

Saturday’s session will have a more structured approach, followed by a more fluid and activity-based session on Sunday. Some homework will be sent out to participants to prepare before the workshop.

Where: Online workshop hosted on Zoom

Size: Up to 16

Price: Workshop offered at a discounted rate due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
DEGNZ member – Free
Non-member – $50

To Apply

DEGNZ invites practitioners with a keen interest in directing comedy or comedy drama to apply. You need to have some prior experience directing and/or creating comedy. This doesn’t have to be extensive, and can include short pieces made for online or work that hasn’t been broadcast.

The workshop would benefit emerging directors (with short film/commercial/web series credits) through to more experienced directors looking for fresh insights and inspiration.

DEGNZ will select up to 16 participants. Applicants will be notified.

Applications Close: Tuesday 2 June, 1PM

STEP 1: Complete the registration form below.

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

  • your CV or bio with filmography, including any links to your comedy work, and
  • a brief, maximum 1-page letter that summarises:
    • why you would like to participate, and
    • your experience directing/creating comedy and any relevant project(s) you might be working on.

Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Registration Form

 

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

NZFC

Jennifer Ward-Lealand

Call for Applications. DEGNZ invites directors to apply now for Rehearsal Dynamics, taught by New Zealand actor Jennifer Ward-Lealand. This 1-day workshop will be held in Auckland on Saturday 22 September.

Deepening and Enriching the Actor’s Performance

At Rehearsal Dynamics, five participants will direct actors in short scenes under the guidance of Jennifer Ward-Lealand. There will be a strong emphasis on identifying craft to aid the rehearsal process and developing a language to confidently engage with actors.

Five directors will be selected to participate. In addition, DEGNZ will offer up to seven directors a place in the workshop as an active observer. Observers will also have the opportunity to learn practical knowledge and a vocabulary for working with actors.

Participating directors will be sent the script at least two weeks ahead of the workshop.

About Jennifer Ward-Lealand

Since training at Auckland’s influential Theatre Corporate, Jennifer has worked extensively in theatre, film, television, musical and radio for over 35 years. Jennifer is one of New Zealand’s most recognisable acting talents and a respected theatre director. She has taught for The Actors’ Program, Toi Whakaari and NASDA.

Jennifer is currently President of Equity New Zealand, Patron of Q Theatre, and serves as a trust board member of Arts Regional Trust and Actors Benevolent Fund. In the 2007 New Years Honours List, she was named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to theatre and the community.

 

When: Saturday 22 September, 9am – 5pm

Where: Q Theatre, Vault, 305 Queen Street, Auckland 1010

A travel allowance is available for selected Participants travelling from out of Auckland who are DEGNZ members.

Cost (lunch included):

DEGNZ members            Participant/Observer – Free
Non-members                 Participant – $100, Observer – $50

To Apply

Applicants must be comfortable with participating in front of their peers.

Successful Participant applicants will have experience directing narrative short films and have a narrative feature film in active development.

Application Deadline: 10AM, Monday 3 September

STEP 1: Submit the form below.

STEP 2: Upload your application files. You will be redirected after Step 1 to the File Upload page. Submit before the deadline:

  • your CV/filmography with links to samples of your work
  • the logline and short synopsis of your feature film in active development, and
  • a maximum one-page letter explaining why you would like to participate.

Late applications will not be accepted.

 

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

NZFC

The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ invites directors to apply for a first-time feature Director’s Workshop and Project Consultation with Australian director Rachel Perkins to be held in Auckland.

Rachel Perkins

Rachel Perkins is well established in the Australian filmmaking industry as a film and television director, producer and writer. Through these various roles she has managed to provide a much-needed voice for indigenous stories, something Rachel is very passionate about. In 1992, she founded the documentary and narrative production company Blackfella Films. The company’s achievements include the award-winning landmark documentary series First Australians.

Rachel has directed four feature films, which have screened at over 75 film festivals worldwide: Jasper Jones (2017), Bran Nue Dae (2009), One Night the Moon (2001) and Radiance (1998). She currently serves on the Board of the Charles Perkins Trust, the Council of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), and the Australian Heritage Council (Department of the Environment and Energy).

On Saturday 17 March, Rachel will give a morning half-day Director’s Workshop on the trails, tribulations and preparation for your first feature for up to 30 participants.

The afternoon will be reserved for 1-hour Project Consultations with up to four selected writer/directors or writer and director teams with a narrative drama or feature documentary project in active development.

Directors can apply for both the Workshop and Project Consultation, or just the Workshop if you do not have a project currently in active development.

 

When: Saturday 17 March. Workshop – 8.30am to 12pm. Project Consultations will be held from 12.45 to 5.30pm.

Where: Auckland
Travel assistance may be available for some DEGNZ members coming from out of Auckland.

Cost: 
DEGNZ members – Free
Non-members – Workshop $50 / Project Consultation $100 (Workshop attendance free)
Payable upon successful application.

Selected projects may bring along the writer(s) to the consultation session at no extra cost.

 

TO APPLY please send your application in ONE PDF or DOC to tema@degnz.co.nz with ‘Rachel Perkins Workshop’ in the subject line.

In your application, please provide:

  • your CV/bio, filmography and mobile number.

To apply for a Project Consultation, please also provide:

  • a short letter detailing the reasons why you would like a consultation on your project
  • a CV/bio and filmography for the writer(s) if applying as a writer and director team
  • your project in active development:

Narrative Drama – logline, short synopsis, 1-pager, feature-length script (first draft or later).

OR

Feature Documentary – logline, short synopsis, detailed treatment.

 

Application Deadline: 9am, Wednesday 28 February.

 

This event is brought to you with the support of the New Zealand Film Commission and the Australian Screen Directors Authorship Collecting Society (ASDACS).

"The Vinters Luck" Screening - 2009 Toronto International Film FestivalDirectors & Editors Guild of NZ (DEGNZ) is thrilled to invite applications from experienced film directors with a feature film project in or near to advanced development or ready for production to apply for an International Director’s Mentorship with acclaimed filmmaker Niki Caro.

Niki Caro, one of New Zealand’s most successful film directors, needs little introduction, with credits including Whale Rider, North Country, A Heavenly Vintage, McFarland USA and The Zookeeper’s Wife to her name.

The overall intention of the mentorship is to inspire a NZ director, demystify the international film industry and offer genuine insight into creative process and engagement with the industry as a whole, while providing a solid platform upon which to build an international career.

This mentorship is designed to assist a director with project development, career planning, creative relationships, new practices in audience engagement, and relationships with producers and agents.

As Niki is a busy working director there is a small window of opportunity to start this mentorship with her. The successful applicant must be available for initial meetings during the week of 6 June 2016. Further mentoring will continue for the term of the mentorship over the rest of 2016.

To apply, please provide:

• Maximum one-page letter about why you should be chosen and what you hope to gain from the mentorship.
• A narrative feature film script and one-page synopsis for the project you wish to apply with, which must be in or near to advanced development or ready for production.
• Up to 3 examples of past narrative dramatic work (not showreel) that have had festival success.
• Applicants MUST be available for initial meetings the week commencing 6 June.

This initiative is NOT intended for applicants with projects in very early development. We will not offer script notes or enter into correspondence with applicants who are not selected.

Applications should be submitted electronically to admin@degnz.co.nz as ONE PDF file. Please include links in the document.

Only FULL DEGNZ members may apply. If you are not a member and wish to join, you can do so here.

Applications must be received by DEGNZ no later than 9am on Friday the 13th of May.

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

Masterclass

DEGNZ invites you to register your interest for up to eight seats in a Directing Masterclass with acclaimed filmmaker Niki Caro.

The workshop will take place from 1pm-5pm, Wednesday 8 June in Auckland. DEGNZ members free, non-members $50.

Please register your interest by emailing your CV (including links to your work) to samantha@degnz.co.nz by 9am, Friday the 13th of May. Successful applicants will be notified shortly thereafter.

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

A great big thank you to everybody who participated in our latest Rehearsal Room in Christchurch, moderated by the wonderful Miranda Harcourt. DEGNZ members Nick Hitchins, Nick McLean, Gillian Ashurst and Martin Sagadin worked with 8 actors on scenes and reports are that everybody left glowing!

Check out some photos from the day below. You can register your interest for the next event in Wellington here.

Screenshot 2016-04-11 at 4.19.14 PM Screenshot 2016-04-11 at 4.18.59 PM Screenshot 2016-04-11 at 4.18.37 PM