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Hero image for Aileen O’Sullivan: The journey from in front of to behind the camera…

Aileen O’Sullivan: The journey from in front of to behind the camera…

Interview – 2017

Aileen O’Sullivan has acted, directed and produced, but she argues that the word storyteller fits her best. Her work as a director ranges from Gloss and The Billy T James Show to The Great New Zealand Showdown specials. Under her production company Seannachie Productions, she has also worked on a number of well-received documentaries including Witi Ihimaera, Black Grace – From Cannon’s Creek to Jacob’s Pillow, and Ngaio Marsh – Crime Queen.

In this ScreenTalk, O’Sullivan talks about:

  • The excitement of acting in TV epic The Governor
  • Learning the directing ropes on over the top supersoap Gloss
  • Loving working with the talented Billy T James
  • Creating "hell" for host Gary McCormick on travel show Holiday
  • How The Great New Zealand Showdown specials fostered debate
  • Writer Witi Ihimaera sharing personal perspectives in documentary Witi Ihimaera
  • Capturing Neil Ieremia's dance group in New York for Black Grace – From Cannon’s Creek to Jacob’s Pillow
  • How whimsy was used to tell the story of maverick union leader Jim Edwards in TV movie Life’s a Riot
  • Bringing author Ngaio Marsh to life with help from actor Peter Elliott in documentary Ngaio Marsh – Crime Queen
  • The power of stories to effect change
This video was first uploaded on 24 January 2017, and is available under this Creative Commons licence. This licence is limited to use of ScreenTalk interview footage only and does not apply to any video content and photographs from films, television, music videos, web series and commercials used in the interview.
Interview, Camera and Editing – Andrew Whiteside
I think the thing that underpins everything for me is story ... the power of story to affect change, and the power of it to inspire, and how people that work with story can change history.
– Aileen O’Sullivan on her creative ethos, late in this interview