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Hero image for Brian Walden: Making TV drama work behind the scenes...

Brian Walden: Making TV drama work behind the scenes...

Interview – 2016

Production manager Brian Walden was a near unstoppable force during the mid 70s dawn of Kiwi TV drama. Nicknamed 'the Sarge' by his colleagues, Walden was on location to bring in a slew of classic dramas on time and budget, among them Hunter’s Gold, The Mackenzie Affair, Mortimer's Patch and Hanlon. In the mid 80s he left TVNZ to go freelance, helping produce everything from vampire movie Moonrise to The New Adventures of Black Beauty

In this ScreenTalk, Walden talks about:

  • How the landscapes of the South Island were a key character in classic drama Hunter’s Gold
  • Working six day weeks during the show’s fast-paced shoot
  • The complexities of filming a series entirely on location in the South Island  
  • Making sure the chimney smoke looked right on the show's tent town location
  • Dealing with tourists from the Shotover Jet while filming by the river
  • Finding locations for sheep-rustling drama The Mackenzie Affair
  • How modern-day fences proved problematic on set
  • Fake volcanoes and thermal action on Children of Fire Mountain
  • How criminals got in the plunket rooms while making cop show Mortimer’s Patch
  • Appearing on screen as a jailer in Hanlon – In Defence of Minnie Dean
  • The Kiwi ingenuity that made Grandpa Munster Al Lewis fly, for vampire movie Moonrise
  • Attempting to satisfy a range of international companies on series The New Adventures of Black Beauty
  • How anthology show Mataku helped create a bridge between Māori and Pākehā
  • Production innovations learnt during seven years working in the Asian film industry
This video was first uploaded on 26 September 2016, 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’ve been able to give something to New Zealand film and television because I came home with systems, ideas...I'm a fairly methodical person. I created more things here, but I bought back a lot as well.
– Brian Walden on the expertise he brought home, after seven years working in the film industry in Asia