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Hero image for Bryan Bruce: From Mansfield to murder...

Bryan Bruce: From Mansfield to murder...

Interview – 2010

Writer/director Bryan Bruce has made programmes on everything from Kiwi humour to famous New Zealanders. He has also presented a number of high profile crime programmes. Bruce specialises in campaigning documentaries with a social justice angle.

In this ScreenTalk, Bruce talks about:

  • Making his television debut interviewing Katherine Mansfield and Frédéric Chopin, thanks to a lucky break while playing piano in a bar
  • Mortgaging his house to make a documentary on yachtsman Sir Peter Blake, then selling it around the world in the time it took Blake to sail into Auckland harbour
  • Noting similar features of the famous New Zealanders he has profiled, including Whina Cooper, Howard Morrison and John O’Shea
  • Discovering common traits of mass murderers, while researching documentary In Cold Blood
  • Taking the unusual approach of offering his own opinion, on true-life crime series The Investigator
  • How the confidential drop box created for The Investigator received many worthwhile leads
This video was first uploaded on 27 January 2010, 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 – Ian Pryor. Camera and Editing – Alex Backhouse
I didn't choose television, television chose me. A guy called Ross Johnston, who was a Dunedin producer, walked into the bar that I was playing in . . . and said 'how would you like to be on telly?'
– Bryan Bruce, at the start of this interview