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Hero image for Philip Smith: Great Southern producer...

Philip Smith: Great Southern producer...

Interview – 2010

Producer Philip Smith comes from a family of entrepreneurs, so it’s always been in his nature to pursue opportunities. Currently working as head of the production company he created, Great Southern Television, Smith also had an eventful career in journalism before moving into producing. He was once expelled out of Tanzania while working as a print journalist, and sold his first production company for several million dollars while still in his early 30s. Great Southern has produced Lion Man, Eating Media Lunch, The Unauthorised History of NZ and The Cult. Smith lives in both Auckland and Queenstown, where he does a lot of brainstorming out in his woolshed.

In this Screentalk, Smith talks about:

  • Working as a print journalist, police reporter for the NZ Herald under Susan Wood
  • Being expelled as a journalist from Tanzania
  • Working to deadline each night as a Line Producer on Holmes
  • Not realising that the guys in the boardroom he was meeting actually just wanted to buy his production company
  • How his young son helped come up with the idea for Lion Man
  • How reading a Ben Elton book led to Eating Media Lunch
  • Developing The Unauthorised History of NZ
  • Getting Jeremy Wells into primetime television with Birdland
  • Finding unexpected inspiration for The Cult, from his crazy neighbours
This video was first uploaded on 18 October 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, Camera & Editing – Clarke Gayford