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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 proved a near unstoppable force during the mid 70s dawn of Kiwi TV drama. Known as 'the Sarge' to those who worked with him, Walden was on location to bring in a slew of classic dramas, on time and budget: among them were Hunter’s Gold, The Mackenzie Affair, Gather Your DreamsMortimer's Patch and legal classic Hanlon. In the mid 80s he left TVNZ to go freelance, and helped produce everything from vampire movie Moonrise to TV's 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 ended up in the plunket rooms while making police show Mortimer’s Patch
  • Appearing on screen as a jailer in Hanlon – In Defence of Minnie Dean
  • Using Kiwi ingenuity to make Grandpa Munster Al Lewis fly, for family 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