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Hero image for Vincent Burke: The power of local stories in film and television…

Vincent Burke: The power of local stories in film and television…

Interview – 2017

For roughly three decades Vincent Burke was the main man behind Top Shelf Productions. In that time he produced or executive produced an impressive line up of screen projects, many of them documentaries. The list included TV shows An Immigrant Nation, All About EveFlatmates, long-running consumer show Target, and Cinema of Unease, an acclaimed documentary on the history of Kiwi feature films.

Burke passed away in February 2022. In this ScreenTalk interview recorded in 2017, Burke talked about:

  • Learning on the job, by taking on multiple tasks with his first short film Gordon Bennett (1989)
  • His personal connection to early documentary I Want to Die at Home
  • The emotional process of making All About Eve, about HIV-infected child Eve van Grafhorst
  • Finding clever ways around a tight budget, on reality show Flatmates
  • How consumer affairs show Target influenced local electricity regulations
  • The evolution of media commentary show Media7 (aka Media Take)
  • The importance of telling local stories
This video was first uploaded on 22 November 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 it's a hugely important part of our culture; really really important that we have our own stories, and we tell them fearlessly — well as fearlessly as our lawyers will allow us to tell them, and our broadcasters ... I'm really proud to be part of that industry.
– Vincent Burke, near the end of this ScreenTalk interview