Michael Seresin's talent behind the camera has taken him to Turkey (Midnight Express), NYC (Fame), Ireland (Angela's Ashes) and Scotland (Harry Potter). Seresin, now an NZOM, began at indie company Pacific Films, where he mostly filmed documentaries. Since then —  apart from commanding the camera on Kiwi classic Sleeping Dogs — he has largely worked overseas, often alongside powerhouse British director Alan Parker. 

I love being a New Zealander but to be honest with you when everyone asks, ‘Where’s home?’ I say ‘nowhere and everywhere’. Michael Seresin
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Breathing is Singing

2015, Cinematographer - Film

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

2013, Cinematographer - Film

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All Good Things

2010, Cinematographer - Film

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Step Up

2006, Cinematographer - Film

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

2004, Cinematographer - Film

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Frontseat - First Episode

2004, Subject - Television

Gibson Group series Frontseat was the longest-running arts programme of its era. Hosted by actor Oliver Driver, the weekly series aimed a broad current affairs scope at the arts. The first excerpt asks the question "is there really an art boom, and if so, why aren't the artists benefiting?" Art dealer Peter McLeavey, late artist John Drawbridge and others offer their opinions. The second clip asks whether NZ really needs eight drama schools. Richard Finn, Miranda Harcourt and newcomer Richard Knowles (later a Shortland Street regular) are among those interviewed.

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Frontseat - Series One, Episode 14

2004, Subject - Television

In this early, Edinburgh-centric episode of arts show Frontseat, Flight of the Conchords return to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for a sellout third season — although they argue the new show is “a shambles”. Also present at the fest are an array of Kiwi technicians, performers, and arts programmers. Meanwhile in his Marlborough vineyard, globetrotting cinematographer Michael Seresin critiques Kiwi society and its ugly towns, and calls New Zealand a “lonely, soulless sort of nation”. Also on offer: Artist Phil Dadson in Antarctica, and award-winning dancer Ross McCormack.

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The Life of David Gale

2003, Cinematographer - Film

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Angela's Ashes

1999, Cinematographer - Film

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Breaking Barriers

1993, Subject - Television

John O'Shea was godfather to generations of Kiwi filmmakers; he was an inspirational force committed to bringing new perspectives to the screen. As Ngati actor Wi Kuki Kaa put it, "had he been a Māori, he would have been a kaumatua years ago". This documentary backgrounds O'Shea and his pioneering indie production company Pacific Films, ranging from his efforts to put Māori on screen, to banned 60s ads. The cast provides proof positive of O'Shea's influence — amongst the ex-Pacific staff interviewed are the late Barry Barclay, Tony Williams and  Gaylene Preston.

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Homeboy

1988, Director - Film

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Angel Heart

1987, Cinematographer - Film

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Birdy

1984, Cinematographer - Film

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Foxes

1980, Cinematographer, Associate Producer - Film

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Shoot the Moon

1980, Cinematographer - Film

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Fame

1979, Cinematographer - Film

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Midnight Express

1978, Cinematographer - Film

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Sleeping Dogs

1977, Cinematographer - Film

Smith (Sam Neill, in his breakthrough screen role) is devastated when his wife runs off with his best friend Bullen (Ian Mune). Smith escapes to the Coromandel. Meanwhile, the government enlists an anti-terrorist force to crack down on its opponents. Bullen, now a guerrilla, asks Smith to join the revolution. Directed by Roger Donaldson, this adaptation of CK Stead's novel Smith's Dream heralded a new wave of Kiwi cinema; it was one of the only local films of the 1970s to win a big local audience. This excerpt includes a much talked about scene: a baton charge by government forces.

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Bugsy Malone

1976, Cinematographer - Film

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The Ragman's Daughter

1972, Cinematographer - Film

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The Path to Power

1970, Camera - Short Film

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If...

1968, Assistant Camera - Film

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Giants of the Past

1967, Camera - Short Film

Surveying All Blacks rugby from 1905 until 1967, this wide-ranging documentary is framed around the NZ Rugby Football Union’s 75th jubilee celebrations. The archival gold mine includes matches from the 1905 Originals and 1924 Invincibles tours, and clashes with Springboks, British Lions, Wallabies and French rivals. There's also footage of NZ schoolboy and NZ Māori clashes, and a jubilee match with Australia. Funded by Caltex NZ, the documentary was made by legendary Pacific Films co-founder John O’Shea. Press on the backgrounds tab for a list — in order — of all the matches.

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Magical Mystery Tour

1967, Camera Operator - Film

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Mountains to Master

1967, Director, Camera - Short Film

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Don't Let it Get You

1966, Assistant Camera - Film

“The big ALL FUN show for the whole family to enjoy!” said the ads for this musical comedy, which was one of only two New Zealand features made in the 1960s. Moving from Sydney to a Rotorua music festival, the plot follows the romance between a lively drummer (Gary Wallace) and Judy (Carmen Duncan), and the hurdles they face to stay true. This is only an excuse for a melange of madcap, pep-filled musical fun. Made by John O’Shea’s Pacific Films, the movie features performers Howard Morrison, Kiri Te Kanawa and Lew Pryme, plus distinctive graphics by artist Pat Hanly.

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Manapouri Power Project

1965, Camera Operator - Short Film

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Runaway

1964, Assistant Camera - Film

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Keep Them Waiting

1963, Camera Operator - Short Film

Shot in black and white (by Terry King and future Harry Potter cinematographer Michael Seresin), this early Tony Williams directorial effort answers its road safety instructional mandate with style. A jazzy soundtrack scores the setting up of a literal ‘lives collide’ plot. Two lovers go rambling; a gallerist in a goatee takes photos on a car trip, a beau takes his girl for a Wellington coastal drive, a musical duo drive from a 2ZB recording session ... all the while emergency room flash-forwards are intercut and the clock ticks as basic road safety lessons are ignored.

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Noumea is Noumea

1962, Camera Operator - Short Film