Robyn Scott-Vincent is a producer and director of factual television, with 50 plus primetime documentaries to her name. In 2014 she was named a Member of the Order of New Zealand Merit for services to both television and disabled. Scott-Vincent's company Attitude Pictures has produced 350 plus episodes of Attitude, which focuses on people living with a disability.
She is one of the founders of the Attitude Awards, and in 2013 launched website AttitudeLive.com, which uses captions and special typefaces to showcase programmes and resources relating to disability.
Attitude, which began in a magazine style format, has gone on to film everywhere from Serbia to Tanzania. Scott-Vincent aimed to ensure that "the people themselves were the main strong voice, allowing the viewer to take a walk in someone else’s shoes".
Scott-Vincent moved into television after more than two decades in print journalism, including time at The NZ Herald and The New Zealand Women's Weekly. Her television work includes sports, current affairs (Holmes) and children's programming. As a reporter in the final days of regional show Top Half, she enjoyed the "luxurious creativity" of being able to come up with her own story ideas.
Scott-Vincent has been involved with two books, and their accompanying documentaries; she wrote Susan Devoy, Out on Top (1993) then co-authored Cindy, Breaking the Cycle (2002), after commanding two Cindy's Diary documentaries about a businesswoman's battles to overcome morbid obesity. She also directed 1995 documentary Kirsa - A Mother's Story, based on Robyn Jensen's book about the disappearance of her daughter.
In 1992 Scott-Vincent formed RSVP Productions, named after the initials of her name. She later changed the company name to Attitude Pictures, “because it’s not all about me, it’s about presenting the lives of others … and attitude perfectly sums us up as a company”. Her one-off documentaries have played in the Documentary New Zealand strand for TV One, and on Inside New Zealand for TV3. A common topic in Scott-Vincent's work is life for those on the margins of society; people who are differently able, or facing a significant challenge.
She explored one woman's experience of infertility and trying to become a surrogate in Two Women and a Baby (2004),which was followed by companion documentary Two Women and Two Babies. Scott-Vincent described Lisa Bainfield's story as among the most amazing she has followed.
Scott-Vincent has a particular interest in children and youth. Her 2006 documentary Boys Go Bush followed 70 fourth form boys during a six-month outdoor education programme. The Girl Who Didn't Grow, completed the same year, was about a girl living with primordial dwarfism. Inspired by her brother, who had won a scholarship to Auckland Grammar, she spent over a year persuading the school's board to let her make documentary Grammar Boys, and later made films on three further schools.
Long-running series Attitude launched in 2005. Scott-Vincent found that the disinterest of the mainstream media in stories involving the disabled meant there was treasure trove of positive angles waiting to be covered. Attitiude's aim, she says, is "to advocate on behalf of the disabled community, to ensure issues are aired and addressed. Our goals are to inspire people living with a disability to get out and live life to their fullest, to provide strong role models for our young people, and to inspire change."
In 2013 Black and White, a documentary on Kiwi Paralympic cyclists, won the Special Jury Award at the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union awards. Attitude Pictures's ongoing coverage of disabled athletes won the attention of the International Paralympic Committee, and ultimately they were made official media partners, delivering the coverage of the 2016 Paralympics in Rio De Janiero and collaborating with TVNZ to get the footage back to New Zealand. Attitude has also supplied content to the United Nations and the Australian Government.
A number of those on the Attitude team have experience of a disability, including presenter Tanya Black a, ex paralympian Curtis Palmer, Attitude longtimer Dan Buckingham, and Jai Waite, who edited the award-winning Black and White.
Scott-Vincent has experience in the topic: her son Harrison had a learning disability and dealt with prejudice on a number of occasions. He died of leukaemia in 2005, the same year Attitude first went to air.
'Robyn Scott-Vincent: on her award-winning work with the Attitude series, and early days in news and documentary-making...' (Video Interview) NZ On Screen website. Director Andrew Whiteside. Loaded 26 April 2016. Accessed 26 April 2016
AttitudeLive website. Accessed 21 April 2016
'Attitude marks new milestone' (Press Release). Loaded 13 July 2012. Accessed 9 June 2014
'Stories with attitude' Human Rights Commission website. Loaded 19 June 2011. Accessed 9 June 2014
'Attitude Pictures Ltd' Special Olympics New Zealand website. Accessed 9 June 2014
'NZ production house wins APAC Broadcasting Union award' (Press Release) Loaded 6 November 2013. Accessed 9 June 2014