Neil Stichbury's busy producing career includes a cavalcade of commercials, and three seasons of one of New Zealand's most successful children's shows: Let's Get Inventin',which sold to more than 20 countries.
Before getting involved in the screen industry Stichbury was a photographer. After studying photography at Wellington Polytechnic (now Massey university) in 1984, he began working on short films as well as fashion shoots.
By the early 90s, after time working as a rentals manager at equipment company Film Facilities, Stichbury was directing episodes of everything from sports shows to Graeme Sinclair's long-running Gone Fishin', plus writing and directing for feel good series Heroes.
In the same period Stichbury launched company Republic Films with director Simon Mark Brown. Over the next 13 years he produced dozens of television commercials for Republic, often comical in nature, scoring a number of Axis awards along the way.
Another friendship would lead in new directions,come the turn of the millennium. Stichbury began collaborating with director Luke Nola; the two put their love of ridiculous humour and arresting imagery into a series of shows and one-offs. They began with The Goober Brothers, which first showcased their love of inventions of debatable usefulness. The series of music video length episodes ran to three seasons and sold to the United States; as did follow-up Life on Ben. Loaded with stop motion animation, the show's setting was the skin of a boy named Ben, with Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi providing the voices of two symbiotic creatures on a journey through and over his body.
Stichbury and Nola hit the creative jackpot with their next show, which evolved out of The Goober Brothers. Part education and part entertainment, Let's Get Inventin' provided young inventors with a leg up to realise their ideas, from rocket-powered ice skates to the ultimate lazy boy. The show ran to seven seasons (Stichbury producing the first three), sold to more than 20 countries and won three Qantas awards for Best NZ Children's and Youth Programme.
Stichbury's next project, made through his company FAT Productions, set out to reinvigorate the format of the arts show. Hosted by music legend Chris Knox, New Artland saw leading artists working with locals to create a unique work of art. Stichbury produced with Gemma Gracewood (Frontseat), and is appreciative of having had the opportunity to get “the beautiful mind of Chris Knox” down on screen.
Stichbury went on to play producer on Jaquie Brown quiz show Word Up and 2016 series Dare to Dream, which follows AMP Scholarship winners as they set out to achieve their goals.
These days Stichbury has his fingers in multiple pies. Alongside developing feature film projects, he continues to work in fashion, advertising (often with director Chris Graham) and on digital content, as both a producer and stills photographer. He also assists foreign crews when they are shooting down under.
Profile updated on 6 November 2019
Stich.tv website. Accessed 6 November 2019