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Paul Grinder

First Assistant Director, Director, Producer

During his prolific career in New Zealand film and television, Paul Grinder took on a number of significant roles, but is perhaps best known for running the set as a trusted First Assistant Director. After entering the industry in the late 80s, Grinder quickly rose through the ranks. As a First AD he worked on such shows as Xena: Warrior Princess, Shark in the Park and Spartacus, as well as major movies like District 9 and River Queen. He often took on Second Unit Director duties, and occasionally directed (Power Rangers, Xena), and produced (Spartacus, Harry). His passing in May 2022 was met with an outpouring of love from the industry. Image: by Greg Riwai

With your unique, thoughtful, quirky, funny, non-judgmental ways, you were my first director and a massive influence on how I conduct myself, and who I am on set to this day. Those years — on and off set, those friendships, that time spent, stories shared, lessons learned, those memories, are profoundly precious to me. Xena: Warrior Princess stuntwoman Zoë Bell pays tribute to Paul Grinder, 9 June 2022