Since cutting his teeth on 1978 soap Radio Waves, Mike Smith has built one of the longest directing CVs in local television, winning awards en route for both drama and comedy. In 2005 he produced the debut season of Outrageous Fortune, and played a hand in its casting. He has also created or helped create shows Heroes, hit comedy Willy Nilly, The Lost Children and campground comedy Sunny Skies.
Maxine Fleming created or co-created the Emmy-nominated Being Eve, Agent Anna (starring Robyn Malcolm) and black comedy Burying Brian. The former journalist began her scriptwriting career when soap Shortland Street launched in the early 90s. Fleming has gone on to write for Outrageous Fortune, small town drama Mercy Peak, and Cliff Curtis mini-series The Chosen.
Jacob Rajan’s play Krishnan’s Diary was a breakout success, named 1997 Chapman Tripp production of the year. Through company Indian Ink, the Malaysian-born, Kiwi-raised Rajan has since co-created and starred in a series of plays, winning sellout performances, awards in Edinburgh and a renowned American agent. He has also acted on screen in Outrageous Fortune, Shortland Street, and starred in award-winning Fish Skin Suit.
Angela Bloomfield arrived on the Shortland Street set in 1992, and first appeared on-screen in early 1993. Over the next 24 years her character survived alcoholism, bulimia, lightning strikes and three departures from the show — plus an epic on-off relationship with Chris Warner. Beyond the clinic gates, Bloomfield has acted in 1993 teen movie Bonjour Timothy and was a feisty solo mother on TV’s Ride with the Devil. She has also directed extensively for Shortland Street and Go Girls. Her performance in her own short film Linda's List, a dark comedy about a bully, earned a 2017 Moa Award for Best Actress in a Short Film.
Bret McKenzie is one half of musical-comedy duo Flight of the Conchords. McKenzie and Jemaine Clement found international fame with the cult HBO comedy, which followed the duo's fictional efforts to 'make it' in New York. An Oscar-winner after writing songs for The Muppets (2011), McKenzie's screen career began after a brief role in The Lord of the Rings trilogy helped win him a cult following.
Donald Duncan has worked underwater, on snow, and in Narnia. Raised on a Waikato farm, Duncan trained in sound, then moved into camerawork. The early 90s saw him shooting comedy User Friendly, the darkly stylish Jack Be Nimble and acclaimed short Lovelock. After helping set the style of Xena: Warrior Princess, Duncan was NZ Film-awarded for Snakeskin. He has shot a number of US productions down under.
By the start of 1998 Duncan Sarkies had written seven plays, including Chapman Tripp winner Saving Grace — he had also adapted the tale of a man who claims to be Jesus, into a movie. Collaborations with brother Robert include hit movie Scarfies, and 2012 black comedy Two Little Boys (based on Duncan’s debut novel). He has also brought his dark, quirky sensibility to Flight of the Conchords, short films and stand-up comedy.
Paul Horan co-founded the NZ Comedy Festival and The Classic Comedy Bar, kickstarting a vital Auckland comedy scene — and his own successful trans-Tasman TV career. His credits include The Topp Twins, Super City, and Australia's Rove Live. After helping develop prime time formats like The Project, his company Slightly Uncomfortable Productions has specialised in hybrid news comedy shows.
Catapulted to fame after tousles with Prime Minister Robert Muldoon, Tom Scott originally trained to be a vet. He ended up helping Murray Ball turn Footrot Flats into a hit movie. The celebrated humourist and cartoonist has also told the story of Kiwi legends Edmund Hillary and David Lange, in both TV documentaries and dramas. Scott also co-wrote Rage, a TV movie about the 1981 Springbok tour.
Trained in state television, Judith Trye has gone on to forge a busy freelance career as an independent producer, on everything from comedy series (Serial Killers, Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby) to feature films (The Dark Horse, Black Sheep).