A Diploma in Broadcast Communication led Sam Blackley to a gig with high profile company Communicado, then a run producing youth shows Space, Squeeze, and Coast. Her other career highlights include three years as Channel Manager at Sky TV’s Documentary Channel, and five seasons producing community celebration series Neighbourhood.
Bruce Phillips’ long stage career encompasses six acting awards, directing, and a “brilliantly funny” starring role as Uncle Vanya. On-screen, his CV runs to more than 30 roles, including playing fighter pilot Richard Dalgleish on TV series Country GP, a womanising dentist on Roger Hall comedy Neighbourhood Watch, and Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer in 1994 miniseries Fallout.
Actor and vocal teacher Sylvia Rands’ first big television role was playing Polly Hanlon, wife to the legendary barrister in Hanlon. Nominated again for movie Bonjour Timothy, Rands has gone on to act in Go Girls, Homeward Bound and cult comedy The Neighbourhood Network, inbetween a busy stage career.
Best known to the public for an extended career as an actor — he co-starred in Mortimer's Patch and won an award playing a dopey farmer in comedy Willy Nilly — Sean Duffy alternated acting gigs with two decades editing for television. Later he moved into directing, working on a range of shows from Heartland to one-off documentaries.
Lloyd Scott began his long radio career as a radio technician in Greymouth in 1963, and took up professional acting in 1977. Along the way Lyttelton-raised Scott performed in 80 plus theatre roles and numerous TV series, including Roger Hall's Neighbourhood Watch; he also hosted junior news show Video Dispatch in the 1980s. On screen, he is probably best remembered as Scotty — hapless sidekick to driver Barry Crump — in a series of beloved Toyota ads, which ran from 1982 to 1996. Scott's 50 years in radio included 13 years lending his soothing voice to the all night slot, on Radio New Zealand National.
Some jobs never make the headlines; in the screen industry, one of those unsung positions is the production manager. After seven years on film sets in Asia, Brian Walden returned home in the mid 70s to production manage the shoots of many classic TV dramas, from Hunter’s Gold to Hanlon. In 1985 he went freelance, keeping a firm hand on shoots involving horses, hospital porters, vampires and underwater aeroplanes.
Peter Blake introduced more local content to popular music shows Ready to Roll and Radio with Pictures at a time when covers of overseas songs were the norm. The longtime musician began in television via 1970s music programme; Grunt Machine, and ended up in charge of a stable of shows. He has also composed music for everything from TV One's nightly News theme to drama Shark in the Park.
Ian Watkin's long acting career saw him playing mad doctors, priests, axe-wielding stepfathers, and American presidents. Part of the legendary Blerta troupe which toured Australasia in the 1970s, Watkin went on to appearances in everything from Beyond Reasonable Doubt and an iconic Crunchie bar commercial, to presenting Miss Universe New Zealand. He passed away in May 2016.
Nikki Si’ulepa won acclaim after starring in 1996 movie The Whole of the Moon, as a Samoan street kid in love. There have been further screen roles, but Si'ulepa is more active behind the scenes. Alongside reporting, filming and directing for Pacific show Tagata Pasifika, she wrote Pacific fallout tale Snow in Paradise, co-directing it with Justine Simei-Barton. The short film was invited to 11 festivals, including Tribeca and Berlin. She also helmed shorts Ma and Aroha, and hosted a 2017 episode of Neighbourhood. In 2016 she began co-starring Pot Luck, which was promoted as Aotearoa's first lesbian webseries.
Director and photographer Kerry Brown's extended résumé of images began when he was a teenage skateboarder, snapping shots of skater culture. Having directed iconic music videos for many legendary Kiwi bands, including Crowded House (Four Seasons in One Day) and The Exponents (Why Does Love Do This To Me?), he now works as a stills photographer on movie sets across the globe.