Lisa Chatfield began producing shorts and commercials after studying television at the NZ Broadcasting School. Her first feature, Dunedin tale Scarfies, was a solid hit. After time at companies Working Title Australia and Eyeworks, she joined the NZ Film Commission in 2009, and later rose to become Head of Production and Development. In 2016 Chatfield moved to Pūkeko Pictures, as Head of Scripted Development.
Special effects man and designer Richard Taylor got his break making puppets for 1980s comedy series Public Eye. He has gone on to become a key part of the Weta effects empire, supervising the creation of orcs, zombie mishaps and miniature cities for movies and TV shows. A passionate advocate for Kiwi talent, Taylor and his team have scored five New Zealand screen awards, four BAFTAS and five Academy Awards.
Director Peter Salmon first won attention with 1998 chase romp Playing Possum. In 2007, his coming of age short Fog was invited to Critics' Week at the Cannes Film Festival. His extensive CV of television credits includes Being Eve, Outrageous Fortune and The Wot Wots. Since moving to Australia in 2012, Salmon has directed several high profile drama series including Rake, Offspring and Wanted.
Veteran wildlife cameraman Robert Brown has filmed everything from polar bears to pukeko in places from the Arctic to the Antarctic. He shot the rare bird stories that led to the formation of state television's Natural History Unit (later NHNZ), and contributed to classic BBC David Attenborough series, such as Life on Earth and The Living Planet. In 1981 he won a Feltex Award for his work on Wild South.
Brit-born Martin Baynton has authored more than 30 children's books. After emigrating down under in 1987, he began developing television shows based on his work. After joining Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger to adapt his book series Jane and the Dragon for TV, the trio founded company Pūkeko Pictures and made successful pre-school export The WotWots. The sometime actor also narrated on WotWots.
Angela Littlejohn was a producer on Kiwi features Show of Hands, Separation City and Apron Strings. Prior to that she spent 15 years in London — including six in production and finance for Channel Four, where she worked on Trainspotting. After returning downunder, Littlejohn was producer on a run of short films, including Cannes Film Festival invitee Fog, and her first feature, 2008's Show of Hands. In 2014 she became Head of Production at Wellington company Pūkeko Pictures, where she has been on the producing team for the relaunch of TV classic Thunderbirds, and Australian-set dystopia Cleverman.
Matasila Freshwater is a Wellington director with a background in animation, anthropology and design. She cut her creative teeth on a run of 48 Hour filmmaking competitions (including 2017 Best Animation winner The Real Rare Arctic Firefly). Her award-winning short Shmeat – the tale of a mad scientist who devises a new food source – was chosen for the 'New Zealand’s Best' section of the 2016 NZ International Film Festival. Freshwater is an Assistant Director at Wellington's Pūkeko Pictures (working on WotWots spin-off Kiddets); she is also one of eight directors behind Vai, a Pacific Island follow-up to feature Waru.
Kiwi Chris Dudman studied film at Ilam and London’s Royal College of Art; his graduation short was nominated for a student Oscar. After working on arts documentaries in the UK, Dudman returned to NZ in 1995. Since then he has directed drama shows (the high-rating Harry), documentaries (The Day that Changed My Life), attention-grabbing shorts (Choice Night), and a number of high profile ads for his company Robber’s Dog.
Theo Baynton worked his way up the creative ladder as a designer and director, first at Auckland's Huhu Studios, then at Weta Workshop, where he production designed the animated Jane and the Dragon. Baynton went on to direct 76 episodes of export hit The WotWots. He now develops children's productions for Pūkeko Pictures, the company founded by Richard Taylor and his father, Brit-born author Martin Baynton.