Throughout his 50 year career, John O’Shea was a pioneer and a champion of the independent New Zealand film industry. His name was synonymous with Pacific Film Productions, which he ran for over 20 years after Pacific founder Roger Mirams left for Australia. O’Shea was involved in the establishment of the New Zealand Film Commission, Ngā Taonga and the Wellington Film Society.
Tony Williams' contribution to the development of NZ film and television has been huge: his camerawork for John O'Shea's 60s feature-films, the nine ground-breaking documentaries he directed for Pacific Films, and his feature Solo, which helped launch the 70s new wave. After moving to Australia in 1980, Williams continued to wield a lively influence on our culture by directing many legendary commercials.
Globetrotting director Dean Cornish's credit reel ranges from Intrepid Journeys to bold buildings, Extreme Tribes to Rachel Hunter, sex trafficking to This Town. Trained at Christchurch's NZ Broadcasting School, Cornish has produced films in more than 90 countries and crafted a reputation as a go-to guy for travel stories. He shared a Best Director gong at the 2011 Aotearoa Film and TV Awards for Making Tracks.
Roger Mirams helped launch legendary independent company Pacific Films in 1948, and went on to co-direct Broken Barrier in 1952 with John O'Shea — the only Kiwi feature made that decade. In 1957, Mirams set up a Pacific Films branch in Melbourne. Over the next five decades he won a reputation in Australia for his children's TV shows. Mirams was still working in his 80s; he passed away in February 2004.
Pop star, actor, artist and advertising creative — Clyde Scott's CV is as diverse as it is long. In the 60s the Lyttelton native was a bow tie and cardigan wearing singer. He presented pop shows In The Groove, Teen '63 and Swingin' Safari, acted on stage, and had a small role in 1964 road movie Runaway. While juggling an extended career in advertising, he went on to act in classic 1977 movie Sleeping Dogs, playing the cop who interrogates Sam Neill. He also co-starred in the 'After the Depression' episode of series Winners & Losers, as a man struggling to stay optimistic in hard times. Scott returned to painting in the early 1990s.
Ray Columbus, OBE, began hosting television shows at the tender age of 19. After Columbus and the Invaders topped Australasian charts with 1964 single 'She's a Mod', Columbus spent time as a musician in America. The song was covered multiple times. He later returned to Aotearoa to resume a long career as recording artist, TV presenter and talent manager. Columbus passed away in late November 2016.
Although Harry Lavington's acting career spanned four decades on stage and screen, he is probably best known for a single role: that of baker and family man Ken Paget, on long-running New Zealand soap Close to Home.
Ron Skelley spent 36 years with the National Film Unit’s sound department, contributing to the soundtracks of Weekly Review, Pictorial Parade, and many other NFU and independent films. He started at the NFU in 1949, and was in charge of the sound department from 1977 until his retirement in 1985. Skelley died in March 1992. Image Credit: Photo from The Evening Post, courtesy of Fairfax Media
An optometrist by training, Ally Xue won public attention through her work as an actor. In 2010 she appeared in Gibson Group disaster tale Eruption, before joining forces with fellow actors Perlina Lau and JJ Fong — along with director Roseanne Liang — to create web series Flat3. The comical series is based around the occupants of an Auckland flat, with Xue playing the more reserved flatmate. After three seasons they followed up with Friday Night Bites — a collection of one-off stories based around the same characters. Xue's acting CV also includes short film Sugar Hit and TV's Harry and Runaway Millionaires.
Colin Broadley was one of those who dared to sail against the currents, as a DJ on pirate station Radio Hauraki. In 1964 he starred in Runaway, the first Kiwi feature in over a decade. Broadley played David Manning, a disaffected man alone, smouldering his way around NZ. Before departing broadcasting for other avenues, he did stints hosting early music show In the Groove, and playing a heavy in TV thriller The Alpha Plan.