Longtime Cantabrian Simon Barnett has had many encounters with the small screen. In the late 80s he spent four years as a presenter on What Now?, before going on to host a number of talent and game shows. The longtime radio DJ has also competed in Celebrity Treasure Island. In 1990 he acted in hit comedy Ruby and Rata, as the young man who gets caught up with a dodgy but lovable solo mother.
John Keir began his career as a TV reporter, and from the late 70s on was producing and directing an extended slate of documentaries. His CV includes docos about air crashes (Flight 901: The Erebus Disaster), war (Our Oldest Soldier), gender (Intersexion) crime (First Time in Prison) and the Treaty (Lost in Translation). His many collaborations with director Grant Lahood include two short films that won acclaim at Cannes.
The broadcasting career of so-called 'Mr Country Calendar' Frank Torley spanned almost half a century. He worked on the iconic rural series as reporter, producer and narrator, and a number of other programmes besides. In 2002, he was awarded the ONZM for services to broadcasting. Torley died of cancer on 27 March 2016, just weeks after Country Calendar celebrated its 50th year on air.
Paul Casserly won a Qantas TV Award in 2009 for directing upstart satirical show Eating Media Lunch. The show ran for six years on TVNZ. Casserly continued his creative partnership with presenter Jeremy Wells on The Unauthorised History of New Zealand and Birdland. Casserly has also directed music programmes for Neil Finn and Bic Runga, and videos for Greg Johnson, Tim Finn, and his own group Strawpeople.
Selwyn Toogood hit the big time with It's in the Bag, a long running quiz show which he originated on radio and later took to television. His catch cry, "the money or the bag?" has become part of New Zealand folklore. He was also the self-described thorn between four roses, as host of daily panel show Beauty and the Beast.
British-born but based in New Zealand since age eight, Mark Prebble dreamt of being a filmmaker from an early age. In the 1990s he began making short films, and working behind the scenes in varied crew roles. Then he turned screen satirist, directing Futile Attraction (2005), which follows a film crew making a dating show. It was the first Kiwi movie completed via an online funding campaign. Since then Prebble has created shorts and plays with his wife Marion, written for Māori TV's B&B, and spent three years as Vice President of the NZ Writers Guild. He is now second in command at film festival Show Me Shorts.
Joe Hitchcock began in film after his stop motion short Kismet played at the 2005 Screamfest in Los Angeles. He has since found a niche as a cinematographer and director, working on shorts, adverts and music videos. In 2010 Hitchcock was nominated as Best Director at New Zealand's Show Me Shorts film festival, for The North Pole Deception. He made his feature directing debut with Penny Black (2015), a road movie pairing a supermodel and an anarchist. Since then he has directed much travelled short Stick To Your Gun and several short documentaries, and shot campaign footage for future PM Jacinda Ardern.