Actor turned producer/director Julian Arahanga made his screen debut at age 11, starring alongside Annie Whittle in short film The Makutu on Mrs Jones. He shot to fame playing novice gang member Nig Heke in landmark movie Once Were Warriors, then went on to act in a number of films including Broken English. Since setting up his own production company Awa Films, Arahanga has directed and produced TV series Songs from the Inside and acclaimed documentary Turangaarere: The John Pohe Story.
Murray Grindlay first rose to prominence as the lead singer in the 60s blues band The Underdogs. Since then he has written the music for a number of feature films, such as Sleeping Dogs, Once Were Warriors and Broken English; as well as countless TV commercials, including the classics Dear John and the Great Crunchie Train Robbery. Currently Grindlay is producing a web-based kids music show The One Winged-Bee Called Emily.
Anthony McCarten is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and novelist, who has directed two of his own movie scripts. His screenplay credits include Bohemian Rhapsody, Winston Churchill film Darkest Hour, and Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything, which won him a BAFTA award in 2015 for Best Adapted Screenplay. McCarten was interviewed for NZ On Screen when he was in Auckland in 2015, for Script to Screen's Big Screen Symposium.
Polly Gillespie is a veteran radio personality who helmed ZM's breakfast show for over 20 years, with her then husband Grant Kereama.
BAFTA-winner Anthony McCarten has written scripts about Winston Churchill, scientist Stephen Hawking and the band Queen.
Julian Arahanga shot to fame playing novice gang member Nig Heke in Once Were Warriors.
Director Gaylene Preston has been stretching New Zealand film in new directions since her early short films and her first feature, the genre and gender-bending Mr Wrong (1985). Long devoted to “communicating local stories to local audiences”, Preston features in Deborah Shepard’s book Her Life’s Work: Conversations with Five New Zealand Women.
Veteran broadcaster and journalist Ian Johnstone helped pioneer current affairs programming in New Zealand by hosting and reporting on the shows Compass and Close Up in the 1960s. Johnstone was the first host of the regional programme Town and Around and went on to co-host Tonight at Nine after the debut of South Pacific Television. Since then Johnstone has been involved in a variety of TV series and documentaries, and has even turned his hand to a bit of character acting in television dramas. Johnstone is perhaps best remembered as the long-time host of the Crimewatch series.
The path of comedy folk duo Flight of the Conchords is dotted with failure, dismal corporate gigs, globetrotting fans and Grammy Awards. This extended Funny As interview sees Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie savouring their memories of the early days, and all the TV shows that got rejected along the way. Among the topics mentioned are: Wearing naked suits on the streets of Melbourne while promoting an early show The perpetual challenge of singing and playing guitar at the same time The Wellington stylings of their comedy — and how creative collaborator Taika Waititi throws a mean pizza McKenzie's opinion that Pulp Comedy "wasn't very flattering or helpful" to the comedians who featured on it How they probably wouldn't have lasted if that infamous, rejected show for TVNZ had ever come to pass How the Conchords got their name
Jonathan Brugh and Jason Hoyte were once the shirtless, high energy, tights wearing 90s comedy duo Sugar and Spice. Here the pair reminisce about having fun on stage, thriving on failing and more...including: Being introduced through mutual friend Brendhan Lovegrove, and immediately hitting it off Feeling exhilarated after their second ever gig was a "hideous failure", with the audience throwing ice at them "Pretending" to be comedians by wearing no clothes and being messy, because they didn't know how to make jokes Performing on comedy show Pulp Comedy for the first time using baked beans and shaving cream Hoyte recalling the "tremendous thrill" of acting in TV comedy Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby — "I still get teachers coming up to me and telling me how much they love Gormsby" Brugh's joy in working and improvising on hit movie What We Do in the Shadows — including the beloved scene where his character Deacon showcases his erotic dancing skills