Janice Finn is a television writer/producer who has also spent time in front of the camera. Her acting roles have included parts in Close to Home and The Strip. Finn produced the high camp 80s soap Gloss and 90s drama Marlin Bay, and has written extensively for Shortland Street. She has also produced reality series such as Changing Rooms for Touchdown Productions. Lately Finn has been producing documentaries for Natural History New Zealand.
Fane Flaws has popped up in all kinds of places: on the Blerta bus, holding a paintbrush, and behind a guitar and video camera.
Actor Jeffrey Thomas has had a long and varied career in both TV and theatre. His best-known television role was as Inspector Brian Finn in the police series Shark in the Park. Thomas has also appeared in Mercy Peak, Shortland Street, Spartacus and Outrageous Fortune.
Rosemary McLeod devised sitcom All Things Being Equal and iconic 80s TV soap Gloss. Best-known for her outspoken columns, she talks in this extended Funny As interview about battling sexism in the 1970s, and more, including: Gloss being the most fun she had in her television career, and laughing uncontrollably with producer Janice Finn Being told her voice was too deep for the radio, because it would "make men think of bedrooms" Falling into journalism after submitting a piece to the Sunday Times about a weird weekend spent with hippies Memories — comedic and emotional — of her time in Australia writing and script editing sitcoms for the ABC Hating women being portrayed as passive and witless in 1970s TV comedies, which motivated her to write more complex parts (e.g. Ginette McDonald's character in sitcom All Things Being Equal) Finding her schtick of "offending and annoying" people, when she started writing and cartooning about feminists in The Listener
Gloss was a popular soap opera that screened from 1987 to 1990. It pitted a respectable moneyed family against a new generation of rich yuppies. Set in the glamorous world of a fashion magazine, Gloss epitomised the high life and big spending culture of the 80s, while also showcasing the fashion du jour: shoulder pads and big hair.
James Griffin is the brains behind many successful Kiwi TV dramas and comedies (he co-created Outrageous Fortune and The Almighty Johnsons). He talks in this Funny As interview about failing, succeeding and more, including: Putting together a TV pilot for comedy group Funny Business, while working at TVNZ's drama department Writing comedy scripts for "old school gentleman" Billy T James How he became script editor for 1980s melodrama Gloss in his mid-20s, and drank lots of champagne Being asked to work on a film Pacific Islanders would like, which ultimately became hit movie Sione's Wedding Learning a lot from failing (City Life, Diplomatic Immunity) as "it can teach you a few things if you're smart enough to learn" How infusing comedy into his dramas (Outrageous Fortune, The Almighty Johnsons) "normalised" Kiwis to seeing New Zealand humour on screen
Matt Heath was one of the key creative minds behind anarchic stunt comedy late night show Back Of The Y, before becoming a NZ Herald columnist, Radio Hauraki DJ, and comical cricket commentator. This interview includes: Heath's early love of The Young Ones and Badjelly the Witch — and later unconsciously plagiarising American movies on Back Of The Y Making stunt-laden short films Vaseline Warriors and Shafted with fellow Back of the Y creator Chris Stapp, while at university in Dunedin The long route to getting Back of the Y made — and how Bill Ralston almost cancelled the show before it debuted The many injuries that occured during filming, and worries that Stapp, who performed most of the stunts, had died several times Breaking guitars and ribs while on tour with musician Tim Finn Jeremy Wells coming up with the idea for the Alternative Commentary Collective, and the challenges of getting sports comedy funded in New Zealand
Aileen O’Sullivan has a significant screen pedigree, from acting to directing, producing and – most importantly – storytelling. Her work ranges from Gloss and The Billy T James Show to Holiday and The Great New Zealand Showdown specials. Under her production company Seannachie Productions, O'Sullivan's has helmed a number of well received documentaries including Witi Ihimaera, Black Grace – From Cannon’s Creek to Jacob’s Pillow, Life’s a Riot and Ngaio Marsh – Crime Queen.
Close to Home first screened on TV One in May 1975 and ran for eight years. The popular and ground-breaking series was New Zealand television's first soap opera. It was based in Wellington and centred around the trials and tribulations of the Hearte family. At its peak in 1977, Close to Home attracted a twice weekly audience of one million viewers.