Michael Noonan is a legend in New Zealand scriptwriting, and not just because he was amongst the first to prove you could actually make a living at it. Creator of landmark New Zealand shows The Governor and Close to Home, Noonan's work has often explored ideas of power and social injustice.
American producer Rob Tapert first heard that New Zealand was 'an undiscovered production treasure', in a studio carpark. He was later responsible for bringing the internationally popular syndicated TV shows Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules here to realise that vision.
Actor and writer Tim Balme has played an integral part in the NZ film and television scene for longer than he chooses to remember, having portrayed good guys, bad guys, the guy next door, creepy guys, dopey guys, lovable guys, clever guys and almost every other guy in between. Lately, Balme has diversified his portfolio and worked as a writer and in drama development.
From reporting to scriptwriting and acting, Keith Aberdein has been a part of some of New Zealand’s biggest television and film moments. His screen career began as a journalist on Town and Around and Compass. Aberdein has scripted major TV shows such as Pukemanu, Section 7, Moynihan, Close to Home, and the colonial epic The Governor.
Peter Wells was an accomplished writer/director who explored gay and historical themes in his work. Among his screen credits are groundbreaking TV dramas Jewel’s Darl and A Death in the Family. Wells also created stylish feature film Desperate Remedies with co-director Stewart Main. In later years he collaborated with filmmaker Annie Goldson for documentary Georgie Girl.
Playwright and screenwriter Roger Hall has made a significant contribution to New Zealand’s television landscape. Two of his highly successful stage comedies became TV hits - Gliding On and Neighbourhood Watch. Hall wrote three one-off TV plays for the Spotlight series: The Bach, The Reward, and Some People Get All the Luck. As well as his own creations, Hall has also written for Pukemanu and Spin Doctors.
Paolo Rotondo was born in Italy and has lived there and in New Zealand. In 1997 Rotondo starred in local feature The Ugly winning praise from Variety and The Times, and awards at Rome's Fantastic Film Festival. Following TV appearances in Street Legal and Jackson’s Wharf, he went on to star in urban underbelly feature Stickmen, before writing and directing short film The Freezer. Rotondo returned to the small screen as Dr Andrew Solomon in Kiwi soap Shortland Street, and also appeared as Tim in The Insiders Guide to Happiness. His work as director and writer of Dead Letters won him Best Short Screenplay at the 2006 NZ Screen Awards.
Robin Scholes is one of our most prolific feature film producers. Her credits include Once Were Warriors, Broken English, Rain, Crooked Earth, The Tattooist, and Mr Pip. She has also produced hundreds of hours of television, including Magic Kiwis, The Big Art Trip, Heroes, Greenstone, The Chosen and Burying Brian.
Chris Knox's music career began with legendary punk band The Enemy, followed by Toy Love, then the Tall Dwarfs and his own solo work. He has appeared as a film reviewer on arts shows The Edge and Backch@t, and hosted series The New Artland. As a musician and music video director, Knox is known as a pioneer of lo-tech, DIY classics. For this special two part ScreenTalk interview, Flying Nun founder Roger Shepherd chatted with Knox about his life and career. In part one, Knox talked about his love of filmmaking, and early Enemy and Toy Love music videos. In the second part of the ScreenTalk interview, Knox talks about: Knox moving from appearing in music videos to directing his own with the Tall Dwarfs' Nothing's Gonna Happen Making the video for the Tall Dwarfs' Turning Brown and Torn in Two Making the video for his solo classic Not Given Lightly Becoming a film reviewer on TV arts shows The Edge and Backch@t Moving into television presenting, with an episode of Intrepid Journeys, and the series The New Artland Knox's long-running cartoon strip Max Media
Rachel Lang has been one of the driving forces behind some of New Zealand’s most popular television dramas. Beginning as a story editor on 1980s dramas Shark in the Park and Open House, she moved on to Shortland Street as a story-liner and then as the show’s Executive Producer for a number of years. Lang collaborated with writer Gavin Strawhan to create the South Pacific Pictures dramas Jackson’s Wharf and Mercy Peak. Later she developed the enormously successful Outrageous Fortune, as well as Maddigan’s Quest and Go Girls.