Michael Heath's imagination has spawned movies bursting with murder and mayhem, as well as lyrical tales of childhood and unheralded artists. Heath's work ranges widely – some of his films are lyrical, comical and murderous all at the same time. His scripts include two contenders for New Zealand's first horror film (Death Warmed Up and Next of Kin), plus an affectionate adaptation of Ronald Hugh Morrieson classic The Scarecrow, which was the first Kiwi movie invited to the Cannes Film Festival. In recent years Heath has blossomed from writer into director.
Jackie van Beek's CV is as impressive as it is long — she's a respected actor, writer, and director across comedy and drama, for stage, television and film.
Jackie van Beek is an actor, director and writer who first honed her storytelling skills in theatre. She has acted in a variety of television and film roles, and directed several award-winning short films. In 2017 van Beek directed her first feature film The Inland Road, then co-wrote, co-directed and co-starred in hit comedy The Breaker Upperers, with Madeleine Sami.
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
Broadcaster the late Phillip Leishman had one of the longest and most successful TV presenting careers in New Zealand. He began presenting sports news and events in the 1970s, and hosted major live events such as the Olympics and test rugby. Leishman also hosted long-running game show Wheel of Fortune, and the internationally-syndicated Golf Show.
Cinematographer Waka Attewell is something of a legend in the Kiwi film industry. From landmark 70s TV series Tangata Whenua, he has gone on to climb mountains with Sir Ed; shoot commercials, shorts and six and a half features — including the acclaimed Starlight Hotel — plus direct Ian Mune doco In the Shadow of King Lear.
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 their infamous, rejected show for TVNZ had ever come to pass How the Conchords got their name
The multi-talented Jackie van Beek first honed her storytelling skills in theatre. Since then she has combined acting with directing, starting with a run of award-winning short films.