Actor Grant Tilly, who died in April 2012, displayed his gifts for understated comedy in movies Middle Age Spread and Carry Me Back. The versatile Tilly had done it all — from acclaimed theatre performances (often in Roger Hall plays) to screen roles that took in everything from adventure movies and landmark historical dramas (The Governor), to children's TV, sitcoms (Gliding On), and many voice-overs.
Dave Gibson is one of New Zealand's most experienced producers. Under his command, company Gibson Group made programmes for local and international audiences for over three decades. In 2012 Gibson was admitted to the Order of NZ Merit for services to the screen industry; in 2014 he sold his shares in Gibson Group, and began a four-year stint as Chief Executive of the NZ Film Commission.
Since graduating from NZ Drama School, William Kircher has gone on to act in more than 100 plays, and at least 30 screen projects. Often cast as policeman (TV's Shark in the Park and movie Out of the Blue) or villain, Kircher has also worked on the other side of the camera. He was Bifur the dwarf in Peter Jackson's three-part adaptation of The Hobbit.
Alongside a busy theatrical career, Jennifer Ludlam has acted onscreen at home and in Australia (Sons and Daughters, Prisoner). Award-winning turns came as an ex-prostitute falling for an undercover cop in 1993 TV-movie Undercover. Three years later she was news anchor Liz Whiteman in Cover Story. Ludlam won again as the put-upon mother in Apron Strings, before acting in TV comedy Golden and thriller The Blue Rose.
Paul Holmes, KCNZM, helped change the face of New Zealand broadcasting. In 1989 the actor turned radio host began presenting primetime news and magazine show Holmes in spectacular style, when guest Dennis Conner walked out of his interview. Holmes balanced the TV show and a popular radio slot for 15 years, followed by a stint with Prime TV and current affairs show Q+A. He passed away on 1 February 2013.
John Gilbert has edited images of hobbits, disabled lovers, and heroic conscientious objectors. Along the way he has done time at TVNZ, edited over 20 feature films, and cut a clutch of classic short films. In 2017 Gilbert won his first Academy Award — for Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge — after having been previously nominated for The Fellowship of the Ring.
From the acclaimed Illustrious Energy to Under the Mountain, Chris Hampson has been working as a producer and executive producer for more than 20 years. In 2000 he became a partner in production company ScreenWorks, where he produced Street Legal and tele-movie Skin and Bone.
Writer and comedian Jon Gadsby, QSM, likely spent more time being funny on NZ television screens than almost anyone — aside perhaps from his longtime partner in crime, David McPhail. After appearing together on breakthrough comedy show A Week of It, the two helped form the comic backbone of the long-running McPhail and Gadsby, satirical show Issues, and the outdoor escapades of Letter to Blanchy.
David Copeland’s legal career lasted three days before he abandoned it to become an actor. By 1984 he was playing Constable George Brooks in Country GP and appearing as a villain in crime drama Inside Straight. He moved into directing, working on series Peppermint Twist, Bert and Maisy and Night of the Red Hunter. After co-founding new media company CWA in 1994, Copeland set up e-learning company Copeland and Associates in 2013.
If the measure of success for a casting director is the subsequent success of the actors they pluck from the crowd, then Diana Rowan has certainly done time at the top of her field. She is the casting director who helped Anna Paquin, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Kerry Fox and Lucy Lawless on their way to international careers, while developing her own talents as a writer and director of short films.