Opensouls — a sprawling collective of self-confessed vinyl addicts — banded together in 2001 and incorporated soul, roots and funk. Built around guitarist Jeremy Toy, drummer Julien Dyne, and later vocalist Tyra Hammond, they wowed critics with first single 'In Your Hands'. UK mag Straight No Chaser called it a "low-down, grinding funk burner". Debut album Kaleidoscope (2006) was nominated for Best Urban/Hip Hop Album at the 2006 NZ Music Awards. Successful follow-up Standing in the Rain (2009) echoed the sound of 50s/60s R&B. The band are no more, but there have been occcasional reunion gigs.
Stacey Daniels Morrison began her TV career on What Now?, presenting a weekly cooking segment while still at high school. After missing out on a role at Ice TV to Petra Bagust, she joined current affairs series Marae, which helped her discover her Māori heritage. She then moved to fledgling music show Mai Time, where she found herself at the forefront of a change in the way Māori culture was portrayed on screen. Morrison has moved between presenting and working behind-the-scenes, on everything from Guess Who's Coming to Dinner to SportsCafe. She is also a radio broadcaster.
Raybon Kan gave up his legal career to become a humorist and stand-up comedian.
Actor Joel Tobeck has played a range of ‘off-centre’ roles from a drug addict to a "bastard in a wheelchair". He has appeared in TV shows Shortland Street, Lawless, Hercules, This is Not My Life and (after this interview) Sons of Anarchy, as well as movies Topless Women Talk About Their Lives and Little Fish.
Actor/director Danny Mulheron has acted alongside drug-addicted frogs, haunted automobiles, and “force of nature” David Fane. After appearing in early Kiwi soap Close to Home, Mulheron went on to act on television, stage and film - including in the cult Peter Jackson puppet movie Meet the Feebles. In the late 80s he found himself working on both sides of the camera on a run of television sketch shows. Mulheron’s lengthy directorial CV now includes drama, comedy, and documentary.
Katherine Kennard left drama school and immediately landed a role on Xena: Warrior Princess. Her big break came playing lawyer Joni Collins over four seasons of Street Legal. Since then Kennard has appeared in a range of TV dramas including Orange Roughies, This is Not My Life, Underbelly and Spartacus. She was also part of the cast of the comedy-drama Nothing Trivial.
Irene Wood has played Katherine Mansfield, a nymphomaniac pensioner, and a gin-toting grandma to a Go Girl. Her screen career first got busy in the early days of NZ TV, as an actor, TV presenter, and musical performer. Years later she would snare what is probably her best-known role: as a hard-drinking grandma over five seasons of hit show Go Girls. Wood has also appeared on Shortland Street and in movies Rest for the Wicked and The Shirt.
The Governor was a television epic that examined the life of Governor George Grey in six thematic parts. Grey's "Good Governor" persona was undercut with laudanum, lechery and land confiscation. NZ TV's first (and only) historical blockbuster was hugely controversial, provoking a parliamentary inquiry and "test match sized" audiences. It won a 1978 Feltex Award for Best Drama. Auckland Star reviewer Barry Shaw trumpeted: "It has made Māori matter. If Pākehā now have a better understanding of the Māori point of view [...] it stems from The Governor.
This documentary goes behind the scenes on New Zealand television's first historical blockbuster: 1977 George Grey biopic The Governor. Presenter Ian Johnstone looks at how the show reconstructed 19th Century Aotearoa, and handled large scale battle scenes. The footage provides a fascinating snapshot of a young industry. Also examined is The Governor's place in 1970s race politics and its revisionist ambitions. Key players interviewed include creators Keith Aberdein and Tony Isaac, and actors Don Selwyn, Corin Redgrave, Martyn Sanderson, and Terence Cooper.
After beginning her career as a television journalist, Amanda Robertshawe has gone on to direct acclaimed documentaries on challenging issues like addiction (The Dark Side of the Moon), confronting death from cancer (My Name is Jane) and sexual responsibility (Is There Anybody Out There?). Her films reflect a fascination with the emotional consequences of life experiences.