The inventions of Bill Hamilton dominate this instalment of long-running cinema series Pictorial Parade. Hamilton tests his pioneering jet boat on Canterbury's Ohau River, while new inventions including a hydraulic digger are put to the test on the hard rocky soils at Irishman Creek. Meanwhile on the production line in Christchurch, engineers and machinists are hard at work getting graders and loaders in top working order. Also featured is a new diesel railcar on New Zealand’s train network, and the crew of the HMNZS Hawea and HMNZS Black Prince training in the Cook Strait.
In the early 1960s two North Island schools — Oruaiti and Hay Park — experimented with an innovative method of practical education. This episode of Survey sees principal Elwyn Richardson revisiting Oruaiti, and reminiscing on how the two schools functioned. He offers his views on traditional textbook learning — the more “American” system, as he calls it. Ex students reflect on their time at the school, and how an education based on arts, building and play shaped the people they’ve become. Modern schooling in Aotearoa now follows the example set in those early days.
Innocent Gert, who works in a rubbish dump, can't believe his luck when he's ordered by his boss to take his beautiful mute daughter, Princess Plum, to meet her prospective husband. The two set off on a mythical quest through a fairytale Far North landscape. On the way they encounter freaks and monsters, and experience danger and romance. In an unusual reversal, the voices and music for Woodenhead were all recorded before filming. This surreal second feature from Elam art school grad Florian Habicht took Aotearoa to the arthouse with unprecedented weirdness and wonder.
This gleefully violent "zombie romcom" is another offering from Auckland's Media Design School, where 3D CGI students collaborate with their tutor, director James Cunningham, and industry veterans. Based on an idea from course grad Philip Magnussen, Rotting Hill sees two lovers — played by Anna Hutchison (Go Girls, The Cabin in the Woods) and Australian actor Jason Smith (Home and Away) — finding that "true love never dies" in a post-human future. The short has netted over one million views on Vimeo. Keep tissues handy: you may shed a tear ... or maybe an eyeball.
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.
In 2007 Lucy Wigmore did something unusual — take over an already established role on Shortland Street. In spite of the show’s famously protective fanbase, Wigmore's portrayal of Dr Justine Jones soon became a fan favourite. Since her departure, the Toi Whaakari grad has played policewoman Lillian Armfield in Aussie drama Underbelly: Razor and taken on directing, with short films Sign Language and Stationery.
In the late 80s Lucy Sheehan was everywhere: throwing tomatoes at naked men in movie Zilch!, fending off a badly injured Harry Sinclair in Front Lawn classic The Lounge Bar, and winning raves after starring in Talkback. The NZ Drama School grad and one-time acting teacher also provided a memorable turn as the forgotten girlfriend in A Fitting Tribute, and has done stints on Shortland Street, and as a Radio NZ voice artist.
Stephen Lovatt's acting career has taken him from Arcadia to Takapuna Beach, with stops in Shortland Street, Ramsay Street and ancient Rome. Award-nominated for his starring role in 2002 feature This is Not a Love Story, Lovatt's screen CV includes roles in Spartacus, Being Eve and a five-year-run in Australian export Neighbours. The Toi Whakaari grad is also an acclaimed theatre actor.
Unitec acting grad Michelle Langstone won awards after starring in 2003 movie For Good, as a young woman obsessed with meeting a murderer. Since then she has played a ferocious Norse goddess (The Almighty Johnsons), a career-driven doctor (Shortland Street), a straying wife (Go Girls), and been nominated for a Logie Award in Australia thanks to two years as the tenacious Fiona Ryan on McLeod’s Daughters.
Debbie Newby-Ward scored her first major screen role in 2010, where she began playing Emma, an optimistic young teacher, in hit series Nothing Trivial. The Unitec acting grad was also winning attention for her role as a domineering wife, in a long-running advertising campaign for insurance. After taking a break from the screen, Newby-Ward joined the cast of Shortland Street in 2015.