Director Nic Gorman won best short at the 2013 NZ Film Awards for zombie tale Here Be Monsters. With his first feature he shifts horror genres to the psychological thriller, as a mysterious new arrival (Vinnie Bennett) disturbs subantarctic island life for a husband and wife scientist team (Fantail's Sophie Henderson and Siege's Mark Mitchinson). Human Traces debuted at the 2017 NZ International Film Festival. NZ Herald reviewer George Fenwick praised the "stunning cinematography" and "impressive performances", arguing they helped produce a "fine debut" for Gorman.
You have to be able to trust your gut as to what is working as a director. Improv helps with that. You have to be really open as an improviser and be prepared to go in directions that you didn't plan. You can't really hold onto things. That is really important for a director. You have to be open to new magic.– Director Nic Gorman on how a background in improvisation helped on set, Stuff, 26 July 2017