The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ (DEGNZ), NZ On Air and South Pacific Pictures Limited (SPP) announce actor and director Aidee Walker as the DEGNZ TV drama director attachment to SPP’s WESTSIDE 2 television series.
Walker will shadow well-known New Zealand actor and director Michael Hurst through a two episode block of the show, which starts production in October.
“I was so stoked to hear that I have been given this opportunity on Westside,” Walker commented. “I can’t wait to observe the whole process from read through to directors cut and I’m excited about the collaborations with every department.”
Walker is well known as an actor, having held numerous roles including in popular TV shows Step Dave, Outrageous Fortune, Shortland Street and Mercy Peak. As a director, she has written and directed four short films with the recent Friday Tigers winning Best Short Film at the New Zealand International Film Festival and selected to play at the Melbourne International Film Festival.
“This is a great initiative from DEGNZ and NZ On Air and South Pacific Pictures are pleased to be able to support it,” said SPP CEO Kelly Martin. “Aidee’s wealth of experience in front of the camera combined with her short film successes make her ideally suited to this opportunity. We hope it will be the beginning of a beautiful new relationship!”
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for Aidee to observe firsthand the high-pressure world of fast-turnaround television from the other side of the camera,” said DEGNZ Executive Director Tui Ruwhiu. “She will undoubtedly benefit immensely working alongside the highly experienced Michael Hurst.”
“We are delighted to support Aidee’s further development as a director with this initiative,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.
Westside is the NZ On Air-funded prequel to hit SPP drama Outrageous Fortune. It is set in 1970s Auckland against a backdrop of real-life historical events. Westside tells the story of legendary safe cracker and career criminal Ted West, his wife Rita, their son Wolfgang and their friends, associates and nemeses. The second series will be produced by Mark Beasley.
This attachment is the second in the DEGNZ TV Drama Director Attachment Scheme, with actor and director Matthew Saville recently chosen to attach to director Roc Pellizarri on Screentime’s telefeature Bombshell: The Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior.
The scheme is an industry professional development initiative funded by NZ On Air and the production company involved and managed by DEGNZ. It is intended to give emerging drama directors the opportunity to shadow an experienced director through the pre-production, production and post-production process as a means to improve their craft skills. Three emerging directors will attach to New Zealand drama productions in the 2015/2016 year. The intended outcome is for the attachments to find work on domestic and international productions in New Zealand.
South Pacific Pictures
South Pacific Pictures is New Zealand’s largest screen production company and has an international reputation for producing world-class television and film. The company celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2013 and to date has produced around 4000 hours of programming. Drama series and serials, feature films, and more recently, entertainment, reality programming and documentaries are all part of the programming mix. In addition to Westside 2, South Pacific Pictures’ 2015 production slate includes: 800 Words, Shortland Street, Step Dave 2, Word Up, Forensics and The Brokenwood Mysteries 2.
Directors & Editors Guild of NZ
The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ is a not-for-profit membership organisation that represents Directors and Editors in the New Zealand screen industry. This includes Directors and Editors of feature drama and documentary; television drama, documentary and factual programmes; short films; video art; animation; commercials and web content.
DEGNZ’s two primary roles are advocacy and professional development. We:
- are dedicated to promoting excellence in the arts of directing and editing.
- foster collegiality and unity within the screen industry.
- promote members’ creative and economic rights.
- work to improve industry working conditions and remuneration.
- offer professional advice and information on contracts and industry standards and practice.
- offer professional development events, networking opportunities, career advice, dispute resolution, mentoring, workshops, training, discounts and regular news bulletins for members across all levels of expertise, from novices to seasoned professionals.
- are a voice for Directors and Editors in influencing policy in the interest of our members. We do this through our membership of the pan‐industry group SINZ (Screen Industry New Zealand), and by making submissions to government and public officials.
- internationally work co-operatively with other guilds and we belong to the International Affiliation of English‐Speaking Directors’ Organisations (IEASDO).
DEGNZ is Auckland-based with an office in Grey Lynn.