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Skip Ahead in Auckland

Google’s Stephanie Davis opened the proceedings by acknowledging that YouTube was now 17 and keeping to its goal of giving a voice to everyone. “That means we hear some voices we don’t like,” she admitted. So YouTube is like having other 17 year-olds – sometimes they’re fun, sometimes they they’re not.

“But it brings creativity,” Davies noted, adding that NZ now has 46 YouTubers with over 100,000 subscribers each.

By the end of the evening, when trailers had screened from the four teams funded last October, it was pretty clear we were at the fun end of the spectrum.

How To Dad Jason Watson’s Legend of the Gumboot (pictured, top) released late last month, and got off to a good start when New York vlogger Casey Neistat tweeted about the show.

Gumboot picked up over 100,000 views in its first couple of weeks online. Asked about moving from short skits to making longer form content for Skip Ahead, Watson said, “YouTube lets you be D-I-Y, and that’s what How to Dad is about.”

NZ On Air CEO Jane Wrightson noted the Skip Ahead collaboration was “one of a number we need to support as much quality NZ content as possible”. She also announced that there would be a second year of the scheme, and that applications would open next month.

The very busy Candle Wasters, who also have NZ On Air support for web series Tragicomic , will release their Skip Ahead series Happy Playland in the next few months.

The group’s first venture away from using Shakespeare as source material, Happy Playland is “a lesbian romcom musical set in a children’s playground’.

“There’s lot more drugs and alcohol than he previous two series,” admitted one team member. “Thanks, NZ On Air,” added another.

Viva La Dirt League’s growth over several years began with Starcraft parody musicals. “Then the game stopped and views died.”

After making a number of game-focused series Rekt will arrive soon, probably in “Julaugust”. Almost certainly.

Peter Haynes and Hweiling Ow’s H2Ow will release their Ao-terror-oa in October, always a good month for horror projects. Ow said the six independent titles would be “everything you love about NZ… but we’re going to flip it.”

“You’ll never look at pavlova the same way again,” advised Haynes.



The show will also come with companion episodes on some of the FX work (the type of content the pair have also put out to accompany their award-winning web series AFK), and ‘Hweiling Watches’ – which will film Ow watching horror content. Several of the evening’s presenters admitted to feeling similarly about horror to Ow, who’s a fan of making horror but not watching it.

Apply for round two of Skip Ahead here.

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