July 05, 2018

Want to scrap Hollywood tax breaks? Fine, but RIP to our local film industry

By Rajneel Singh  The Spinoff 4 July

Want New Zealand to continue to keep making good local film and TV? Then it’s time to get over rebates and subsidies for big Hollywood productions, writes film industry professional Rajneel Singh.

People who have known me over the years know that I’ve never exactly lived the Hollywood lifestyle.

I am single, I still live in a flat with four other people, I have no dependents and still, year after year, my friends have heard me talk about my dealings with WINZ or joke about living near or, in some years, below the poverty line. That is despite the decade-and-a-bit that I have worked full-time in the film, television, corporate and web-video industry. No, I do not work on big-budget international productions, but I still somehow make ends meet as a solo person hovering around that definition of “not particularly well-off”......


July 05, 2018

Show biz is big business for Auckland

By Glenn McConnell Stuff Entertainment 30 June

Is owning and helping to run a film studio, and drumming up international customers for it, really core business for a council? ....

Once you get past the glamour factor of having famous actors working on Auckland's doorstep, and big budget films that say "made in NZ' on the end credits, is it really what ratepayers should be supporting? 

The answer, from Stats NZ figures, is a great big block busting "yes". Revenue from screen production and post production in Auckland last year passed the billion dollar mark for the first time ($1.109b). The region accounts for about 60 percent of the industry's income nation-wide. Feature film revenue alone was $490 million - about 43 percent of the nation's total - but it's television production where Auckland produces the lion's share - 84 percent, or $420m.  Most of the country's TV commercials are also made in the city, bringing in another $121m. 


July 05, 2018

Gordon Campbell on subsidising the film industry

By Gordon Campbell July 4

So, here we are again in 2018… and this past fortnight has seen a fresh round of mutterings that the production grants that currently underpin the New Zealand film industry are a sin against market purity that we can do, and should do, without. Besides, the subsidies can be made to look not all that rewarding, provided you tweak the economic models hard enough.

It isn’t hard to spot the aspirational goal involved. On market principle, shouldn’t New Zealand go cold turkey, axe the film subsidies on offer to Hollywood studios and see what happens next? Even if, on the available evidence, what would happen next would be a smoking crater where our film industry used to be? That wouldn’t make a lot of sense, given that we simultaneously say we’re trying to foster a modern, IP-driven, value-added digital economy. For the past decade, the film industry has been one of the few success stories along that path. No doubt, scrapping the film subsidies would create a level playing field for everyone. Problem being, that field would be somewhat barren. Hey, but at least we’d finally know exactly what the elusive ‘opportunity cost’ of having the New Zealand Screen Production Grant would be


July 05, 2018

Deborah Hill Cone: Arts should never be underestimated

By Deborah Hill Cone NZ Herald, 2 July 2018

"Wellywood's $575 million bill – and you paid it" was the Weekend Herald's catchy headline. Subtext: you dumb muppets are funding a bunch of arty-luvvies. Rise up.

When I first read it I responded as invited. Sheesh, Alvin and the Chipmunks? That ghastly Scarlett Johansson movie where she wore a nude bodysuit and pretended to be Japanese? Couldn't we spend that money on hot soup and warm anoraks for decile 1 schools?

And yet, like most things, it can look a little different when not "in the hot, crispy, pan-fried moment in which events are momentous" (I nicked that from science fiction writer Bruce Sterling)....


April 23, 2018

By Vanessa Thorpe, The Observer Sun 22 Apr 2018

Labour to address lack of diversity in British film with new tax relief rules
Changes to put ‘rocket booster’ under industry to improve inclusion


April 20, 2018

Executive Officer for Auckland Regional Screen Advisory Board

Film Auckland Inc.’s vision is a vibrant, growing screen production industry in the Auckland region.  In order to achieve this vision, Film Auckland Inc. must: -

  • Support the growth of our local screen industry
  • Support the international TVC, TV and Film productions that choose to work in New Zealand.
  • Develop partnerships with key stakeholders that can support and share in the Film Auckland Inc. vision
  • Act as a focal point of advocacy for the Auckland screen production industry for initiatives that develop regional industry capacity and capability.
  • Purpose

The purpose of the Executive Officer of Film Auckland is to support and assist the Chairman and the Film Auckland Board (“the Board”) to meet the vision of the organisation. The Executive Officer will be under the supervision of the Chairman or any delegated officer of the Board for this purpose.

Term and Hours

The role of Executive Officer is a part-time position of up to 16 hours per week. The amount of hours required may vary from week to week and in some instances maybe a few hours a week and during busy times, it may stretch up to 16 hours per week. A consistent set of core hours will be agreed between the Chairman and the successful candidate. However, there is an understanding that there will be a degree of flexibility available to both the Executive Officer and to Film Auckland. For example, the Executive Officert may organise and attend occasional Film Auckland and screen industry evening events, meetings, hosting and functions

Overtime payment beyond 16 working hours will not be available but sustained extra or extended hours will be compensated by time in lieu on a one for one basis.

The successful candidate will fill in time sheets to payment for the hours worked will be done fortnightly in arrears.

The Executive Officer will be responsible for:

  • Overall administration of the society
  • Liaison with our accountants and book-keeper accounts and taxes (if any)
  • Membership recruitment and retention (keeping them informed, keeping them paid up)
  • Updates and maintenance of our website including liaison with our webdesigners
  • Attending and minuting board and AGM Meetings (minutes, agenda) followed by distribution of minutes to members
  • Asisting with drafting of Comms/Draft Press Releases
  • Events organisation
  • Coordinating and filing annual changes to the Office of Societies (lodge accounts, change of committee)
  • Bank liaison (statements, accounts, inventory, setting up payments etc)
  • Point of contact with guilds.
  • Social media
  • Day to day activities
  • Keeping abreats of indusry news and developments
  • Liaison with ATEED, Screen Auckland and other stakeholders & partners
  • Seeking sponsorships and partnerships

Key Competencies Required

  • Affinity for and/or knowledge of the local screen production business community
  • Highly developed project management skills
  • Proven capacity to be task focussed, independent and to prioritise work to achieve required outcomes
  • Experience interacting with external clients, business and community groups, screen production practitioners and government agencies
  • A proven ability to establish and implement effective and professional communication ‘enquiry response’ protocols
  • Computer literacy including Office applications, database, Survey Monkey and Mail Chimp
  • Ability to accept responsibility and work autonomously
  • Proven ability to work in a pressured and constantly changing environment whilst exercising initiative, judgment and enthusiasm

Essential Qualities

  • An outcome focus – the ability and flexibility to manage oneself and available resources to achieve objectives
  • Professional credibility – the ability to develop partnerships and to maintain and demonstrate technical skills and knowledge
  • Communication – the ability to listen and communicate effectively
  • Team work – the ability to work effectively in a team, to set goals, work effectively with others to deliver results, build team spirit and support others
  • Contextual sensitivity – the ability to understand the roles, functions and structures of industry participants and the nature of the wider cultural, social and economic environment the industry operates within, including demonstrating sensitivity to partnerships and cross-cultural issues

Key Relationships

  • Film Auckland Inc. Chairman
  • Film Auckland Inc. Board
  • Film Auckland Inc. sponsors and partners
  • Auckland’s screen production industry
  • International screen production industry
  • Screen production industry Associations and Guilds
  • Screen Auckland
  • Auckland Council and CCOs
  • RFONZ and other Regional Film Offices
  • NZ Film Commission and other screen agencies
  • Investment New Zealand
  • New Zealand Trade and Enterprise
  • Local and national MPs and their political parties
  • Other stakeholders and associated industries

Please submit your CV and a cover letter together with names and contact numbers of 3 referees to .