SAVE THE DATE – 9th February 2016 (6.30pm)

New NZ Health & Safety legislation kicks into action in April 2016.  It means positive steps towards safer work practises for us all, and also poses some challenges.

EVERYONE has non-transferable responsibilities to ensure safe work practises for themselves and those around them on all productions.

There are significant penalties for non compliance – up to $600,000 for individuals and $5m for companies, as well as jail time. A set can be shut down at any time if active safety compliance cannot be demonstrated. 

You need to know what your safety responsibilities are and how to ensure compliance. 

New Zealand Advertising Producers Group (NZAPG) are hosting an Information Evening in cooperation with CAANZ, ANZA, Techo’s Guild, Screensafe & Film Auckland to provide information to help you with safety compliance.

 It’s FREE to DEGNZ members. Simply enter ‘DEGNZ‘ under promotional code.

Click here to book your ticket.

NZAPG Safety_Invite

Last updated on 12 March 2018



21 December 2015

The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ, NZ On Air and Filthy Productions are pleased to announce Jamie Lawrence as the director attachment on the Dirty Laundry TV series.

Lawrence will follow established New Zealand director Peter Burger on three episodes of Filthy Productions’ second NZ on Air funded drama production.

“I’m stoked to be selected for the attachment, and learn from Peter. He’s a director I aspire to,” said Lawrence. “I’m totally behind this initiative. It’s an awesome opportunity to be able to gain unique experience and help bridge the gap between directing short and long form content.”

Managing Director of Filthy Productions, Steven Zanoski said the selection process, which included Producer Britta Hawkins and Director Peter Burger, had been rigorous due to high calibre of applicants.

“We narrowed the field to applicants who not only showed directorial flair but demonstrated a passion for television story-telling,” said Zanoski. “Jamie kept rising to the top through hot debate. In the end, it was obvious that Jamie’s talent and sensibilities sat most comfortably alongside Dirty Laundry’s characters and stories.”

“We are delighted to support Jamie’s further development as a director with this initiative,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

“Jamie is the third attachment through the DEGNZ/ NZ On Air TV Drama Director Attachment Initiative, and a deserving one,” said DEGNZ Executive Director Tui Ruwhiu. “He’s making a concerted effort to achieve an outstanding career as a screen director, and shadowing the talented Peter Burger will take him even further towards his goal.”

Lawrence has achieved a run of internationally successful short films while pursuing a career in TV commercials and promotional content with film production company 8 and at TVNZ’s internal creative agency Blacksand.

Dirty Laundry is a Filthy Productions comedy drama TV series for TV One. The 13 x one-hour, NZ On Air-funded production starts filming in February 2016. Produced by Britta Hawkins and created by Rachel Lang and Gavin Strawhan, Dirty Laundry centres on a middle-class family whose mother is jailed for money laundering. If her children want to keep the lifestyle to which they’re accustomed, they’ll need to keep the family business going.

This attachment is the third in the DEGNZ TV Drama Director Attachment Scheme, after actor and director Matthew Saville’s attachment to Screentime’s telefeature Bombshell: The Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior, and actor and director Aidee Walker joining South Pacific Pictures drama series Westside.

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.


For further information, please contact:

Tui Ruwhiu

Executive Director

Directors & Editors Guild of NZ


Filthy Productions Ltd

Filthy Productions is a new company set up by Rachel Lang, Gavin Strawhan and Steven Zanoski, initially to produce the upcoming series FILTHY RICH for TV2.

The company’s focus is production based, with a philosophy that the best television drama and comedy is always driven by the creatives.

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.

Contact Details:

Directors & Editors Guild of NZ

Level 2, 66 Surrey Crescent

Grey Lynn

P.O. Box 47-294, Ponsonby




Last updated on 10 April 2018

It’s been a big year.

In the second year of our professional development programme we have run Collaborators Series with the Writers Guild, the Screen Composers Guild, the Screen Production and Development Association, the Film & Video Technicians Guild, and Ngā Aho Whakaari—a special highlight with renowned Australian Aborigine director Wayne Blair.

Our Rehearsal Room this year saw directors working with actors, facilitated by actor and director Rene Naufahu, director Kathy McRae, actor and director Oliver Driver, actor and acting coach Miranda Harcourt, and actor and director Jackie Van Beek.

Additional workshops in prof. dev. were the One-day Directing Actors Workshop with actor and director Ian Hughes, and the 2-day Director’s Toolkit workshop with top NZ drama director Peter Burger.

Special one-off prof. dev. initiatives we were involved in were the director attachments for Rene Naufahu, Regan Hall, Louise Leitch, Joe Lonie and Roseanne Liang on Ash vs. Evil Dead, the Casting Hothouse with Equity Foundation, and the 5-day Character-based Improvisation Workshop with director Rob Marchand and Leslee Udwin discussion and roundtable, both in conjunction with Script to Screen.

We launched our TV Drama Director Attachment initiative this year. It has seen actor and director Aidee Walker attach to SPP’s Westside and actor and director Matt Saville on Screentime’s Bombshell: The Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior. We are just about to announce who will spend eight weeks with Peter Burger as an attachment on Filthy Productions’ Dirty Laundry. With the ongoing growth in TV drama both domestically and internationally, we are particularly pleased at the guild with this initiative and indications so far are extremely positive all round.

One of our major coups of the year was getting Drive writer and director Paul Haggis along for our DEGNZ Selects event. Down here to shoot a branded short film, Paul kindly created time in his busy schedule to speak, and his knowledge and humour was extremely well received by all who attended.

In the middle of the year DEGNZ board member and editor Annie Collins ran our well received  two-day Editing Documentary Workshop. We unfortunately had to postpone our Drama Editing Workshop with Michael Horton and Jonathan Woodford Robinson, but this will come back in the first quarter of 2016.

On the mentorship front, Sundance Artistic Director Gyula Gazdag is working with director Tusi Tamasese. We will soon announce the documentary director who will be mentored by Canadian documentary filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal, and early in 2016 we hope to have our second editor mentor secured and will make a call for applications then.

While we have a year left on our current professional development programme, there will be changes coming. The New Zealand Film Commission, who kindly fund our professional development programme, is reviewing professional development across the board. 2017 will see a new approach that reflects the changing dynamics of the industry and the roles we play within it.

On the advocacy front, we are working with We Create (former Copyright Council) to ensure our voice is heard in government about copyright, at the same time inputting directly into the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Enterprise/Ministry of Culture and Heritage Screen Sector Study on Copyright and Design Regimes. We submitted to the Exploring Digital Convergence Green Paper and the review of the Official Information Act.

We are now working very closely with the Australian Directors Guild in support of their efforts to secure retransmission rights, copyright and residuals for directors. For DEGNZ and its former embodiment as the Screen Directors Guild of New Zealand, addressing these issues has always been highly important. We see the next couple of years ahead as offering real opportunity for us to get some movement on these in NZ.

A lot has been achieved in 2015. I would firstly like to thank the membership. Your support through belonging to the guild is crucial to ensuring we continue to represent your interests well. If you believe we are doing a good job, please encourage your colleagues to join.

I also wish to extend my thanks to a special group of producers and executives: Rob Tapert and Chloe Smith, Philly de Lacey, Kelly Martin, and Steven Zanoski. These people see the need for experienced directors in the industry and came behind our attachment initiatives with cash.

Thanks for financial support must also go to the New Zealand Film Commission without whom we couldn’t deliver the breadth and depth of services we offer, and to NZ On Air who in their first ever professional development funding backed the director attachment initiative we took to them.

I must also acknowledge our sponsors/partners Pieter Holl & Associates, Seresin Wines, Andy Day, the Academy, Rialto, Event, Reading, and Hoyts Cinemas, the NZ International Film Festival and Documentary Edge, and our newest partner Resene. They kindly offers deals and discounts that allow guild members to get more for less.

Finally, a big thank you to the DEGNZ board. They are all volunteers with the industry at heart and directors and editors at the forefront.

This will be the last newsletter for the year, and it will be back in the second half of January.

May all of you have a great break and much success in 2016.

Meri Kirihimete

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director

Last updated on 12 March 2018

In the last couple of weeks I have been able to see and or get feedback on DEGNZ professional development initiatives that are in my view really delivering the goods, and increasing exposure and opportunity for directors wanting careers in narrative drama.

The first was our regular Rehearsal Room (RR) run in conjunction with Equity Foundation, facilitated by DEGNZ member and actor/writer/director Jackie Van Beek. I have attended every RR in my time at the guild and this last one proves to me once again what a simple but powerful prof. dev. initiative it is—Four directors with a scene and two actors each, and an experienced moderator to help guide the day, all in a no-pressure environment. The idea of being able to play is a real truism here.

The second was our 2-day Director’s Toolkit workshop with DEGNZ member and director Peter Burger.

Eighteen directors had the opportunity to learn tips, tricks, and methodology and gain insights from one of New Zealand’s most experienced drama directors. Revelatory was Peter’s knowledge about that dark drama art—communicating with actors. The second day was devoted entirely to working with actors with Josh McKenzie, fresh off new drama series Filthy Rich which Peter directed on, and Olivia Tennet, who had worked with Peter on When We Go To War, along to further understanding on communication, and blocking scenes.

For anyone particularly interested in fast turn-around TV Drama directing, this Director’s Toolkit was a major plus. And it ties nicely into our next NZ On Air funded TV Drama Director Attachment, as the successful director will shadow Peter on Filthy Production’s next new drama series, Dirty Laundry.

I have recently had the opportunity to catch up with directors Aidee Walker, the attachment on SPP’s Westside, and Matthew Saville who is on Screentime’s telefeature Bombshell: The Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior. So far, their experiences are exceeding expectations and that is good news for this particular initiative.

And this week, I have attended a couple of sessions of Equity New Zealand’s Casting Hot House. Equity kindly offered observer status to DEGNZ members and another 18 directors took up the opportunity. I believe producer Matthew Metcalfe’s recent comments at the Big Screen Symposium about using casting directors to access talent prompted this very positive response from members.

Top casting directors from the US, Australia and New Zealand are putting 80 Kiwi actors through their paces, providing insight, guidance and potential exposure to acting opportunities in US Network TV, digital streaming drama and feature films.

For the directors observing, the Casting Hot House has allowed them to see casting professionals at the top of their careers shaping actor performance, all the while watching the best of New Zealand’s experienced and emerging acting talent in action. The networking alone offered through attendance at the Casting Hot House is well worth the price of admission—just membership of the guild.

We have reached the end of the second year of DEGNZ’s NZFC funded professional development programme, with one year to go. There are plenty more opportunities to come in 2016 and I urge you all to make the most of the offering.

Professional development across all the guilds is going to change, as we are now sitting down with NZFC to discuss what future needs there are in professional development and how best to meet them.

You can help us identify what has been successful, what has not and what you would like in the professional development section of the DEGNZ membership survey we will be conducting soon. Please do take the time to respond to the in-depth survey as it will help us understand where the industry is at, where you are at and what is needed as we move forward.

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director

Last updated on 12 March 2018