The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ invites our member directors to take part in Equity New Zealand’s Casting Hothouse in an observational capacity. The Casting Hothouse, Equity’s unique intensive audition/casting workshop to maximise skills and employment outcomes in the local and international market, is returning in September 2017.

This is an opportunity for up to eight DEGNZ directors to observe the auditioning/screen testing process with experienced casting directors working with New Zealand actors.

Please note that any directors taking part are there as observers only and will not take part in any of the processes. Please also note the processes are confidential and that the actors are working with the casting directors in a workshop environment.

The Hothouse is a major initiative by Equity to give members an opportunity to develop the skills and confidence to tackle the US, Australian and New Zealand casting experience head on. It is NOT designed to assist New Zealand actors to leave New Zealand permanently. Rather it is an opportunity to equip New Zealand actors with the tools to work overseas as well as home and to show overseas companies that New Zealand has a professional talent pool. It will assist these performers to maintain a long lasting career.


How it will work

Two US casting directors, an Australian and a New Zealand casting director will host the New Zealand workshops.

The casting directors taking part are:

Matt Skrobalak ­

Kerry Barden

Miranda Rivers

Nathan Llloyd

Performers will be allocated into four groups and the casting directors will issue scripts, film mock auditions, look at reading techniques, provide feedback and give the participants the skills to handle the pressure and get them through the whole experience unscarred. All performers will work with all the casting directors.

The intensity and length of the classes will ensure that the training and skills development is hard wired into them and their audition and casting skills become instinctive.


When: Wednesday 27 – Thursday 28 September, 10am – 5:30pm, with drinks each night

Where: TBC, Auckland

TO APPLY please send your application in ONE PDF or DOC to with ‘Hothouse Application’ in the subject line. In your application, please provide:

  • CV
  • A brief letter on why you would like to attend

Application Deadline: Tue 12 September

 Equity New Zealand

Last updated on 26 February 2018

There are a number of opportunities fast approaching for you to voice your opinions on the state of the industry and how it affects you. I encourage all of you to engage as we are all faced with ongoing rapid transformation that will have a profound effect on your career prospects, opportunities, and incomes.

First up—The New Zealand Film Commission has finally gotten around to working on a tangata whenua strategy to support Māori in film.

With Māori stories and content being the key differentiator of New Zealand film on the international scene and Māori-driven projects having outstanding box office domestically, you have to wonder why it’s taken so long since the disaster that was the Te Paepae Ataata initiative for NZFC to get into action. Māori used to be at the forefront of indigenous filmmaking but that position is now well and truly occupied by Aboriginal Australians. Amazing what good levels of funding can achieve. NZFC is running a roadshow to gather input for the strategy. You can have your voice heard in Rotorua, Wellington, Auckland and the South Island. Details here.

Then there is our annual membership survey.

As a financial member you will have received a direct email with a link to it. It’s anonymous and will help us gauge what’s happening in your work sphere, what you think about what we as the guild are doing, and what you think we should be doing. As we continue to engage with funding bodies, government and other organisations over your creative, cultural and financial wellbeing, it’s also important we have facts to back up our arguments, so please take the seven minutes required to complete the survey. It will be a big help.

Next: I mentioned last week that on Thursday 24 August in Mt Eden the top five political parties will have representatives presenting their thoughts on the NZ screen sector.

Not only is this an opportunity for you to hear what they have to say, but it will also give you a chance to put your questions forward to the party individuals present. The election is up for grabs at this point and all of us need to lobby government to get our messages across. Seats are still available to attend this evening, which will be hosted by media commentator Russell Brown. RSVP here.

And then a little further out the Copyright Act review coming up in 2018. Directors are authors of audiovisual content and cinematographic film. For this reason directors should have copyright of such. They don’t. We can change this if we get the required changes to the Copyright Act. You can make a submission when the opportunity becomes available. Read what you need to know here, register to receive updates, and make a submission when invited to.

Finally, we are now just over five weeks to the general election. If you are not enrolled, please do so. And most of all, please vote to voice your opinion on the future of our country as it will be determined by the political party/parties in power.

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director

Last updated on 21 February 2018

It was a pleasure to have esteemed actress Robyn Malcolm facilitate our most recent Rehearsal Room for directors and actors in Auckland. The directors had the opportunity to bring a scene from one of their own projects, or be provided a scene, which they got to rehearse and explore with a bunch of talented actors.

After lunch, everyone came together for an in-depth review and discussion of the scenes and rehearsal process with Robyn providing plenty of great advice on how directors and actors can build positive working relationships to achieve brilliant results.

Registrations are now open for the next Rehearsal Room in Wellington with Actor/Director Ian Hughes – Saturday 2 September, 9.30am – 1.30pm. Register here. Deadline: 22 August (Directors) / 28 August (Actors)



Last updated on 20 March 2020

RR with Ian Hughes WTN

The Rehearsal Room brings together actors and directors in a safe, supportive environment to practise working with each other on scenes under the guidance of an experienced moderator.

Register to have your name in the draw to participate. For each event, 4 directors and 8 actors will be selected. If you are selected, we’ll email or phone you to confirm your participation.

Moderator – Ian Hughes

Ian Hughes’ breakthrough role was in acclaimed TV series and movie Topless Women Talk About Their Lives. Topless was followed by multiple TV guest parts (Shortland Street, Xena, Bliss) and film roles, including starring in his own Kafkaesque short, The Waiting Room, and acclaimed play Ship Songs. Ian has worked with many of New Zealand’s top directors and as a television director himself on Step Dave and Shortland Street.


When: Saturday 2 September 2017, 9:30am – 1:30pm

Where: Te Aro, Wellington

Cost: Free – Open to DEGNZ & Equity NZ members ONLY.

Register at: Eventbrite

Registrations close: 22 August (Directors) / 28 August (Actors)


Who is The Rehearsal Room for?

Professional actors and directors. It is open to Actors Equity and DEGNZ members of all levels of experience, from novices to virtuosos.


Directors will be asked to provide a two-character scene (~ 2 pages) or, if you prefer, a scene will be provided for you. Directors and actors will receive scripts in advance.

Structure of the event

Directors and actors will spend time rehearsing their scenes, with emphasis on connection and content. Participants will block their scenes, before presenting them for shooting, followed by viewing and discussion. The shooting is a wide shot only, intended as a means to review performance, not for directors to direct camera.


The Rehearsal Room is hosted by Directors & Editors Guild of NZ and the Equity Foundation, with financial support from the New Zealand Film Commission.

Last updated on 26 February 2018

A range of emerging and highly experienced documentary directors turned out to hear LA-based UK documentary director Lucy Walker talk about her practice and projects. It was an informative and inspiring masterclass for those involved.

In the afternoon, four lucky participants further received one-on-one input from Lucy on their documentary projects in development or production.


Last updated on 20 March 2020