A child actor standing in a kitchen with three crew members watching.

How do you work with children to get great performances?

This May, the Directors and Editors Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand is offering training on directing children with sought-after acting coach Miranda Harcourt. Directors can apply for the day-long workshop in Auckland on May 7 or tune in to a 2-hour Zoom seminar on May 11, on a Wednesday night.



From her years of experience working as an actor, acting coach and director, Miranda Harcourt has developed quick, simple tools to get child actors where they need to be. On May 7, participants will spend a full-day with Miranda learning approaches, tools and exercises that will help you to help your child actors give their best.

We will also have a few young actors helping us out at the workshop and two directors will have the opportunity to rehearse a scene.

When: Saturday 7 May 2022, 9:30am – 5pm

Where: The Community of Saint Luke, 130 Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland 1050

Travel support is available for Full members of DEGANZ.

Applications close: Wednesday 27 April, 10AM. More info >

Online Seminar

In this online seminar, Miranda Harcourt will discuss some of her successful tools for working with child actors.

Directors will see case studies that will help you implement these tools in auditions, rehearsals and sets. This will be an insightful session answering your burning questions on how to direct children well.

When: Wednesday 11 May 2022, 7pm – 9pm NZST

Where: Zoom Meetings

Registration essential. More info >



Made possible with the financial support of the New Zealand Film Commission.


Dive into the process, craft and career of a director.

PISA and DEGANZ welcome new and emerging Pacific Islands directors to apply for this two-day practical guide, taught by director Chris Dudman.

Chris will explore the directing process from his own personal experience on a variety of directing assignments, which includes commercials, long-form documentary, short film and TV drama. He will discuss with participants the way he prepares (analyses scripts, casts, rehearses actors, storyboards), the way he directs actors and camera, and the way he works with editors and composers during post-production.

Taking a warts and all approach, he will use highlights and low-points as examples, showing how he adapts this process to the various forms of work he’s directing. In doing so, he’ll touch on:

  • the differences between being a gun for hire and working on projects he’s instigated
  • collaboration and compromise
  • the director/producer relationship
  • making decisions under pressure
  • avoiding pitfalls
  • the role of chance and luck…

His intention is to create a dialogue in the workshop – about process and what is really involved in directing as a career. And, most importantly, why it has been worth it.

Workshop Details

Saturday 14 May 2022, 9:30am – 5pm
Sunday 15 May 2022, 9:30am – 4pm

Where: Hawke Sea Scouts, 55 West End Road, Herne Bay, Auckland

Cost: Free – Includes tea/coffee and lunch

Our Cancellation Policy

COVID-19 Safety: For the safety of yourself and others:

  • Do not attend if you are sick with COVID-19, cold or flu symptoms or have been asked to self-isolate.
  • Face masks must be worn.
  • Please observe 1 metre physical distancing.
  • We may organise Rapid Antigen Testing on the first day.

About Chris Dudman

Chris’ career has involved writing and directing short films, commercials, feature and series documentary and series TV drama. He directed short film successes The Graffiti of Mr Tupaia and Choice Night, and later co-wrote and directed Harry, the gritty crime drama series starring Oscar Kightley and Sam Neill. He wrote and directed The Day that Changed My Life, the multi-award winning documentary about Christchurch’s devastating earthquake, and directed two stand-alone episodes of James Patterson’s true crime anthology series Murder is Forever for U.S. company Stephen David Entertainment. Chris was also a founding partner of and director at Auckland TV commercials production company Robber’s Dog Films.

Chris Dudman

To Apply

Applications Close: Tue 3 May, 10AM

This workshop is open to directors of Pacific Islands descent who are members of either PISA or DEGANZ.

Please complete the application form below and email your CV to tema@deganz.co.nz. Your CV should clearly list your credits and include relevant details, such as year of release, format, festival selection, commissioners and/or platforms where your work has been publicly screened.

Places are limited – PISA will select based on applications and email you to confirm.

Application Form


Made possible with the financial support of the New Zealand Film Commission


This workshop is part of a Directors and Editors Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand initiative aimed at supporting the development of emerging Pan-Asian, Pasifika and Māori directors

Presented in association with Pacific Islands Screen Artists

Here is an update on the Guild’s September workshops and networking events to provide you with a bit of clarity in these uncertain times.

Editors & Assistant Editors Gathering – Wellington (Sep 1)

Cancelled – instead, DEGNZ and our editor board members will host an online gathering for all editors and assistants throughout the motu on September 8. The event will cover the same info we had planned for Wellington and includes time to meet one another in smaller breakouts. Register here >

Table Read Round Three (Sep 11)

Since the Table Read was already planned for online, there are fortunately no changes to announce. With script submissions closing on September 3, there’s still a bit of time to throw your hat in the ring for a chance to diagnose your script with a table read! Learn more >

Directing In the Intimate Zone – Auckland (Sep 12)

Postponed until Tamaki Makaurau is in Level 1. Registrations and applications will reopen once we have a new date.

Thanks for your understanding. This is all the updates we have for now. Stay safe and kia kaha.

We’re hosting gatherings in Auckland and Wellington and we’d love for you to attend! All editors and assistant editors welcome.

Catch-up with new and familiar connections (beyond the water cooler) and meet the editors on our board: Francis Glenday, Margot Francis, Steven Chow and Annie Collins. A short part of the evening will provide you with the opportunity to share your thoughts on how the Guild can further serve our professions.

Nibbles will be served
Cash bar

Auckland – Wednesday 11 August 2021, 7pm
Register now >

Wellington – Wednesday 1 September 2021, 6:30pm
Register now >

Members and Non-members – Free

We invite members to join WIFT and DEGNZ on the evening of July 29 for the Director-Editor Relationship in Wellington, back by popular demand.

We thoroughly enjoyed hearing from the Auckland panellists – directors Pietra Brettkelly and Roseanne Liang, editors Cushla Dillon and Jochen FitzHerbert, moderated by director Leanne Pooley – at the beginning of this month. With another superb line-up, you’ll want to reserve your seat early!

The Director-Editor relationship

The Content: How does a director find the right editor? At which point in the process do you bring the editor in? Understanding the parameters of each role and making sure your contract reflects that. Who has creative say? How important are the editor’s fresh pair of eyes? How do the directors and editors navigate the test screening process? What happens if you change editor over the course of the project?  How does the editor help manage the relationship with the commissioner / client? Who leads when? Maintaining a healthy, collaborative relationship that has longevity over more than one project.

So many questions! Come along and get yours answered by this extremely experienced panel:


Dame Gaylene Preston, DNZM, has been a writer/director/producer since 1978, and made the classics of New Zealand cinema Mr Wrong, Ruby and RataWar Stories Our Mothers Never Told Us and Home By Christmas. Her dramatic TV series include Bread & Roses and Hope and Wire, plus many documentaries, her latest being the feature, My Year With Helen. Her work has screened in most high profile international film festivals including Sundance, Toronto, London, and Sydney. Dame Gaylene is the New Zealand Arts Foundation’s inaugural Filmmaker Laureate (2001).

Pietra Brettkelly, recipient of the 2020 South Pacific Pictures Award for Achievement In Film for her acclaimed documentary feature Yellow Is Forbidden. Pietra is a three-time Oscar-selected documentary filmmaker, a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and an Arts Laureate of New Zealand.

Alex Boyd (they/them) editor of the acclaimed recent feature film Cousins, they have also edited all four seasons of Wellington Paranormal. They enjoy working across genres, and have edited documentary, drama, sci-fi, comedy, and animation.

Annie Collins is best known for her extensive resume of documentaries, having edited such landmark productions as Patu!, The Neglected Miracle and Gardening with Soul. The talented editor has also won awards for her work on Scarfies, Two Little Boys and Out of the Blue, with Coming Home in the Dark having premiered to critical acclaim at Sundance and due to be released here in August.

Lala Rolls 
Fijian-European Lala Rolls’ projects often involve explorations of Māori and Polynesian culture. She directs as much as she edits, often doing both on the same project. Rolls has been a multiple finalist at New Zealand awards ceremonies for her work on acclaimed drama series The Insider’s Guide to Happiness and the Rita Angus documentary Lovely Rita. She edited The Man in the Hat (about art dealer Peter McLeavey), and 2018’s Celia, about the late equality advocate Celia Lashlie, and directed, produced and edited the 2020 feature film Tupaia’s Endeavour.

WIFTNZ and DEGNZ members free, non-members $15 cash – includes a drink and nibbles.

Date: Thu 29 July 2021
Location: Taia Studios, 4 Bay Road, Kilbirnie, Wellington
Time: 6pm drinks for a 6.30pm sharp start

RSVP essential to office@wiftnz.org.nz