We know as directors, that our films are not just a line of scenes strung together to tell the story. Maintaining and amalgamating tone – the emotional and intellectual heartbeat of cinematic storytelling – is what we do. Communicating clearly through all creative departments to maintain a cohesive whole regarding tone is an essential skill for long-form storytelling.

In this workshop on May 28 with Dame Gaylene Preston, we will discuss issues of genre, performance and visualisation. Two actors will join for half the day to explore performance in a masterclass setting.

About Dame Gaylene Preston, DNZM

A leading filmmaker since 1978, working across drama and documentary for cinema and television, Dame Gaylene has made a number of classic New Zealand films including Mr WrongRuby and RataHome By Christmas, and War Stories Our Mothers Never Told Us. Her work, notable for the strength of her human connections and its deep commitment to telling New Zealand stories, have been selected for many film festivals including Venice, Sundance and Toronto.

She is a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit and New Zealand Arts Laureate. Dame Gaylene is a committed mentor and has recently taken up an honorary residency at Jesus College Intellectual Hub at Cambridge University.

Who’s it for?

Directors wanting to better understand tone – you’ll come away with useful ideas that can be applied to your own process, whether you’re directing on your first narrative short film or moving onto longer content (e.g. a first feature or series). This workshop does not cover documentary, but documentary makers interested in directing drama are welcome.

Workshop Details

When: Saturday 28 May 2022, 9:30am – 5pm

Where: Taia Studios, 4 Bay Road, Kilbirnie, Wellington 6022

DEGANZ member – Free
Non-member – $49 (billed upon selection)

Includes tea/coffee and lunch.

Our Payment and Cancellation Policy

Orange Traffic Light Notes

For the safety of yourself and others:

  • Please do not attend if you are sick with COVID-19, cold or flu symptoms or have been asked to self-isolate.
  • Face masks are encouraged.

Travel Support

DEGANZ Full members based outside of Wellington and Auckland can apply to the Guild for travel support up to the value of $250 (incl GST). We have two grants available.

To apply you must meet these criteria:

  1. Your primary residence is outside of the Wellington region and Auckland region.
  2. You are a NZ Citizen or permanent resident.
  3. You have a confirmed place in the workshop.

For additional information and criteria, see here.

To Apply

Applications Close: Wednesday 18 May, 10AM

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

Places are limited – the Guild will select based on applications. We will email you to confirm.

Application Form


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


DEGANZ released the standard feature film editing agreement last September to help strengthen the negotiating position of editors.

To give you confidence to use this template contract, we are holding free workshops with lawyer Anchali Anandanayagam of Hudson Gavin Martin. A great communicator, Anchali will break the contract down so that it is easy to understand.

Why understanding your contract is important

To get the best contract for you and to truly understand what you are legally binding yourself to when you sign, you need to learn in detail what every clause means and where the opportunities lie for negotiation.

What will the workshop cover?

  • Understanding the Guild’s standard feature film editing agreement
  • Which parts can I negotiate?
  • What do these terminologies and clauses mean?
  • The implications
  • How you can apply this knowledge
  • Q&A time

Who is it for?

DEGANZ members – open to all membership levels. We highly recommend that any member working or planning to work as a feature film editor (narrative or documentary) attend.

Attendee Preparation

Please read the DEGANZ standard film editing agreement beforehand.


Tui Ruwhiu, DEGANZ Executive Director

About Anchali Anandanayagam

AnchaliAnchali is a partner at Hudson Gavin Martin – a leading media, technology and IP law firm. Anchali has specialised in media, technology and IP for the last 18 years. An expert in all legal aspects of tech, media and telecommunications, Anchali often advises clients in NZ and overseas on the regulation of new and emerging technologies, data security and privacy, commercialisation of IP, and works with local and international content producers and suppliers to the media sector. Anchali’s clients in the media industry range from established media companies and production houses, VFX and post-production companies, and independent producers, directors and writers.

With qualifications from the University of Otago, Anchali gained her experience both here in New Zealand, and London. Anchali is highly recognised in the leading legal international rankings. Chambers and Partners said Anchali is not only “an experienced lawyer with amazing technical skills,” but also “a relationship builder who can deal with people at all levels both within and between organisations.” They go on to say: “There’s a real benefit having her on our side.” Anchali is a keen advocate of purpose driven organisations and sits on the board of Women in Film and Television New Zealand.

Register for a Session

Monday 9 May 2022, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Zoom Meetings
Register now >

Tuesday 31 May 2022, 7pm – 9pm
Zoom Meetings
Register now >


DEGANZ received funding from Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga New Zealand Film Commission’s Screen Sector Capability Fund. The fund supports the New Zealand screen sector to develop the business and technical capability to meet the challenges of a COVID-19 and post COVID-19 environment and is part of the New Zealand Government’s Screen Sector Recovery package.


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

Online Session

The online sessions of Rehearsal & Performance give screen directors and actors the chance to meet, practise and gain confidence rehearsing by video call in a safe and supportive space. We will focus particularly on how to sustain connection and engagement online.

Similar to the in-person sessions, all participants will spend time in Breakouts of one director and two actors. Groups will rehearse the same scene and perform them later for the class.

About Alison Bruce

Alison has worked in the theatre and screen industry for nearly 40 years. She’s primarily an actor, but is also a tutor and a maker. She has worked with Massive Theatre making work on Zoom during the lockdowns and, last year, co-directed a production of Julie Hill’s Stories Told to Me By Girls on Zoom. Her screen credits include Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog, One Lane Bridge and The Gulf.


Selected directors and actors will be expected to do some script prep beforehand. We recommend actors are off-book. DEGANZ will provide the scene at least one week in advance.

Workshop Details:

When: Sunday 10 April, 9am – 12pm

Where: Zoom Meetings

DEGANZ / Equity NZ / Ngā Aho Whakaari members – Free
Non-member – $49 (billed upon selection)

Our Payment and Cancellation Policy

Register your interest

Registrations close Friday 1 April, 10AM

Spots are limited to four directors and eight actors. If your name is selected, DEGANZ will contact you directly to confirm your participation.

Suitable for film school graduates (or equivalent) to mid-career directors.

Registration Form


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