Tag Archive for: music video

I was expelled from Penrose High in the fifth form after getting caught wagging for a month (I faked the absentee notes from Mum and Dad). I ended up going on the dole (unemployment benefit) for a year. At the dole department you had to show signs of actually seeking work and when they asked me what I would like to do for a living, I said, “A film director” and she looked at me like I was mad. She gave me a French Polishing apprenticeship instead, of which I never attended. Anyway, I showed her!

After a year of bumming around, a friend (Matt Palmer, who also became a director) suggested I go to Auckland Metropolitan High School, an alternative school in Mount Eden which basically accepted high school dropouts from hippy parents. Metro is where I finally met like-minded people and made lifelong friends. I met Matt Noonan at Metro (later to become my first producer). It was after passing the University Entrance and sticking around Metro for a seventh year (then called a Bursary year) that I discovered ‘The Film Industry’.

Early in that seventh year at school, I got a job as an extra in a period coal mining TV drama called Heart of The High Country. I’d never seen a film set before, it was a real eye-opener, lights, actors, 1st AD’s smashing radios in fits of rage. It was a lot of fun. I loved it. I befriended the standby props guy, Al Ford, and he let me do the smoke pots for background smoke texture. I actually made friends with a lot of the crew and at the wrap party offered my services on the next production. A few weeks later I was on an epic Hong Kong Feature film called Aces Go Places, as standby props assistant, choppering up the Shot Over River in Queenstown with prop machine guns on my lap. I never went back to high school and have been working in the film biz ever since.

Josh working as Art Department Assist on ‘Never Say Die’. He’s standing under the ‘W’ with Robin Murphy; Matt Murphy (Art Director) with Matt Palmer (Stand-by Props) are in the bottom right holding the white dots / Photo: Supplied

I moved to Wellington and Matt Palmer and I became a bit of a hot shot art department team working on commercials and films in the hay days (or the end of the hay days) of the Wellington film and TV commercial industry. Working on projects with some of New Zealand’s top directors, Geoff Murphy, Lee Tamahori, Barry Barclay, Gaylene Preston, Geoff Dickson and Fane Flaws to name a few. Matt was an art director and I was standby props. 

My brother was in a hip-hop band, Mc OJ and The Rhythm Slave, and they received one of the very early NZ On Air music video grants and asked us to make it. Matt Noonan produced it, Matt Palmer directed it and I art directed it.

It was hugely successful, and we went on to make a few more (with our company Hip Operations) until Matt Palmer got picked up by a commercial company to direct ads (with Fane Flaws and Jeff Williams at Black Stump Films).

With Matt Palmer busy making ads, that’s when my break came. I art directed a few more music videos with various artists. I was always good-ish at illustration and had been storyboarding the videos. One video in particular for the band Head Like a Hole (for a song called Fish Across Face), was really well received and I had storyboarded the whole thing. They were my shots and my ideas. I was like, ‘Hang on, I’m doing all the work here’. So, when they asked me to storyboard/art direct the next one, I said to them (and I remember this moment very clearly as I had to really pluck up the nerve to say it), “Not unless I’m directing it”. 

Josh on set of one of his first big ad campaigns for the NZ Electoral roll with Darryl Ward (DOP) and Rob Marsh (AC) / Photo: Supplied

And that’s how I got started.  

Here’s the Head Like A Hole clip, my directing debut. Not that it did huge things, but I was asked back and went on to direct multiple award-winning videos and ads. The Emma Paki video won a lot of awards. Then I followed up with a Shihad video for ‘Stationswhich won Best Video at the Film and Television awards that year. Certain projects catch people’s attention and simply generate more interest. I shot a huge campaign for the NZ Electoral role on the back of this, my first big proper ad campaign. I made a commercial for Sony Home Theatre Systems out of Singapore which made the cover of the Shots Magazine, with the commercial in the first dozen showcase ads (Shots Magazine was the international benchmark trade rag back then and the mail-out VHS showcase was everything). My international commercial career really took off after this.

Left: Josh showing the actors what to do on set for Shihad video ‘Stations’ with Darryl Ward (DOP) in a clay pit with one of the old Arri ST 16mm cameras. Note there is no video split/feed! Right: The final shot of the video / Photos: Supplied

My first break in drama came when I was asked to pitch on a Colin McCahon doco, but I didn’t get the gig and I said to the producer (Fiona Copland) that documentaries weren’t really my thing but I would love to do drama, and she suggested I give Greenstone Pictures a call because they were producing a kids action hero TV show called Amazing Extraordinary Friends. It was super low budget, but super fun. This was at the height of my commercial career and I had to take a significant hit on my earnings, but I really wanted to shoot drama and this was my chance. The people I worked with then on AEF are still the people I am working with today. Dave Cameron was the DOP and he shot my first tele feature years later, Ablaze. With the success of my work on AEF, I was picked up by Chris Bailey at South Pacific Pictures where I worked on multiple shows and really cut my teeth and learnt the craft. Getting a chance to direct a block on Westside, a legacy NZ show, was a real highlight. I was also a finalist for the NZTV Awards’ Best Director for The Brokenwood Mysteries in 2017. SPP has really helped a lot.

So, a lot of luck, a lot of sacrifice and a lot of hard work. I am currently in post-production on a six one-hour TV mini-series called Friends Like Her, produced by Great Southern TV. A show I am immensely proud of, so keep an eye out.

About Josh Frizzell

Josh Frizzell is one of Australasia’s most well-known drama and commercial film directors. Since starting out in the art department after dropping out of high school, he went on to direct a run of music videos in the 90s before moving into film and TV. Frizzell has gone on to helm episodes of Under the VinesThe Brokenwood Mysteries and Fresh Eggs. In 2017 he was nominated as Best Director for his work on The Brokenwood Mysteries at the NZ Television Awards’. In 2019, he was a finalist for the Huawei Mate30 Pro NZ Television Awards’ Best Director for Fresh Eggs. Ablaze was nominated for Best Tele Feature at the 2020 NZ Film and Television Awards. His advertising work has won multiple awards both in New Zealand and abroad.

How I Got Started in the Industry is a guest blog series from the Directors and Editors Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand (DEGANZ). Our members reflect on how they made their way into assistant editing, editing, and directing—with no two stories the same. They offer advice for those starting out. Get in touch with admin@deganz.co.nz if you’re a member and would like to share your story.

NZ Web Fest announced the winners of this year’s festival, featuring podcasts, short films, and web series from local and international creatives.

DEGANZ members heavily populated the selection lineup this year, with many of their projects going on to win awards. Well done to all members involved, and congratulations to the winners!

Best Music Video, NZ

Don’t Expect the World

Director & Editor: Joe Murdie

Best Performance, NZ Short Fiction

Romain Mereau – Solitaire

Writer/Director: Brian Gill

NZ Web Series

Best Trailer


Series Editor, Writer, Storyliner, & Script Editor: Onehou Strickland

Best Pilot

Te Pāmu Kūmara

Editor: Te Rurehe Paki

Best Cinematography, Factual Series

What’s the Disabili-Tea

Director: Justin Scott

Best Editing, Factual Series

2000s Baby

Editor: Damian Golfinopoulos

Best Series, Factual

K’ Road Chronicles

Assistant Editor: Benjamin Murray

Best Editing, Narrative Series

Well, Well, Wellness

Co-Creator: Jack Nicol

This year’s Show Me Shorts, Aotearoa’s leading international short film festival, is chock full of DEGANZ members’ mahi!

Check this complete list to see which programmes their films are screening in and make sure to book your seats for your local screenings from 6-29 October.

The Sampler Programme

Described as some of the top short films from this year’s festival selection. This collection is designed to entertain, delight, and show off rising filmmaking talent in Aotearoa and abroad.

Just Kidding, I Actually Love You

A runaway fiancée breaks in to execute an ill-advised romantic gesture and finds evidence her ex is happier without her.

Writer/Director: Anna Rose Duckworth (Incubator 2019)

* Nominated for Best Screenplay

Whānau Friendly 1 Programme

This collection aims to ignite a love of cinema in our tamariki. Best suited for ages 7-12 years old, these shorts are fun for children and their families to enjoy together.

The Polycees

After a run-in with his slimy deputy, the Prime Minister’s young daughter is shocked to find a magical creature living in Parliament under her Dad’s desk!

Writer/Director/Producer/Editor: Celia Jaspers

Crime Spree Programme

The festival brings you to the edge of your seat with this collection of criminal acts caught on screen.

Day Job

The daily grind of the nine-to-five breeds a murderous intent in this music video from Soft Plastics.

Director: Stella Reid (Incubator 2020)

When The Spirit Takes Flight Programme

This collection of shorts hones into out of this world characters, searching for the answers that will inspire them to improve their lives and reconcile their losses.


17-year-old Mako has the mental age of a small child; when he realises his father is ashamed of him he goes all out to make him proud, succeeding in the most unexpected way.

Producer: April Phillips

Aotearoa Te Ōhākī Programme

Themed around Te Ao Māori concept of Te Ōhākī (meaning cultural and identity reclamation), these shorts tell the stories of people from many different cultures who are feeling displaced or disconnected and seeking their place in the world.

Buttons and Dumplings

The heartwarming migration story of a Chinese family, takeaway food, mahjong, and the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Directors: Calvin Sang and Mei Ling Lee

* Nominated for Department of Post Best New Zealand Film


When a recent widow moves to New Zealand from India, she’s forced to confront her grief by completing an ordinary ritual in an extraordinary circumstance: quarantine.

Writer/Director: Pulkit Arora

Editor: Jolin Lee (Incubator 2022)

* Nominated for Toi Whakaari Best Actor, DEGANZ Best Director, and Department of Post Best New Zealand Film

Lǎo Lao Lǎo Le

A young boy is left home alone with his increasingly unwell grandmother and is forced to come to terms with her deterioration.

Writer/Director/Producer: Julie Zhu

* Nominated for Toi Whakaari Best Actor, DEGANZ Best Director, and Department of Post Best New Zealand Film

Daughter of God

When an arranged marriage is sprung upon an Iranian-Kiwi daughter, she must either dishonour family tradition or lose the woman she loves.

Writer/Director: Maza White

* Nominated for Best Screenplay

What’s the Disabili-Tea: Misty Frequency

Drag icon Misty Frequency’s kaupapa is to celebrate autistic and takatāpui excellence. They are looking to storm the stage at the Drag Wars competition with a cash prize up for grabs.

Editor: Brendon Chan

Producer: Robyn Paterson

Women Rock the World Programme

Show Me Shorts invites audiences to step into the world of queens, dreamers, and vengeful angels. Wherever these women are stifled they will find a way to realise their goals.


This music video for Tami Neilson’s Kingmaker features a group of women, alive and powerful, rising from the ashes of the old colonial institutions that once oppressed them.

Director: Alyx Duncan

* Nominated for NZ on Air Best Music Video Award

Love Unconditional Programme

The bonds the characters in these stories share run deep, despite some testing times. This programme leaves audiences with some no-nonsense life advice and a renewed sense of appreciation for their parents.

Nai / Milk

A single Chinese woman struggles to bridge the cultural and societal expectations of motherhood in a Western setting until she finds release in the most unlikely way.

Writer/Director/Producer: Michelle Ang (Incubator 2020)

Co-Editor: Jack Brown

* Nominated for Toi Whakaari Best Actor, DEGANZ Best Director, and DEGANZ Best Editor

Whāna Friendly 2 Programme

Best suited and specially curated for 4-10 year olds, this programme will inspire and delight tamariki.

Star Sailors

Philly is with her neighbour, Agent Star Shine, taking on an early morning adventure when an alien lands in her backyard to eat all the strawberries!

Director: Jaimee Poipoi (Ngati Kahungunu/Ngāpuhi) (Incubator 2023)

Writer: Ben Powdrell


Congratulations to all 15 members involved with selected films; we look forward to watching!

DEGANZ member and 2022 Incubator alum, Jolin Lee proves themselves as a director with a knack for music videos with the release of Breakdown Breakthrough for local pop artist Blake. This is Jolin’s second music video this year, and eighth in total.

The music video follows Blake around Auckland city center in the late night/early morning as she sings about being at a crossroads in life.

On Instagram Jolin shared that the production process for this video brought them back to their core as a creative. With minimal crew, it was “just a bunch of us going with the flow and collaborating together.”

You can check out the music video on Jolin’s website and YouTube now!

DEGANZ member Jolin Lee (Incubator 2022) is truly embodying the Directors and Editors Guild, having directed and edited the new music video Where My Asians At?!

The new single by Tāmaki Makarau based singer/songwriter RESHMA celebrates and highlights the unique perspectives that the pan-Asian community brings to the arts. Her lyrics reflect on the prejudices within the Asian community about pursuing the arts but are ultimately a call to action for Asian creatives to continue to create, share stories, and uplift each other.

Jolin came on board as the video’s director and editor, channeling the song’s superhero final boss energy. It features K-pop-esque group choreography, firey visual effects, and mesmerising editing. On their Instagram, Jolin shares that this was their first time working with a choreographer and extensive VFX, and thanks the team that helped pull it all together.

Check out the music video on all platforms now!