Tone with Gaylene Preston – Wellington


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 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.