Production Designers: Shaping Your World

Production Designers: Shaping Your World

Posted Monday 13 Nov 2023

This is our FIRST production design workshop in 10 years!

Production Design is the world that your characters live in and as film and TV are visual mediums, this world is just as important as the lines of dialogue delivered!  Production design is a craft, and these women have so much to share from their vibrant careers.

Join Emily Mafile’o, Jane Bucknell and Tracey Collins in conversation with Kiel McNaughton as they discuss their work and their creative process.

Questions we will cover: How do they work with the director or creator to activate the creative vision? How does the production designer create a world that serves the story? What are the determining factors on whether they say yes to a project? What is their favourite creative work to date and why? When is the best time to be brought into a project? There will be spaces for you to ask your own questions in the Q & A.

Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to learn from this all-star line-up of wāhine production designers!

About the panel:

Emily Mafile'o
Emily Mafile’o is a multi-talented production designer, art director, set designer and photographer. Her Production Design credits include the feature film Red, White & Brass (2021) and the shorts The Return (2022, Lea Tupu'anga/Mother Tongue and TV series SIS, Brutal Lives 2 (2022). Her Art Director credits include TV series The Panthers, Baby Mamas Club, feature documentary For My Father's Kingdom and the short My Friend Michael Jones. Emily is on a mission to empower Māori and Pasifika communities through creativity, cultural revitalisation, and community connections via Taro Patch Collective.

Jane Bucknell
Jane is an accomplished filmmaker with a vibrant career spanning two decades. She has numerous credits in costume design, production design and art direction. She was nominated for Best Production Design at the 2022 NZ TV Awards for TV Series The Panthers and is currently production designing a new half-hour dramedy series Madam produced by Tavake and XYZ Films for Warner Bros. She is an active member of the worldwide Production Designers Collective. 

Tracey Collins
Tracey (Trix) is an established Production Designer living and working in Auckland. She has been awarded with NZ Screen Awards for feature film White Lies (2013), TV series This Is Not My Life (2011), and Piece of my Heart (2009). She has designed films and TV in many genres including drama – Murder Is Forever Forever (2018), The Other Side of Heaven: Fire of Faith (2019), Dirty Laundry (2016) and Bliss (2011). Recently Tracey has been designing for the Power Rangers universe. She also works as a Theatre and Entertainment Designer and is an artist.

Moderator: Kiel McNaughton
Kiel McNaughton is a director and producer of television comedy and drama, and with Kerry Warkia, one half of production company Brown Sugar Apple Grunt. After four years as a core cast member of Shortland St, he left to direct and executive produce the award-winning comedy series Auckland Daze. He has since directed full seasons of Find Me A Māori Bride, This Is Piki and Princess of Chaos, and episodes of My Life is Murder, Vegas and Good Grief and the 2020 feature film The Legend of Baron Toa.

RSVP essential  to

WIFT NZ members FREE; Non-members $20, Students $10, cash at the door; includes wine and nibbles. 

Date: Wednesday 22 Nov 2023
Location: Click Studios, 525 Rosebank Rd, Avondale
Time: 6pm drinks for a 6:30pm start


Upcoming events...

Saturday 25 May 2024

Producing Travel, Adventure and Food Shows with Jon Kroll

We are thrilled to announce this special intensive workshop with Emmy Award-winning TV producer Jon Kroll including two guest speakers, for our Wellington members!

In this one-day seminar, producer Jon Kroll will take you on a deep dive into the world of international factual production. Jon has worked in more than 70 countries on shows like the Emmy-winning “Amazing Race,” “Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted,” “Never Say Never with Jeff Jenkins,” “Extraordinary Birder with Christian Cooper” and “Appetite for Adventure with Moe Cason.”

While making these shows can be both fun and rewarding, the execution of them involves unique challenges, including language barriers, currency fluctuations, permitting, equipment carnets, unpredictable weather, insurance, diseases, safety, casting, scouting and travel delays. He’ll take you on a journey from the first network country pitch to the final sound mix, and by the end you’ll be ready to take on the world.

He will also be inviting guest speakers Tara Williams’, the Vice President of Production at Original Productions, and Alexander Ayling, a full-time award-winning filmmaker, content creator, Youtuber, and television host, to share their wealth of knowledge inside this seminar.

Make the most of this opportunity!

Date: Saturday, 25 May 

Time:  10am – 4pm

Venue: Massey University, Wellington

Cost: Members $20.  Non-members $40. Massey Students $10.

 Coffee, tea and biscuits provided.  Bring your own lunch.

Book Your Ticket Here.

Programme is brought to you with generous support from the NZ Film Commission and Foundation North.