Strategies for a Successful Director-Producer Relationship

Strategies for a Successful Director-Producer Relationship

Posted Monday 28 Aug 2023

The producer / director relationship is the most critical connection in a project’s success. Often fraught, it can end in tears. However, it can also last a lifetime. Because of the importance of this subject we are bringing you two very experienced people to dissect the topic and help steer you to the best outcomes.

As one of our most talented and prolific producers, Georgina Conder has a wealth of experience to share. Georgina Allison Conder - IMDb

As Executive Director of DEGANZ for many years Tui Ruwhiu has a deep understanding of where everything comes unstuck for directors, and how problems can be avoided in the first place.

This is an essential workshop for everyone.

**WIFT NZ and DEGANZ members are free**

RSVP essential to office@wiftnz.org.nz

Georgina and Tui will be discussing the following: 

  • How do you find the right producer?
  • Understanding the parameters of your role and making sure your contract reflects that.
  • Boundaries, including for the originator.
  • Who has creative say - in television? In commercial work? On a feature film?
  • Where does the director's control begin and end?  
  • Who leads when: on set, in post, when there is a client/broadcaster involved? 
  • Maintaining a healthy collaborative relationship that lasts beyond one project.

Vanessa Wells
Vanessa Wells is a filmmaker and theatre practitioner who has worked in the arts industry for over 20 years.  She currently has a feature documentary on climate change and the Antarctic called The Climate Canary in production. Vanessa has been on the WIFT NZ Board since 2015.


Georgina Conder
Georgina Conder is a film and TV producer who started her career working in production in the early 2000’s before establishing Miss Conception Films in 2015 with producing partner Ainsley Gardiner. MCF was born out of a passion to produce projects with female protagonists while working with female key creatives. In recent years Georgina has begun supporting marginalised voices especially female, Māori, Pasifika and immigrants through her two companies, Miss Conception films and Little Miss Films.

Tui Ruwhiu
Tui Ruwhiu (Ngāpuhi) started in TV as a production assistant working overseas, before setting up a line production company working in TV commercials. He went on to write, direct, produce and executive-produce in corporation communications, news and travel programming, then established a boutique marketing communications company. He returned to the screen industry primarily as a film producer, at the same time working as Executive Director at DEGANZ.

RSVP essential to office@wiftnz.org.nz 

WIFT members and DEGANZ members free, non-members $20 cash at the door; includes wine and nibbles.

Date: Tuesday 29 Aug 2023
Location: Maui Studios, 59 Falsgrave Street, Waltham, Christchurch
Time: 5:30pm drinks for a 6:00pm 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.

Wednesday 29 May 2024

How to Make Heads Explode: Imaging for VFX

Whether you’re a seasoned filmmaker, an aspiring creator, or simply curious about cutting-edge technology and VFX join Tristan Simpson, Post Operations at The Rebel Fleet, in conversation with Aliesha Staples, founder and director of StaplesVR, and Tim Capper, Senior VFX Supervisor to explore the power of photogrammetry and cyber scanning processes.

  • What is cyber scanning and how is it impacting the screen industry?
  • How can photogrammetry be used in the creative process and how has this changed over time? What IS photogrammetry?
  • How does this technology help with the production process?
  • What are some of the different usages of the scans?
  • Why use it?
  • How does the rig work?
  • What type of projects have you worked on and how do we help the local sector access and use the technology?


Aliesha Staples – Aliesha is the founder and CEO of StaplesVR, The company specialises in augmented, virtual and mixed reality technology, and has also produced immersive experiences for the likes of Warner Brothers, Paramount and Disney. Aliesha is also the co-founder of CLICK Studios and the recipient of the 2022 WIFT Awards Imagezone Entrepreneurship Award.

Tim Capper is Senior VFX supervisor at Cause and FX, Auckland’s largest VFX studio. With a focus on TV and Film projects, Cause and FX has a client base both locally and for studio’s based around the globe. The scanning rig was a build project that Tim has led over the last 8 years and is now a joint venture with Staples VR.

Time:  6:00 PM –  8:30 pm *Doors open at 6pm, event starts at 6:30 pm*

Venue: WIFT Auckland Office, 525 Rosebank Road, Avondale, Auckland

Members: FREE.  Non-members: $20. Students: $10.

Book Tickets 


Wednesday 29 May 2024

Unlocking the Reel Deal: Mastering Festival Tactics and Marketing Must-Haves

Join this in-depth conversation on the essentials of festival strategies and marketing materials with Jasmin McSweeney, of Umbrella Entertainment, Nadia Maxwell, of Overactive Imagination, and Mark Prebble of Show Me Shorts, moderated by Vanessa Wells.

-              Talking about festival strategy, submitting to festivals and the pros/cons
-              Discussing their experience with being at festivals - both industry markets and showing films.
-              Critical criteria for your marketing materials – what’s essential
-              How does the programming of films at A-list festivals reflect global film trends?
-              What’s news from Clermont-Ferrand?

Jasmin McSweeney joined Melbourne distribution company Umbrella Entertainment as the Head of Sales and Acquisitions for New Zealand in February this year. She also produces for Sanctuary Pictures, the production arm of Umbrella. Prior to this role, Jasmin was the Head of Marketing at the New Zealand Film Commission for the past decade, responsible for the promotion and marketing of New Zealand films in New Zealand and internationally.

Nadia Maxwell is an Ōtautahi film and television producer and founder of Overactive Imagination. Over the last 20 years she has produced A-list festival feature films, award-winning shorts, and documentary projects. Previous credits include the feature films HUMAN TRACES which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017 and REUNION starring Julia Ormond released in NZ and the US in 2020. Most recently she produced the docuseries SHEPHERDESS for Sky Originals.

Mark Prebble is the Festival Manager of Show Me Shorts, New Zealand's leading short film festival, and has been part of the SMS team for the last ten years. He comes from a filmmaking and theatre background and has been involved in the New Zealand film industry for more than two decades. In February this year he represented Show Me Shorts and their short film catalogue at Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival and Market in France.

Date: 29 May 2024

Time: 6:00PM – 9:00PM

Location: Toi Auaha Rolleston House, 5 Worcester Boulevard, Christchurch Central City

WIFT NZ members FREE, non-members $20, students $10, includes wine and nibbles.



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