The Director - 1st AD - Producer Dynamic

The Director - 1st AD - Producer Dynamic

Posted Thursday 08 Sep 2022

Continuing in our series examining key relationships for directors, we now bring you this workshop on the Director - 1st AD - Producer dynamic in collaboration with DEGANZ.

**WIFT NZ and DEGANZ members are free**

RSVP essential to

Facilitator: Mark Westerby, Producer, Managing Director Taia Studios.

Rob Sarkies, Director (Scarfies, Out Of The Blue, Two Little Boys, Jean, Consent, The Gulf, Wanted)
Rob is a highly regarded multi-award winning New Zealand filmmaker whose work spans feature film, series television and commercials. He is a passionate storyteller who works across multiple genres from comedy to true-life tragedy. Rob was a director on the Matchbox/NBC Universal production Wanted shooting in NZ and Thailand, and on the first two seasons of the acclaimed German-NZ series The Gulf.

Bruno de Bois, 1AD, Director (The Hobbit Trilogy, Zealandia, Savage, Don't Make Me Go, Mortal Engines)
Belgium-born Bruno moved to New Zealand in 2006. He started working as an Assistant Director on the first Avatar Movie. Since then, he worked on multiple international and local productions such as The Hobbit Trilogy, Avatar 2 & 3, Ghost in the Shell, Mortal Engines, Savage, Don’t Make Me Go. Bruno also directed three short films: Serial Killer, Dangerous Game and Zealandia which were selected and won many awards in festivals around the world.

Desray Armstrong, Te Aitanga a Hauiti and Ngāti Porou, Producer (Millie Lies Low, Coming Home in the Dark, Juniper, Stray, Wellington Paranormal)
Desray's films have hit A-list international film festivals, including Cannes, Berlin and SXSW. She has worked on many local and international productions including A Wrinkle in Time, What We Do In the Shadows and Mortal Engines. In 2021 she produced three feature films during the Covid pandemic: Coming Home in the Dark, Juniper and Millie Lies Low.

Our experienced panel will be discussing the following questions:

  • What is the role of the 1st AD and who do they represent on set?
  • How can a successful dynamic be nurtured between the 1st AD, Director and Producer?
  • How does a 1st AD balance the creative needs of the director and the logistical needs of the shoot?
  • What is the best way to deal with Director-1st AD differences?
  • What expectations do directors and producers have of a 1st AD, and what does a 1st AD want from the director and the producer?

WIFTNZ and DEGANZ members free; non members $15 cash; includes drinks and nibbles.

RSVP essential to

Date: Wednesday 21 Sep 2022
Location: Taia Studios, 4 Bay Rd, Kilbirnie, Wellington
Time: 6:00 drinks for 6:30pm start


Upcoming events...

Wednesday 12 Oct 2022

Story Sovereignty & Cultural Safety (AKL)

Having control over one’s stories and the right to determine the direction of these stories is an essential and ongoing korero. 

Some of the topics and questions the panel will explore are:

  • How can our industry centre the voices and concerns of Tangata Whenua, Tangata Moana, pan-Asian and other underserved groups?
  • How can our industry empower these groups in the storytelling space and ensure the protection of cultural, genealogical and spiritual capital?
  • How can we as an industry move beyond token representation onscreen and behind the camera to ensure meaningful collaboration?
  • What does cultural safety mean throughout all levels of the storytelling process?
  • What is Story Sovereignty and is there a collective understanding of what it is?

This is an important and multi-layered conversation which we hope will add to the discourse on Story Sovereignty and Cultural Safety.

Moderator: Marina Alofagia McCartney, Writer, Director, Academic (Samoa, England, Romani) 


Karen Te Ō Kahurangi WaakaPou Whakahaere - Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga New Zealand Film Commission, Producer (Tūwharetoa, Tūhourangi-Ngāti Wahiao, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Pūkeko). 
Karen Te O Kahurangi has extensive experience in governance, culture, intellectual property rights, iwi and community organisations as well as active involvement in Māori screen issues. In her current role she is implementing Te Rautaki Māori at the the NZFC, facilitating funding for Māori films and career development for Māori filmmakers. 

Dr. Shuchi Kothari, Writer, Producer, Co-founder Pan Asian Screen Collective, Academic (India).
Dr Shuchi Kothari's prolific output is characterised by the themes of inclusion and exclusion as well as power and privilege. She has written and/or produced several award winning films (Apron StringsFiraaq, Coffee & AllahFleeting Beauty) that have screened at international festivals as diverse as Toronto, Telluride, Venice, Cannes, and Busan. She was also a producer on Kāinga.

Kerry WarkiaProducer, (Papua New Guinean, Scottish). 
Kerry Warkia has been at the forefront of some of New Zealand's most innovative content for both television and the web. Passionate about telling Maori and Pasifika stories, Kerry was a producer on the acclaimed trio of anthology films Waru, Vai, and the latest Kāinga which centres on Pan-Asian stories, and which she co-produced with Dr Shuchi Kothari. 



Date: Wednesday 12 October
Time: 6:00pm drinks for a 6:30pm start
Location: Click Studios, 525 Rosebank Rd, Avondale Auckland

WIFT members FREE; non-members $15 cash. Includes a drink and nibbles.
RSVP essential to

Wednesday 26 Oct 2022

In Conversation with Rachel Lang (WTN)

Come and learn from one of New Zealand's best screenwriters, showrunners and executive producers at this Wellington workshop. 

Rachel Lang MNZM, has co-created many of New Zealand's most successful television shows: Outrageous Fortune, The Almighty Johnsons, Mercy Peak, Nothing Trivial, Go Girls, Bad Mothers, and many more. She was the first New Zealand story editor, a writer and an executive producer for Shortland Street

Rachel will discuss writing and showrunning with producer and line producer Michelle Turner, and if her August workshop in Christchurch is anything to go by, you will not want to miss this one! 

Facilitator: Michelle Turner
As a producer and line producer, Michelle has worked in feature films, short films, television and documentaries including Stickmen, Bollywood Queen, Children of the Migration, Under the Vines, Dox, Wellington Paranormal.

The discussion will cover the following topics:

· What a showrunner does;

· How you get to be a showrunner;

· How Covid has changed the practicalities of writing for television;

· What the ingredients for a successful writers room are;

· Tips for creating ideas and how to market them.

Bring your questions and Rachel will do her best to answer them! 

WIFT members free; non members $15 cash; includes drinks and nibbles.

RSVP essential to

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