Steering The Rebel Fleet


At the end of last month, the Rebel Fleet celebrated their first anniversary with a party. “It was very nice,” explained Hugh Calveley, “to celebrate how much people have helped.”

The decision to form the company came a little over a year ago, with Calveley’s co-founder Michael Urban putting forward the name. “We liked the name Rebel Fleet because we try to make things better – and push the boundaries.”

Luckily for them, the name Rebel Alliance was trademarked, but Rebel Fleet wasn’t. The third member of the team, Jay Weston, came on board in the first month.

“We’re based at Metro,” said Urban, “which has been great. It gives us the ability to build rigs and also to test with cameras, the opportunity to experiment without being onset. We’re keen to make things more efficient.

“Everyone’s job is hard enough without making it harder.”

“It’s been quite a ride,” Calveley said. “A year ago, the three of us were freezing in Jay’s garage building our first rig. Now we’ve got eight – two big video carts, one laptop, two onset DIT rigs and three DIT data computers.

“We could probably still grow the number of rigs. Metro has recently acquired a Phantom Flex 4K so we need to build a rig for that.”


QTAKE Video Assist Rig with Sony OLED monitor and custom trolleys

Most of the work this year has been features and long-form TV – most recently on Ghost in the Shell, shooting down in Wellington and in Hong Kong, and the recently-wrapped second season of Ash vs Evil Dead, both in Auckland.

“Last year we did more TVC work than this,” said Urban, “but now we have more rigs we can take on more TVC jobs again. We have a good amount of work booked ahead, so the second half of the year is looking good. The industry as a whole seems very buoyant.”



  1. Brilliant work guys. Well done!

    Paul Richards 5 years ago Reply
  2. RockOn! Great team to work with, indeed was a fun fill with experience, Hats Off..Go The Rebel Fleet

    Jodefa Waqa(Fiji) 4 years ago Reply