Janine: Our shows contract annually and a lot of them will be younger people – often we (children’s shows) are an introduction to television and we are a springboard for a lot of young talent in front of and behind the screens. That’s a role that we see we play.
I imagine you must work with the Film and Broadcasting schools here from time to time?
Janine: We have very good relations with all of them, the Christchurch ones but not just here – people here come from all round.
There is obviously a big investment here in technology, software and equipment here – is it hard to keep up with those evolving needs?
Janine: Certainly – all these young people coming in have a wish list of stuff relating to their area and their craft, sound, editing, camera, etcetera. It’s Grant’s job to deal with that. Yes, a huge investment, but once you start off down this road you have to be able to keep up.
Grant: Yeah, over the years technology has almost come full circle – once in Hollywood they said you only needed a camera and a girl to go shoot a movie. Requirements have gotten more and more complex over the years but in some ways now it’s almost affordable for anyone to go out and get enough gear to do something pretty reasonable – people are making movies on their iPhones!
The thing is, that there is now a lot more things to choose from – now we need drones and action cameras, and 360 degree cameras – there is a lot more on the shopping list for us to look at.
Speaking of investment, you’re developing a new show?
Janine: Yes, Darwin and Newts is a bit of a passion. I have made preschool before but I always thought there was another show in me. This is an international co-production with Film New Zealand and with Toonz Animation in India. We’re stepping into animation and international partnerships. It’s fulfilling a real passion of mine and working in this way is very exciting.
Did you come up with the show idea here then seek partners? What’s the timeline like?
Janine: Yes, exactly that – we worked it out here then put together the production. It’s been in development for a year and is probably still eighteen months from broadcast. It’s a big investment – and of course we have a whole drawer full of other ideas too, no shortage of plans!