“When we started there was only one rule – that when we stopped having fun, we’d quit. We haven’t quit yet.”

ScreenWorks is unique in the New Zealand production industry. Three working production veterans; producer Chris HAMPSON, director Chris BAILEY, and writer Greg McGEE formed it in 1998. They had no capital beyond their shared experience and few resources beyond a cramped office above a Ponsonby Rd fish & chip shop. Line Producer Jane LINDSAY joined the team a year later.

As McGEE tells it, ScreenWorks was largely born out of frustration and the desire to have creative control over their own projects. According to HAMPSON,  “we wanted to make our own mistakes – rather than other people’s“.

ScreenWorks is a niche production company, concentrating on feature films and high production value film drama for television.  The company aims to produce work with high International appeal and have to date sold product throughout the South Pacific, in France, Australia, Yugoslavia, Russia and across the African Continent.

The ScreenWorks team is just that—a team.  Their philosophy is that they spend so much time together, they have to work with people they like.  Being a tight-knit group also enables them to work within strict time and budget constraints.

The company has to date produced four series of their flagship prime-time drama Street Legal, the 13-episode children’s series Hard Out, and the short film Tick, written and directed by Rebecca Hobbs.  Tick opened the New York Film Festival, with the premiere of Jack Nicholson’s About Schmidt.

They are currently developing an adaptation of the children’s cult classic Under the Mountain, developing two drama series for television, and working on a major project for screen that should come to fruition in 2004.


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