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Laughter and Intrigue On New Zealand TV

14 April 2004
Media Release

Laughter and Intrigue On New Zealand TV

NZ On Air funding allocated in February will provide new comedy and the return of a popular children’s drama series.

“We’re excited that we can be part of the launch of a really new and different sketch comedy series from The Gibson Group,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jo Tyndall. “Facelift is a brilliant concept that uses actors playing and sending up public figures, but with a real difference.

“Rather than having to mimic the ‘victims’ faces, the actors will wear those faces on top of their own – prosthetic faces modelled from caricatures. If you remember the puppets used in the Public Eye comedy series a few years ago, you’ll get the picture. The difference is that the actors’ expressions of surprise, fear, joy… whatever, will be translated onto the faces of the people they play.

“Facelift will take a satirical look at what’s happening in New Zealand, and send it up mercilessly,” Ms Tyndall said.

Funding has also been allocated to a return series of Secret Agent Men, a series for younger viewers, to screen on TV3.

“Secret Agent Men is billed as a children’s drama, but it’s one that is delivered with its tongue firmly in its cheek,” said Ms Tyndall. “It’s a lot of fun – a real spoof espionage series that will have the whole family laughing. We first funded it last year, and the response from young people was fantastic, so we’re pleased to be able to support it again.

“For those who haven’t seen it, Secret Agent Men is a fast-paced action series featuring young Kiwi spies saving the world from fiendish, and fiendishly flawed villains, while coping with mundane, real life teenage problems,” Ms Tyndall said. “It mixes intrigue with incompetence, and danger with daftness.

“Greenstone Pictures produce Secret Agent Men with what they call a ‘lean approach’, using digital video technology and small production crews. They forego many of the trappings of full-on drama production and the result is visually exciting and action packed. It’s quite easy to get swept up in the drama of it all.

“These two series are distinctly different and between them will provide a widely diverse audience with some really enjoyable television in coming months,” she said.


Funding details:

Facelift $1,240,000
7 x ½ hour sketch comedy
Broadcaster: TV One
Producer: Chris Ellis
The Gibson Group

Secret Agent Men
$ 450,000
3 x ½ hour children's drama
Broadcaster: TV3
Producer: Rachel Jean
Greenstone Pictures Ltd

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