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A Step in the Digital Direction

Media Release

22 April 2008

A Step in the Digital Direction

Budding young New Zealand comics, writers and broadcasters will soon be able to make their mark online, and on the airwaves, thanks to funding from NZ On Air’s digital content partnership fund.

The fund was established by NZ On Air to encourage the creation of multi-format audio/visual New Zealand content. It is one of NZ On Air’s four digital initiatives set out in the organisation’s Digital Strategy. In its first year, the fund’s focus is on content for young New Zealanders.

NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson said the first funding round has been a great success with more than 20 applications received.

The three recipients were Greenstone Pictures’ AEF 360°, Mashpit from the Gibson Group and Plains FM’s The Pod. Between them, they received more than $820,000.

AEF 360° creates a special new website for New Zealand children, a development from the successful children’s television drama Amazing Extraordinary Friends.

“Users can upload their own superhero stories, create storyboards and watch new video content including new drama ‘mini-sodes’ based on AEF characters, as well as hook into the series. It’s a fun interactive experience that links the audience with each other and the show’s cast and crew,” said Ms Wrightson.

Mash Pit is an online comedy challenge where the audience can comment on and rate new comedy material. The most successful content will later be compiled for broadcast on Prime TV.

Ms Wrightson said NZ On Air was also pleased to receive some innovative ideas for radio.

“The project that’s been given the green light comes from Plains FM, the access radio station in Christchurch. The Pod is a portable recording studio that will enable children to produce radio programmes for broadcast and podcast. It’s a great innovation that will open up radio to the broadcasters of tomorrow.”

“Digitial media in New Zealand is in very good heart. Proposals spanned radio and television broadcasting, national and regional broadcasters, and had a varying mix of digital and broadcast elements,” says Ms Wrightson.

NZ On Air will call for applications again towards the end of 2008.

ENDS

This media release is available on the Internet at http://www.nzonair.govt.nz
and NZ On Air’s Digital Strategy is available at http://www.nzonair.govt.nz/digital_strategy.php

Funding details:

AEF 360° $399,491
6.4 hours
Broadcaster: TV2
Producer: Peter Clews
Greenstone Pictures


Mash Pit $349,595
2 hours broadcast
Broadcaster: Prime TV
Producer: Bevin Linkhorn
Gibson Group


The Pod $72,200
Multiple hours
Broadcaster: Plains FM
Producer: Nicki Reece
Plains FM

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