SDGNZ is only as strong as its members. We encourage you to join the Guild, and send us suggestions on how we can work better for you.
This page contains all the info you need but if you want to talk more, give us a call or send us an email:
Tel. (09) 360 2102
And yes we do still communicate by good old-fashioned post:
195 Ponsonby Road
PO Box 47-294
• We have successfully published a Directors' Minimum Rate Card and a Recommended Editors' Rate Card designed to reinforce directors and editors claims to adequate fees, fair contracts and reasonable working conditions.
• Our Standard Directors' Contracts for feature film, short film, documentary and television back up the Directors' Minimum Rate Card. Standard contracts for editors are currently being put together.
• Members are entitled to thirty minutes free legal advice with discounted rates thereafter, see our Rates page.
• We work with New Zealand Immigration Service and industry associations to ensure that wherever possible overseas directors do not do work that local directors could successfully undertake.
• SDGNZ is represented on the Copyright Council, increasing our expertise and profile in intellectual property rights.
• We distribute internationally accrued directors' royalties to NZ directors through ASDACs, see www.asdacs.com.au.
• We work to strengthen your creative and economic rights as directors, both nationally and internationally, by lobbying for law changes, local content quota, and by developing international networks through conferences and meetings of director groups.
• You are able to protect your work from plagiarism through the project proposal/script registration facility operated in collaboration with the New Zealand Writers Guild, see www.nzwritersguild.org.nz.
• The news bulletin Directors and Editors Online is delivered to your email box every fortnight.
• You also get free or discounted entry to all SDGNZ events (workshops, conferences, master classes, directors' screenings, etc)
• Exclusive discounts on courses with Apple Certified Master Trainer Andy Day.
• Concession prices on New Zealand International Film Festival tickets.
• Concession prices on Documentary Edge Film Festival tickets.
• $10 tickets (Mon - Fri) at Rialto Cinema
• $11 tickets (all day, everyday) at Academy Cinemas
• A 15% discount at Glengarry New Zealand
• 20% of cellar door and mail order Seresin Wines at
A guild is only as strong as its members and we do have such a large number of talented, hardworking, and dedicated members in the Screen Directors Guild of New Zealand. This month our profile is on Kathy McRae.
Kathy worked as an actor for many years before she began directing theatre in Wellington 15 years ago. In 2003 her productions of Cherish and Enemy of the People, were both nominated for Production of the Year at the Chapman Tripp theatre awards. Enemy of the People went on to win the award and Kathy also took home the award for Director of the Year.
Although Kathy loves theatre she also wanted the skills to be able to put New Zealand stories on screen so after 20 months of playing Brenda Holloway on Shortland Street she trained as a director on the show and has been directing for the series since 2007. More recently Kathy has directed two episodes of the second series of Nothing Trivial, directed a short piece on Annie Crummer and her father Will for Tagata Pasifika, and is about to start working on series 5 of Go Girls.
As an actor you only work on a part of the story. As a director I love being able to shape the whole story; to weave all the elements together to create a story that flows emotionally and artistically; to work with a team that can add value to the script in countless ways and to work with actors to help them deliver their best work. I want the actors to engage with each other - to charge the air between them so that the audience is excited by everything they do and every thought they have.
Advice for an Emerging Director:
Develop your skills to analyse story. Know how to mine a scene for the meaning and emotion buried within it to ensure each scene is a building block to construct a satisfying whole.
Don't expect things to "go well". Your whole job is problem-solving. Stay calm, take advice if needed, make a decision as quickly as possible and continue on. There will be another problem to solve just around the corner.
Always question the work and your work. The more questions you ask, the deeper the interpretation will be. No question is a waste of time as each question takes you on a journey into the work.
The Importance of Belonging to the SDGNZ:
As directors (and editors) we rarely work with others of our own kind. The guild plays an important role bringing us together so we can air our similarities and our differences and provide opportunities for us to develop our craft.
As our work becomes imbedded in the production it is often invisible and is sometimes taken for granted - which bit of that performance did we create? How did our collaboration with the designer, the editor, the sound designer and the composer influence their work and the final result? The thousand thoughts we've had and the decisions we've made are carried within the whole and cannot be separated out nor itemised. Yet we are vital to the success of the work. I believe our profession needs protecting and promoting.
As part of a renewed emphasis on promoting a community for our members online (but not excluding our offline efforts), the SDGNZ will profile a SDGNZ member each month through our E-news. Stay posted.
Full Membership is open to any screen director or editor with a minimum of twenty minutes of credited screen time. In the case of music clips, commercials or animation, SDGNZ take a flexible approach to the screen time requirements.
Secondary Membership is available at a discounted rate to full members of Nga Aho Whakaari who work as directors or editors.
Associate Membership is available to any individual, company, or group who wishes to support the SDGNZ, including any emerging filmmakers, directors and editors.
Student Membership is available to full time students only. Applicants must enclose a photocopy of their current student identification card.
Temporary Membership is available to directors from overseas working temporarily in NZ.
The fine print: Membership approval is subject to the discretion of the SDGNZ. Associate, Student and Temporary Members do not have voting rights, but are entitled to all other benefits.
Print out the Membership Form, fill in the details with an old fashioned writing implement, and along with your CHEQUE and photocopy of STUDENT ID (if appropriate) pop it in an envelope addressed to SDGNZ, PO Box 47-294, Ponsonby, Auckland.
If you're a foreign director working in NZ, and you'd like to join SDGNZ, please choose the Temporary Membership form.