A conversation with the creators of Netflix’s new hit crime thriller Clickbait. While set in the US, Clickbait was developed and made in Australia. It was filmed in and around Melbourne with both US and Australian actors and post-production was completed whilst the city was dealing with many restrictions caused by the pandemic. Co-creators Tony Ayres and Christian White talk with moderator Cass Avery across a wide range of subjects including writing and collaboration, building a team, adapting the series for the US and the audience metrics they received from Netflix.

This Script to Screen Talk was held on 19 October 2021 as an online webinar and made possible thanks to generous support from the New Zealand Film Commission, Foundation North and Images & Sound.

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Tony Ayres is an award-winning Australian showrunner, writer and director. He is well known for creating some of Australia’s most revered film and television dramas including The Home Song Stories, Nowhere Boys, The Slap, Glitch, Stateless and most recently Clickbait, along with feature movies Cut Snake (2015), The Home Song Stories (2007) and Walking on Water (2002).

Christian White is an Australian author, screenwriter and producer. He has written award-winning novels The Nowhere Child and The Wife and the Widow. Christian co-created the television series Clickbait, with Tony Ayres. He also co-wrote the feature film Relic, a horror/drama starring Emily Mortimer, Bella Heathcote and Robyn Nevin.

Cass Avery is a producer, executive producer and writer, Cass has helmed and scripted more than 50 documentaries and television series commissioned in NZ and Australia. She is currently Head of Development and the Executive Producer at Augusto.

Tues 19 October
5:30pm – 6:30pm NZDT – TALK


This Script to Screen TALK is made possible thanks to generous support from the
New Zealand Film CommissionFoundation North and Images & Sound.

We’re proud to launch Paerangi Project – a programme designed to reach fresh, distinctive and authentic voices across Aotearoa.

Paerangi offers accessible learning about how to develop your own short film or web series idea. It is for new and emerging talent living across Aotearoa, and enables you to make screen stories in your own backyard.

The programme is for those interested in developing a short film or web series who have not had the opportunity to learn about filmmaking. This lack of opportunity could be for a variety of reasons, for example, you may be living in a remote region, an isolated situation or face social, economic or accessibility barriers.

Stage One, delivered online, gives you access to a series of video tutorials delivered by experienced filmmakers. The tutorials lead you through the process of developing your own concept including writing, directing, producing and pitching, and gives homework exercises to complete in your own time alongside the video tutorials.

Contributors to the video are: Alex Lovell (My Friend Michael Jones, Mister Sunshine), Dianne Taylor (Apron Strings, Beyond the Known World, Hauraki)Emmett Skilton (Millennial Jenny, Auckward Love)Hamish Bennett (Bellbird, Ross & Beth, The Dump)Jaimee Poipoi (Electric Shoelace Productions), Karin Williams (SIS)Marina Alofagia McCartney (Vai, Milk & Honey)Morgan Leigh Stewart (K’ Rd Stories, Bird’s Eye! Deathgasm)Robyn Grace (Power Rangers: Dino Charge, Sweet Tooth, Oranges and Lemons)Shoshana McCallum (Head High, Creamerie, West Side,) and Sophie Henderson (The Justice of Bunny King, Baby Done, Fantail).

Registration for Stage One is open now!

At Stage Two, participants who registered for Stage One are eligible to apply for a six-week mentorship with an experienced filmmaker who will guide them as they refine their short film or web series project. The homework exercises you complete in Stage One form the basis of the Stage Two application.

And at Stage Three, up to four teams are invited to a three-day residential development lab in Auckland where they will develop their project even further, receiving tailored script feedback, directing mentoring, and producing advice from industry mentors.

Paerangi Project is made possible thanks to generous support from Screenrights Cultural Fund and New Zealand Film Commission.


Frenzied screaming aside, fans can bring an unexpected energy to your project, promoting it to their peers in ways that you never imagined. They can power up your project by funding it, sharing it, showing up for it and keeping it in the conversation.

Fans have created ‘Always blow on the pie’ t-shirts, Kiri & Lou birthday cakes, and wooden kitset figures of Jacinda and Ashley’s 1pm daily briefings. Embrace them and mobilise them, just as Wellington Paranormal did with Covid Safety messages, Hunt for the Wilderpeople did with Instagram stickers, and Tākaro Tribe did with talking dolls, and you will reap the benefits.

These local productions engage fans to grow and cultivate a loyal audience and we want you to join their ranks. Find out what you can do, not just after release but during development and at all stages of production to feed the fans.

In this TALK, globally recognised speaker on fans and online communities Sacha Judd and Gemma Gracewood editor-in-chief at Letterboxd will go through some case studies to show the power of fans. They will discuss fans, merchandise, cosplay, conventions, and the delightful power of letting your audience help chart your project’s course—all the way to a sequel, a franchise, a spin-off and beyond.

Thurs 17 June 2021
6:30pm – 7:30pm – TALK
7:30 – 8:30pm – Cash bar, socialising, networking and pizza
TAPAC, 100 Motions Rd, Western Springs, Auckland

After the TALK, stay and have pizza on Script to Screen, there will be a cash bar and socialising with fellow filmmakers.

$5.75 (incl. GST) for sales via EventBrite to secure your seat.
$5 cash at the door.

Book your ticket in advance to secure your seat. When you book your ticket via Eventbrite, there’ll be an opportunity for you to guide the discussion by submitting a question ahead of time.


Sacha runs the Hoku Group, a family office combining private investments, early-stage tech ventures and a non-profit foundation. She was a founder of Refactor (a series of events around diversity in technology), and Flounders’ Club (a network for early-stage company founders). She speaks at conferences and in-house events on diversity & inclusion in the tech sector, fandom and online communities, and how fans will transform the world.

Gemma Gracewood (she/her) is the Editor-in-Chief of Letterboxd, the social network for film lovers. A producer, writer and director with a strong background in publicity and audience strategy, Gemma’s production credits encompass film, television and online series—with a bent towards arts, music and comedy. Gemma has also toured the world in (and managed) the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra, been a press secretary with the Labour Government, and is Deputy Chair of the NZ Comedy Trust.

This TALK is presented in association with the Aotearoa Screen Publicists Collective.

Script to Screen TALKS are made possible thanks to generous support from New Zealand Film CommissionFoundation North and White Studios. A special thanks to our venue sponsor TAPAC.

Script to Screen is excited to bring you a late-night TALK with award-winning director Jessica Hobbs, in conversation with moderator Rob Sarkies. Jessica started her career in New Zealand and has risen to work on some of our favourite series made in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Jessica has directed episodes of The Split, Apple Tree Yard, Broadchurch and most recently multi-award-winning show The Crown. She directed two episodes of Season 3, including the finale starring Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter which was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series. She has gone on to direct three episodes of Season 4 including the finale.

Before moving to the UK Jessica was the lead director on the award-winning series The Slap, directed episodes of Rake and Love My Way, and won an Australian Directors Guild Award for her work on Devil’s Dust. She was also awarded the Australian Film Institute Award for ABC mini-series, Answered by Fire.

In this Script to Screen TALK, Jessica will join us live from London to talk to director Rob Sarkies (The Gulf, Consent, Jean, Two Little Boys, Wanted, Out of the Blue, Scarfies). They will discuss what it is like working on a series drama in the UK right now, her approach to directing, and her ambitions for the future.


Jessica Hobbs began directing short films in her 20s, during an eight-year stint as an assistant director. After helming Cliff Curtis TV drama Overnight in 1995, she got her break on Australia’s Heartbreak High. Hobbs went on to build up an impressive — and award-winning — Australian resume, including hit show Love My Way, East Timor mini-series Answered by Fire, winning the Australian Film Institute Directing Award for both, and the first two episodes of BAFTA-nominated ensemble drama The Slap, which she also set up.  After relocating to England, she directed Emily Watson in the high profile mini-series Apple Tree Yard, based on the Louise Doughty bestseller about a married woman who has an affair. Other directing credits include Broadchurch, River, BBC mini-series The Split, written by Abi Morgan, and most recently seasons 3 and 4 of The Crown for Netflix.

Rob Sarkies works across feature films, series television and commercials as a creator and director. His work includes Out of the Blue about the Aramoana shootings, Consent based on Louise Nicholas’s fight for justice, Jean about aviator Jean Batten, black-buddy-comedy Two Little Boys, Wanted, The Gulf and NZ classic Scarfies.

Tues 23 March
9:00pm – 10:00pm NZDT – TALK

Fraser Brown combines a rare blend of creative, business and leadership expertise in his work as a creative producer, co-founder and Creative Director of FluroBlack.

Fraser started his career, more than 20 years ago, as a professional actor working extensively in film, television and theatre. His evolution into creative producer started with award-winning short, Dead Letters(Telluride Film Festival, 2006), followed by a stint producing branded and commercial content. Since then he has produced or executive produced nine international feature documentaries, two scripted features, a major international television series and an edgy, award-winning web series.

Fraser’s first feature, Orphans & Kingdoms, won numerous international awards and was released theatrically in NZ with 4-star reviews. In 2016 he developed and produced, in a strategic partnership with Matthew Metcalfe of GFC Films, the feature documentary McLaren. Directed by Roger Donaldson, McLaren was the highest grossing New Zealand film at the NZ box office in 2017 and was released globally by Universal Pictures, Transmission Films and Gunpowder & Sky. He and Matthew then produced Wayne, an official NZ/AUS co-production directed by Jeremy Sims, which premiered at the opening weekend of MIFF 2018 and was released in Australia and New Zealand by Transmission Films and in the US by Gunpowder & Sky.

Fraser is an Executive Producer on numerous feature documentaries with Universal Pictures and GFC Films: Born Racer, directed by Bryn Evans; We Need to Talk About A.I, directed by Leanne Pooley; Dawn Raid, directed by Oscar Kightley; Mothers of the Revolution, directed by Briar March; Billion Dollar Heist, directed by Daniel Gordon and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK, directed by Nathan Price. He is also an EP on feature film, Whina, currently in post-production and on The Dead Lands –an 8x1hr action-adventure series collaboration between GFC Films, AMC-Shudder and TVNZ, nominated for “Best Drama” at the New Zealand TV Awards, 2020. In the factual TV space, Fraser is currently a producer on Reunited (TVNZ), The Circus (BRAVO) and Great Southern Truckers (TV3/DISCOVERY).

Tony Ayres is an award-winning Australian showrunner, writer and director, and is one of the founding members of internationally renowned Australian production company Matchbox Pictures, now owned by NBC Universal Studios. In 2018 Tony established his own production company Tony Ayres Productions (TAP), developing and producing feature films and television for global audiences and international marketplaces.

Tony was the showrunner on International Emmy and BAFTA nominated series, The Slap and an EP on its US remake. He co-created and was Executive Producer on multi-award winning series Glitch (3 seasons). He was also an executive producer on International Emmy nominated Wanted (3 seasons), and multi-award winning series The Devil’s Playground, Old School, Underground: The Julian Assange Story, and The Straits. He executive produced comedy series The Family Law (3 seasons), Bogan Pride and Maximum Choppage. He produced miniseries Barracuda and the multi- award winning Seven Types of Ambiguity. He directed the multi-award winning TV movie, Saved.

In children’s TV, Tony created and executive produced the International Emmy and BAFTA award winning Nowhere Boys and the telemovie based on the series, Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows. The series is internationally acclaimed, winning the AACTA Award for Best Children’s Television Series, two Logies, three Kidscreen Awards, a Rockie, and a Prix Jeunesse Award.

In feature films, Tony directed Cut Snake (2015), The Home Song Stories (2007) winner of 24 international and Australian awards, and Walking on Water (2002), which premiered at the Berlinale. He also EP’d feature films Ali’s Wedding and Lou.

Currently Tony is the showrunner for upcoming US Netflix series Clickbait, and co-created and EP’d the Matchbox/ABC refugee detention centre drama Stateless alongside Cate Blanchett and Elise McCredie. Stateless stars Yvonne Strahovski, Jai Courtney, Dominic West and Cate Blanchett.

Got a script in development?
Have you thought about your audience?

Join us at this Script to Screen TALK and find out what local distributors consider before they take on a film for distribution.

Having a strong script and a great filmmaking team is not enough. Unlocking NZFC production funding depends on a letter of offer from a local distributor as part of your audience engagement plan.

Come along to hear from Mark Chamberlain at Transmission, Andrew Cozens at Madman, Nigel Forsyth at Studio Canal and Kevin Gordon at Rialto Distribution.

Entertainment lawyer, Sarah Cull will talk to the panelists about what they look for when selecting projects and at what stage of development they like to get on board. An audience Q&A will follow.

If you are developing a feature film project this event is not to be missed. Last time we held a TALK with New Zealand distributors it was a full house, avoid disappointment by getting your ticket early.

Wednesday 3 July
6:15pm -7:15pm – TALK
Te Auaha, 65 Dixon St, Te Aro, Wellington

After the TALK, stay and have pizza on Script to Screen, there will be a cash bar and socialising with fellow filmmakers.

$5.75 (incl. GST) for pre-sales.
$5 cash at the door if the theatre is not already fully booked from pre-sales.

This StS TALK is made possible thanks to the support of the New Zealand Film Commission. Thanks to the New Zealand Film Commission and the New Zealand Film and Television School for the venue.

The New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) and Script to Screen are thrilled to present these very special TALKS with the filmmakers behind three highly anticipated films BELLBIRD, JUDY & PUNCH, and ANIMALS.

Join us after each screening to hear first hand from Hamish Bennett (BELLBIRD), Mirrah Foulkes (JUDY & PUNCH) and Sophie Hyde (ANIMALS) about their connection with the story and their experience getting the story to the screen.

The TALKS are free, but to see the film beforehand you need to book your ticket through the NZIFF website. TALKS held at the ASB Waterfront Theatre are held in the cinema immediately after the film. TALKS held at the Civic are in the Wintergarden, downstairs from the main foyer, immediately after the film.


Ross (Marshall Napier) is the third generation on the small family dairy farm and he’s determined that son Bruce (Cohen Holloway) will follow suit. Bruce, however, makes for a squeamish farmer and would be perfectly content to stick with his job reinventing abandoned treasures at the town dump. Civic Wintergarden | Sat 20 July  | after the 5:45pm screening. Hamish Bennett, Catherine Fitzgerald and Orlando Stewart with moderator Dame Gaylene Preston (1hr).


Mia Wasikowska and Damon Herriman represent the titular duo, reimagined as a puppeteering couple whose artistic quarrels – and Punch’s mishandling of their baby – lead to an epic revenge fable awash with bloody satire and pitch-black comedy. Civic Wintergarden | Thu 25 July  | after the 3:30pm screening. Mirrah Foulkes with moderator Chelsie Preston-Crayford (1hr). Civic Wintergarden | Fri 26 July | after the 6:30pm screening. Mirrah Foulkes with moderator Robyn Malcolm (1hr).

Mirrah Foulkes’ visit is supported by    


Holliday Grainger and Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) are thirty-something best friends in Dublin, where partying hard is still their way to have fun, but the reality of getting older is getting harder to ignore. ASB Waterfront Theatre | Thurs 25 July  | after the 8:30pm screening. Sophie Hyde with moderator Robyn Malcolm (30mins) ASB Waterfront Theatre | Fri 26 July  | after the 3:00pm screening.  Sophie Hyde with moderator Armagan Ballantyne (30mins)

Many of us long to see ourselves and our communities represented on screen. Filmmakers are in the unique position of being able to bring to life the diverse characters and worlds we want to see. But with power comes responsibility.

It can be a hard task navigating the balance between staying true to your story while satisfying the audience’s expectations for your character. Especially if those characters are the first of their kind on screen.

Please join us to hear from Shuchi Kothari (Coffee & Allah, Apron Strings, A Thousand Apologies), Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa (Three Wise Cousins, Hibiscus & Ruthless) and Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu (Waru, Ani) as they share their experiences finding the sweet spot between great stories and responsible representation.

Moderated by Dr Suzanne Woodward.


Tues 21 May, Galatos (17 Galatos St, Auckland)
6pm doors and bar open
6:30-7:30pm TALK
Cabaret style seating (chairs and tables)

$5.75 (incl. GST)  Pre-sales available via EventBrite or bring $5 cash for the door.
Stay afterwards for a drink and a slice of pizza on us

*Parking in the vicinity is free from 6pm, or the Mercury Lane parking building is close by.

WELLINGTON  Monday 1st April, 6pm, Penthouse Cinema
AUCKLAND  Wednesday 3rd April, 6:30pm, Academy Cinemas

Jeff Wexler (Chief, International at Studio Ponoc and former Chief, International/Board Director and current consultant at Studio Ghibli) joins us from Tokyo to share insights into successfully bringing culturally specific stories to global audiences.

Studio Ghibli (SPIRITED AWAY, MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO, PRINCESS MONONOKE, among many other celebrated films) and Studio Ponoc (MARY AND THE WITCH’S FLOWER) are world-renowned for their ability to break into international markets and take seemingly unique Japanese stories worldwide. Jeff will share his ideas on embracing film localisation during the creative process and how doing so has supported growth of the global phenomenon that is Studio Ghibli and the launch of Studio Ponoc.
Drawing on films from Studio Ghibli and Studio Ponoc, Jeff will delve into internationalising IP, the nuances of dubbing and subtitling, and the importance of building—and sticking to—a philosophy for localisation that prioritises creative integrity.
The talk will be followed by a special private screening of Studio Ponoc’s latest production, the anthology feature MODEST HEROES: PONOC SHORT FILMS THEATRE, VOLUME 1 (53 mins).

Studio Ponoc’s debut feature MARY AND THE WITCH’S FLOWER is available on digital platforms (iTunesMicrosoft Online and Google Play) and DVD/Blu-ray. If you haven’t already seen it, Jeff suggests watching the English version of the film ahead of this talk.

Monday 1st April
6pm-8pm – Talk + Q&A (60mins) and screening (53mins)
Penthouse Cinema, 205 Ohiro Rd, Brooklyn, Wellington
Tickets $11.50 (incl. GST) via EventBrite
Co-presented by New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation

Wednesday 3rd April
5:45pm Networking & cash bar
6:30pm-8:30pm – Talk + Q&A (60mins) and screening (53mins)
Academy Cinemas, 44 Lorne St, Auckland
Tickets $11.50 (incl. GST) via EventBrite

Script to Screen TALKS are made possible thanks to New Zealand Film Commission, Foundation NorthWhite Studios and Images & Sound.

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