TALK: Making M3GAN, with Gerard Johnstone

Gerard Johnstone, in conversation with Dominic Corry, will talk about the big picture intentions he had approaching the film as well as some deep detail on methods he used to scare us and make us laugh.

M3GAN is short for Model 3 Generative Android, and is written by Akela Cooper (Malignant) from a story by James Wan (Saw, Aquaman). The animatronic doll is created by combining a doll, a dancer/performer, a voice artist and CGI. We’ll hear how Gerard brought this unique android character to life and the local talent he worked with in the process.

Shot partly in Auckland in 2021, the film moved from Canada to New Zealand due to the pandemic, employing New Zealand cast and crew and working with WETA Workshop.

This film has revealed a distinct directing style for Gerard Johnstone as his pathway takes him from low-budget comedy horror Housebound to working with Blumhouse Productions and one of Hollywood’s big film studios, Universal Pictures.

Come along to this talk to hear how Gerard did it!

Tue 31 January 2023
7:30 – 8:30– Online TALK

This is a FREE Online event. Those who purchased tickets for the in-person event will be fully refunded.


After twice winning the 48Hours film contest, Gerard Johnstone used some of the prize money to make a pilot for a comedy. Though the project went nowhere, TV3 went on to screen two seasons of his award-winning comedy The Jaquie Brown Diaries. In 2014 Johnstone’s first movie — horror comedy Housebound — garnered acclaim, awards and interest from America. In 2016 Johnstone rebooted 80s series Terry and the Gunrunners as Terry Teo. The show’s online debut won headlines, after it was judged too mature to screen in a children’s slot. Johnstone’s second feature is Blumhouse horror movie M3gan, from an idea by James Wan.

– Bio taken from NZ on Screen


Dominic Corry has been one of New Zealand’s most vocal and enthusiastic film critics for over ten years.

His reviews, columns and features appear in the NZ Herald,, Herald on Sunday and He introduces New Zealand films every Friday night on TVNZ Heartland, and talks about movies on TV ONE Breakfast, George FM and Radio Hauraki.His favourite New Zealand films are The Quiet Earth and Housebound.

Script to Screen TALKS are made possible thanks to generous support from
New Zealand Film Commission & Foundation North. A special thanks to our venue sponsor Capitol Cinema.




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