Posts by Stephen Knightly

  • Hard News: Labour's RNZ+ plan: largely coherent,

    What was missing from Labour's high level screen industry policy was mention of growing the industry via interactive media like gaming, VR and AR. Maybe that falls under economic development instead.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 25 posts Report

  • Hard News: Understanding the Audiences,

    The NZ On Air Audience report is really comprehensive, but I'm disappointed they didn't look at anything interactive like apps, ebooks, interactive documentaries and games yet they look at more niche things like torrenting and webseries. It only looks at how to take linear content and distribute it in digital ways. NZ On Air's Digital Media Fund does fund apps and the like and this report is supposed to inform their strategic review so interactive media are worryingly conspicuous by their absence.

    I make educational video games and it's just odd that games or even non-entertainment apps are missing from government creative sector thinking these days. Most countries include interactive media and games in their screen industry programmes.

    The NZOA report talks a lot about generational differences, so I checked that out for gaming via IGEA's Digital NZ 2016 audience report. Apparently 43% of NZ 65+ year olds play games, which is more than stream video or music according to the NZOA report. I appreciate NZOA are trying to figure out how to best allocate limited funds and support emerging trends, but I was disappointed they didn't at least ask the question.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 25 posts Report

  • Hard News: Movie Disaster, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    No more than if we gave 100 foreigners a subsidy to buy million dollar villas in Ponsonby. That’d be $100 million in “magic” foreign money.

    Apparently foreign money is magic. The government has a goal of lifting the ratio of exports to GDP from the current 30% to 40% by 2025. The export screen sector has been playing its part and are now pointing out that they won't be able to much more.

    An even better idea, investing in IP, would be like giving the $30m to New Zealanders to create something worth $70m with long-term payoffs. Heck, we even could partner with the foreigners if it de-risks the project or guarantees distribution.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 25 posts Report

  • Hard News: Movie Disaster, in reply to Phil Gregory,

    All this talk of New Zealand getting it’s own stories up so we can control the IP is all well and good, but it’s also good to make other people’s stuff here.

    I agree. I see three parts of the puzzle: public broadcasting, international contract work and then original IP. Each builds on the former.

    In times when contract work is short we need to be able to move on to making original IP with all that industry capacity and skill we built up. I'm sure there are a lot of currently out of work producers, directors and writers brushing off that old script or pitch right now, but then what?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 25 posts Report

  • Hard News: Movie Disaster,

    Yep, the purpose of our govt screen agencies is both economic development and cultural independence. The Film Commission's goal is for New Zealand to have "a sustainable and internationally competitive screen sector."

    If it was exclusively about cultural independence, then it can only ever be a continual public broadcasting subsidy and there will never be enough. Developing global IP is the opportunity for some sustainable revenue.

    As things go digital, NZers will increasingly watch programmes on Netflix and YouTube rather than TVNZ OnDemand. If we want NZers to experience NZ stories then we'll have to put our content on those global platforms. For instance, many Kiwis found Lorde on SoundCloud first. Going digital naturally means going global.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 25 posts Report

  • Hard News: Movie Disaster, in reply to Chaz Harris,

    and in that case it might not always need to be shot in New Zealand to be beneficial to us anyway.

    The latest Buzzy Bee TV series was produced in Malaysia, but the IP is owned by New Zealanders. ( )

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 25 posts Report

  • Hard News: Movie Disaster,

    I agree with David. IP-development is the missing piece of the puzzle. The screen industry has developed excellent capability from doing contract work and from public broadcasting, but there is little support for the next step if those now skilled, Academy Award-winning people wanted to make their own thing and take it global. I see a lot of producers pushing the boundaries of existing film funds to make something which is both a New Zealand story and would appeal internationally, but they’re never going to make Ironman.

    From some of Peter Jackson’s recent comments ( ) it sounds like he’d like to go back to making original IP himself.

    I work in video games and NZ’s game development industry is growing hugely. Our revenue is 99% export and mostly original IP. The domestic market is too small, so our success has come from creating and owning original IP, going global and publishing it digitally ourselves. We keep the margin that could have gone to a publisher, spin off sequels and grow a loyal following. The margins are higher and the profits stay in NZ to be invested again. A similar model can be applied to film and TV too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 25 posts Report

  • Hard News: It's NetHui Week,

    I'm on the economic opportunities panel on Friday morning, sharing lessons from our fast-growing video games export sector.

    However, I'm just as passionate about how we can beef up e-learning, e-health and citizen engagement using games and game techniques. We get a lot of our digital literacy from games and games are the early adopters of many new approaches

    For me, NetHui is about connecting with diverse Internet stakeholders and users, not just the 'usual suspects'.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 25 posts Report

  • Hard News: Fixing Auckland,

    My pet topic with regards to waterfront redevelopment: rip down the Red Fences and donate them to MOTAT.

    The port's Red Fences will have to come down one day, MOTAT is a natural home for this piece of transport history, plus they need a better fence along Great North Rd.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 25 posts Report

  • Hard News: The Orcon Great Blend 2010:…,

    As it's in the Wintergarden, is this a sequel to 'The Grok?'

    That was my wife and I's first date.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 25 posts Report

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