With great sadness the NZFC and the New Zealand screen industry bids farewell to director and producer Nigel Hutchinson.
Hutchinson began his film career in London where he worked as a press officer for the London branch of Walt Disney Productions. Wanting a more hands-on involvement with filmmaking, he joined forces with New Zealand cinematographer Graeme Cowley in London before emigrating to New Zealand in 1974 to form two companies: production company Motion Pictures Limited, and equipment rental company, Film Facilities.
Geoff Murphy shared a hand-written script for Goodbye Pork Pie with Hutchinson after working with him on a commercial. Impressed by it, Hutchinson offered whatever help he could. He co-produced the film with Murphy, and even appears on screen as a dairy owner in Gore. On release in 1981, Goodbye Pork Pie became a local blockbuster, making $1.6 million at the New Zealand box office which equated to 600,000 admissions.
Goodbye Pork Pie was also the first New Zealand film to screen in the market of the Cannes Film Festival. Nigel was proud to attend the festival and with the NZFC’s Lindsay Shelton, managed to sell the film to 20 countries.
Following Goodbye Pork Pie, Hutchinson produced the Cowley directed international jet-boating documentary, Jetstream. After this, the pair’s interests diverged, with Cowley taking over the running of Film Facilities, while Hutchinson focused on Motion Pictures Limited, producing and directing commercials. He collected numerous awards for his work, including a Gold Lion at Cannes, a Gold Cleo and a Mobius Award.
Hutchinson’s last feature film was Gaylene Preston’s 2010, Home By Christmas on which he acted as Executive Producer.
Our thoughts and best wishes are with Nigel’s family.