Are you a new filmmaker? Here are some tips for scriptwriting, film production, distribution and marketing. 

You will also find links to some useful websites and articles . We will regularly update this section but if you find anything not in these guidelines that you would like to share, please send the link or PDF of an article to

Here are some things you can do to help start your filmmaking career. 

Be informed

Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter. This will keep you updated on New Zealand film industry, events, job opportunities and the filmmakers/films being funded. Most New Zealand film organisations and industry guilds also have newsletters. A list of these organisations and links to their websites can be found in Partner Organisations. Be as well-informed as you can about the industry. That way you will have a more realistic idea of where your film fits into it.

Skills and knowledge

There are plenty of filmmaking workshops and talks that you can attend to broaden your filmmaking knowledge and skills. Script to Screen and WIFT both hold regular events in Wellington and Auckland. There will also be extra internship opportunities advertised through the Film Commission or the guilds.

Industry contacts

Filmmaking is not a venture you can easily undertake alone. The best way to make industry contacts is by attending networking events like our regular industry functions, and larger film conferences such as The Big Screen Symposium or the SPADA Conference. Websites such as The Data Book or NZ Techos’ Guild can also be helpful in finding cast and crew members.

Gaining experience

The more filmmaking experience you can get, the better. It could be from working on your own film project or on someone else’s. Film competitions are a great way to try out new ideas. Good competitions to enter include Rialto Channel 48HOURS, The Outlook for Someday and Tropfest. Websites such as Screenhub or The Big Idea also list job opportunities in the film industry.

Professional feedback

Once you have a solid script that is ready for development it’s a good idea to get feedback from an industry professional who can give you impartial advice. The New Zealand Writers’ Guild offers a script assessment service. You will need to pay for an assessment but it is well worth it. 

Learn what works 

Take the time to do your research. Watch films that we have funded in the past or films that have had international success at festivals. There are common elements we look for which make a film concept strong.

Last updated: 
Tuesday, 10 February 2015