ScreenTalk: Alison Maclean

Alison Maclean
Canadian-born to New Zealand parents, writer and director Alison Maclean helmed one of the most successful NZ Film Commission-funded short films of all time, Kitchen Sink.

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Canadian-born to New Zealand parents, writer and director Alison Maclean helmed one of the most successful NZ Film Commission-funded short films of all time, Kitchen Sink, which debuted at Cannes and won eight international awards.

A graduate of Elam School of Fine Arts, she has directed feature films Crush (which she also wrote) and Jesus’ Son. A director of commercials and television series including Sex and the City and Gossip Girl, Maclean divides her time between New York, Canada and New Zealand, and she is developing several feature films.

In this ScreenTalk, Maclean talks about:

  • Meeting life-long film industry friends whilst working on Geoff Stevens’ Strata as a summer holiday job
  • Persuading her sculpture department professors to let her make her first short film, Taunt
  • Casting a real rugby player to play an All Black in Rud’s Wife
  • The joy of directing anti-apartheid music video Don’t Go with Chris Knox, Don McGlashan and Rick Bryant
  • Using film to open up the aural medium of radio in Talkback
  • How she treated the writing of Kitchen Sink as an assignment
  • How a black and white photograph in the NZ Listener led Maclean to discover Kitchen Sink actress Theresa Healey
  • Where all that hair came from for Peter Tait’s character in Kitchen Sink
  • The charmed experience and enduring popularity of Kitchen Sink
  • How a road trip with a family friend led to her debut feature film, Crush
  • Directing episodes of Sex and the City and Gossip Girl


This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.

NZ On Screen: Camera & Editing: Gemma Gracewood and Mark Weston

Written by

NZ On Screen

8 Jan 2013

Interests www.nzonscreen.com

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