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Goodbye Automatic, hello Waitemata

They’re the producer and director duo responsible for DairyNZ’s ‘Other Countries’, the NZBlood campaign, Fisher & Paykel’s ‘Lost My Sock’ and L&P ‘Tourism Paeroa’. And after doing the business with Automatic Films, Mike Oldershaw and Johnny Blick have decided to form their own production company called Waitemata Films.

Blick and Oldershaw were there when Automatic Films was born five or six years ago and while Blick says the pair have really enjoyed their time there and remain good mates with the guys, they’re both pushing 40 so it was the right time to “move on and achieve some other things”.

As for the name, it basically came about due to the creative ineptitude of Josh Lancaster and Jamie Hitchcock. During the two week international shoot on the DairyNZ job, Blick says they asked them for their creative expertise to come up with a good name. He says they had plenty of ideas on what not to call it, but when they landed in Auckland they had nothing.

“They’re totally over-rated,” Blick says. But luckily the camera assistant suggested Waitemata Films, which felt right.

“We love making commercials, we work bloody hard and we really enjoy what we do. It’s a pretty basic business formula that’s worked so far”, says Blick, who has been producing for over ten years now.

Just as Josh&Jamie managed to establish a reputation as something of a house of Kiwiana during its short existence, Blick and Oldershaw have also earned a solid reputation with its localised brand work for Kiwi companies. Like their ad creative brethren, he says they just get the colloquial humour and can create the local feel that many of these Kiwi brands are currently looking to tap into.

Waitemata Films will be aligned with Cherub Pictures in Australia, which has directors boasting several Cannes Lions, AWARD & Sundance gongs on the roster. It is also responsible for a couple of Campaign Brief’s Top 30 TVC’s of the decade.

“We share a commonality of just wanting to do really good creative work across all mediums”, says Oldershaw.

The Cherub Pictures directors are available in New Zealand through the Waitemata Films office. At this point it’s just the two of them, but their ears are to the ground on the look out for like-minded teams and Blick says more local directors will be added soon.

“We’ve settled into our Ponsonby Rd office with a view of the Waitemata Harbour and if Waitemata Sparkling Ale still existed [turns out it does, temporarily]we’d be celebrating with a few crates of that. Instead I guess we will just have a couple of Peronis.”

For contact details and to see the work click here.

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