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Shortland Street

Weeknights at 7pm | TV2

Directors - Take 3

You may have heard the news that Jacquie Nairn (aka Wendy Cooper) has taken on a role as a trainee director behind the cameras now that Wendy is no longer.

Under the tutelage of some of our experienced directors, Jacquie is mastering the art of directing so that she too might join the ranks and take on this challenging role in the future. 

Interestingly, Jacquie is yet another actor that has moved behind the camera after their time as an actor on the show ended. Actors such as Kiel McNaughton (Scotty), Kathy McRae (Brenda) and Renato Bartolomei (Craig) and even Angela Bloomfield (Rachel) have had a stint as directors on Shortland Street.

Directors are responsible for overseeing creative aspects of the show under the producer.

They often develop the vision for medium and carry the vision out, deciding how the show should look.

They are responsible for turning the script into a sequence of shots. They also direct what tone it should have and what an audience should gain from the cinematic experience.


So let's take a look at the group of talented directors who are currently at the helm of Shortland Street.


Oliver Driver

Actor/presenter Oliver Driver's career has seen him fronting arts programmes and breakfast show Sunrise, facing attack by mutant sheep, playing a sensitive sperm donor (in Magik and Rose) and a rebellious Shortland Street nurse (he played Mike Galloway from 1997 – 1999.

The ex-Auckland Theatre Company artistic director has also spent time as co-owner of music station Alt TV, and played the villainous Mr Wilberforce in the 2009 movie remake of Under the Mountain.

Driver joined the Shortland Street directing team in 2011 and has also directed another TV2 series, Step Dave.

Driver is also a talented theatre director.



Richard Barr

Richard spent 12 years as a 1st Assistant Director on a vast number of shows including Xena: Warrior PrincessPower Rangers, Mataku and The Market, before making the leap into directing.

He has directed several episodes of Outrageous Fortune and is now currently working full time on Shortland Street.


Geoff Cawthorn

Auckland-based Geoffrey Cawthorn has been directing drama and documentary for over 15 years, both in Australia and his native New Zealand.

His first television gig was working in the documentary department of TVNZ. There he worked on Crimewatch, and learnt about everything from shooting and film editing to multi-camera techniques.

In 1989 Cawthorn relocated to Sydney where he worked at SBS as a director and editor on The Movie Show, and Front Up which became one of the network’s longest running series. Cawthorn then crossed over into drama, directing Australian staples like Home and Away,  All Saints, and Stingers.

His work on ABC/BBC children's series Eugenie Sandler P.I. brought an AFI nomination. Cawthorn continued to return to work in New Zealand throughout this period. 

His black comedy Philosophy won the Best Short Film award at the 1999 NZ Film Awards, and screened in a number of international festivals. Cawthorn helmed the third Lawless tele-movie Beyond Justice, and directed the pilot episodes of Rude Awakenings and Mercy Peak. He was nominated for best drama director for the latter. 

Cawthorn was also heavily involved in The Market, filmed on location in urban Otara and focusing on a Māori and Polynesian family at war.

Cawthorn continues to have an ongoing connection with long-running soap Shortland Street, for which he has directed many episodes.

He has shown his skills in fantasy by directing for Margaret Mahy series Maddigan’s Quest, The Amazing Extraordinary Friends, and Xena follow-up Legend of the Seeker.


Caroline Bell-Booth

Caroline has worked at Shortland Street in many different guises over a number of years. She has also previously worked as a storyliner on Shorty and whilst working for TVNZ she was the creative director behind a number of promotional campaigns for the show.

Bell-Booth is also a talented theatre director.


Ian Hughes

Another familiar face from TV, Ian starred on Shortland Street as Martin ‘Sticky’ Stickwell from 2003 – 2005.

He’s also starred in a host of other television shows including Go Girls , The Brokenwood Mysteries and Nothing Trivial,  as well as a role in The Lord of The Rings.

Ian has also directed Step Dave.