Career Stories

Thursday 10th August 9am - 2pm & 4pm - 8pm
Friday 11th August 9am - 2pm

Mercury Baypark Arena. Free entry

Want to work in the film industry? we talk to BOP Film CEO Anton about just that

Want to work in the film industry? we talk to BOP Film CEO Anton about just that

Anton Steel CEO of Bay of Plenty Film, the Regional Film Office whose focus is growing the Screen Media Industry in the Bay of Plenty.
What did you want to be when you were 16?
Probably a professional surfer
What did you end up doing when you left school?
When I left University I got a job as a runner on Xena, an American TV show that was being filmed in Auckland. I worked mainly for that company (Pacific Renaissance) for 3 years on several different shows. It was a fantastic learning experience kind of like my 2nd University degree...
Describe a day in your life at work:
I don’t seem to have a typical day at work - sometimes I’m helicoptering into remote fantastic filming locations with Film Scouts or Producers, sometimes I’m making a film with 20+ aspiring young filmmakers as part of a workshop, sometimes I’m pitching for multi-million dollar film projects to come to the Bay of Plenty at an industry party in Los Angeles, however most of the time I seem to write a lot of emails and go to a lot of meetings!
Why do you love your job/career?
In the old days you ran away to the circus, these days you run away to the film industry. I love entering the “world” of each project you work on whether it's a Chinese Kung Fu Film, an American Sci-fi kids comedy or a Fantasy with amazing creatures, costumes and sets. I love the act of visual storytelling and making things appear real on camera. I love the seeing the story become real in the edit suite. And I love the whanau atmosphere of film sets and all the wonderful crazy talented people you get to meet and work with from around the world.
How did you get into your career?
I started at the bottom and worked my way up. I like to say that 21 years ago I got my start by working for free and 21 years later I’m still working for free haha but that's not always true. You can earn very good money in the Screen Media Industry. My background is 21 years in the film industry working as a Director, Assistant Director and Producer on 20+ Feature Films and a lot of overseas TV that has filmed in New Zealand.
What qualifications did you study?
I studied a BA with an English Major but all of my major leaning has been on film sets learning from the best in the industry from around NZ and the world.
Do you have any advice for getting into your sector?
Start at the bottom and learn from those more experienced than you, you are not going to know it all, even if you went to the best film school in the world. Have a strong work ethic, be proactive and don’t sit around waiting to be told what to do - see what needs doing And also don’t be afraid to start working for free (if you are good this will change quickly). You often need to follow the work to get into the film industry but our aim is to bring productions to the Bay of Plenty so you can work here.
What do you wish you had done differently?
I spent a lot of years working as an Assistant Director on some really large projects which was fantastic for my wallet but I wish I had concentrated more on directing my own projects earlier. 
What would you say to your teenage self about defining your future?
Dream big and you’ll find yourself in some epic places. And go surfing now... as much as you can….. you’ll probably get busy later in your life!!! 

Title Film Industry

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