Screentalk Interviews Rob Tapert on NZ On Screen Part 1 of 2
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American producer Rob Tapert talks to NZ On Screen about hearing that New Zealand was an undiscovered production treasure in a studio carpark and he discusses the internationally popular syndicated TV programmes that hes brought here (Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules) that have helped realise that vision.
These productions were instrumental in building the skill base of the NZ cast and crew. Many NZ actors found fame through their characters, particularly Lucy Lawless (now married to Tapert) and Michael Hurst (Iolas in Hercules).
Tapert talks about his beginnings in the industry: dropping out of grad school in Michighan (where, Hollywood might as well have been as far away as New Zealand) to make films with long time business partner and Hollywood director, Sam – Evil Dead, Spider-Man – Raimi. Tapert also discusses:
- Making blood mixture on their first feature, Evil Dead.
- The inherent difference between feature films and television.
- His involvement in Hercules and the challenges of juggling global productions.
- His commitment to local cast and crew and the unlikely inspiration for Hercules cast (Desperate Remedies).
- His inspirations for Hercules spin-off Xena and the internets influence on Xena becoming a pop culture icon.
- Why local actors and directors have succeeded on these productions, but NZ writers havent managed the crossover and why post-production fx were done in the US.
Rob continues to bring new productions to NZ, and is about to cast a new adult series for US Cable TV. Tappert has recently finished producing another major TV series in Auckland, Legend of the Seeker.