Richard Taylor

Creative Advisor, Exec. Producer & Company Director

Richard Taylor is the Co-Owner of Pukeko Pictures and Weta Workshop. Richard began Pukeko Pictures with his wife Tania Rodger and partner Martin Baynton due to their combined love for children’s television and the desire to deliver highly compelling programming through the medium of locally made high quality television to children globally.
The five time Academy Award© winning Design and Effects Supervisor draws upon 27 years of working in the creative industries. Richard has also won 35 other international and domestic entertainment, business and community awards for his endeavours in the film and television disciplines including four British Academy of Film and Television Awards and two Visual Effects Society awards.
In 2010 he was awarded a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to film and two years later he was named Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year. He and Tania are Patrons for the Neonatal Trust in New Zealand.
Richard started Weta Workshop over 20 years ago with Tania as it was their dream to establish a special effects facility to enhance and support the New Zealand film and television industry. Richard has also been working in China for the past 17 years and brings a strong working relationship with the Chinese creative industry to his endeavours at Pukeko Pictures.

Martin Baynton

Chief Creative Officer & Executive Producer

Martin Baynton is the Co-Owner of Pukeko Pictures and Chief Creative Officer where he leads the creative and development teams to build Pukeko Pictures’ properties from conception through to production and beyond. He has an international reputation as a Writer and Illustrator of more than 30 children’s books including Jane and the Dragon, and the Fifty the Tractor series. Since it was first published in 1986, the Jane and the Dragon book series has never been out of print. His publishers include Scholastic, Walker Books, Greenwillow, Penguin and Reed Methuen.
Martin has worked in stage, radio and TV as a Producer, Director, Actor, Screenwriter and Script Editor.
He created the Jane and The Dragon TV series based on his books and co-created The WotWots with Richard Taylor. He is Executive Producer on Cleverman.

Angela Littlejohn

Head of Production

Prior to returning to New Zealand in 2000, Angela spent 15 years in the UK working in the film and television industry. She acted for 6 years as Drama Co-Production Executive at Channel 4 and Film4. Films made during her tenure included Trainspotting, Secrets and Lies, Brassed Off, Welcome to Sarejevo and Ken Loach’s Carla’s Song. TV Drama included Queer as Folk, Anna Karenina, Sword of Honour, Longitude and Shackleton.

Since returning to New Zealand she has produced feature films Show of Hands, Apron Strings and Separation City. She co-produced Channel 4’s BAFTA winning Not Only But Always and NZ on Air Platinum Funds tele-features Tangiwai, Rage, Pirates of the Airways, Field Punishment and drama series Harry. Her latest film Slow West starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Ben Mendelsohn won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2015.

Angela has been an active member of the screen industry in NZ and has served on the NZ SPADA board for a number of years and worked as a freelance consultant for the New Zealand Film Commission.

She recently produced the international TV drama series Cleverman Season 1, a NZ/Australian co-production co-produced with Rosemary Blight from Goalpost Pictures and executive produced Cleverman Season 2. She is the Executive Producer of the recently completed feature film The Changeover and is currently working as Series Producer on Kiddets , a pre-school animation TV series which is the first NZ/China official TV co-production. She is currently in advanced development on Herbert a family live action feature film which she is producing with Writer/Producer William McKegg.

Michael Polis

Head of Development / Children & Family

Michael Polis works with Pukeko Pictures on the company’s children’s and family entertainment portfolio, developing content to secure broadcast and co-production deals for new and pre-existing Pukeko Pictures’ properties. In addition, he has a first look deal with Pukeko Pictures through his Los Angeles based Atomic Toybox Entertainment production company for the development of new children’s television projects for the global marketplace.
With significant expertise in production, marketing, licensing and property development, he has created content for some of the world’s most celebrated brands. He was the former CEO of Wildbrain Entertainment and has served as a senior executive in various capacities at The Jim Henson Company, Universal Studios, DHX and Kraft. With 4 Emmy Award nominations, he has served as Executive Producer on global properties including Yo Gabba Gabba! for Nickelodeon, The Muppets for Sony as well as several projects for HBO, Disney and Mattel.

Jeremy Hall

Head of Digital Content & Strategy

Jeremy is an award-winning producer with over 25 years of experience in creating and executing global animated content across the USA, UK, Europe, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. Jeremy was profiled at MIPCOM 2012 as a major producer from Singapore in original animated content.
A technical pioneer, Jeremy began his industry career developing the first Academy Award-winning digital film compositing system at Computer Film Company that heralded the beginning of digital CGI effects. Jeremy has always been at the forefront of film technology, aiding the development of digital intermediate and helping to create and define the process of shooting full-length live action features in digital 3D stereo that led to the advent of stereoscopic feature film production and paved the way for 3D cinema.
Jeremy has previously worked at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop in the UK and was a founder of One Animation in Singapore, where he developed and produced original animated television series and the award-winning Rob The Robot, Oddbods and The Insectibles.

Matthew Darragh

Series Director / Kiddets

Matthew Darragh is a New Zealand born Writer, Director and Animator with 15 years industry experience in Europe and New Zealand. He has worked on preschool shows for Disney, Warner Bros and Silvergate with recent credits including episodic directing Disney’s Emmy nominated preschool show Henry Hugglemonster for Brown Bag Films in Dublin. Matthew has written and directed four award winning short films including the IFTA nominated Pilgrim and The Monk and the Fly. His latest film An Ode to Love was recently awarded Best Animation at the Rome International Film Festival and Best Animated Film at the prestigious Foyle Film Festival in Northern Ireland. He is currently Series Director on The Kiddets for Pukeko Pictures.

Dries Naudé

Director / Kiddets

Dries comes from an animation background and has a strong technical and creative ability in the field. He has worked internationally as an illustrator, animator, editor, writer and director, with a range of experience across advertising, mobile gaming and television. His most recent work includes writing and animating for the television show, Sindbad And The Seven Galaxies. He is currently 2nd director on Kiddets.

Stuart McAra

Producer / TAG & Book Hungry Bears

Stuart McAra is Pukeko Pictures’ Producer for Thunderbirds Are Go. Stuart has had an extensive career in the film and television industry and was most recently Visual Effects Supervising Producer at LucasFilm Animation in Singapore and worked on Avengers, Iron Man 2 and Transformers 3. He was also employed by Sony Pictures as a Visual Effects Producer on Legends of Zorro and Double Negative and was also Director of Visual Effects for Harry Potter, Atonement and 10,000BC.

Tim Gaul

Series Director / Book Hungry Bears

Coming Soon

Bonnie Philp

Director / 199 Little Heroes

Bonnie Philp joined the production and development team at Pukeko Pictures early 2015. She has since been Post-Production Coordinator on the first season of Cleverman and produced the New Zealand episode of the documentary series 199 Little Heroes. Currently Bonnie is resuming her role on Cleverman season 2 as VFX & Post-Production Coordinator, while also joining the post-production team on the feature film The Changeover. Most recently, Bonnie co-produced Michelle Savill’s upcoming short film BATS, in association with Toi Whakaari.

Bevin Linkhorn

Story Producer / Kiddets

Coming Soon

Rowena Patterson

Post Production Supervisor

Rowena is responsible for coordinating the senior management team of Pukeko Pictures as well as office managing for the company’s production, accounting and creative employees. Currently she works across all of Pukeko Pictures’ projects but later this year she will be appointed the Post Production Supervisor on the second season of Cleverman. She has worked in London for over 10 years and held roles as Production Administrator, Post Coordinator and Post Supervisor in the now ITV Drama, Comedy and Film department where she worked on a number of TV shows and films including Prime Suspect, Cold Feet, Zhivago and The Queen.

Mahria Sangster

VFX Production Manager

Mahria is Pukeko Pictures’ Visual Effects Production Manager responsible for managing all the Visual Effects for projects in development. With more than 15 years of experience in the visual effects industry, Mahria joined Pukeko Pictures from Vancouver, where she worked for nearly two years as a Central Resource Manager and a 3D Artist Manager. Prior to moving overseas, she worked extensively at Weta Digital in Production roles including Production Manager for feature films such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Avatar, as well as a brief stint as a Lighting Artist working on feature films including King Kong and The Waterhorse.

Sharon Lark

Producer

Sharon Lark is Pukeko Pictures’ Visual Effects Producer and Post Production Supervisor for Cleverman as well as the Originating Producer on Thunderbirds Are Go. Sharon is a highly regarded Producer with a comprehensive background in Visual FX. Prior to moving back to New Zealand, Sharon was an independent Visual Effects Producer in the UK for television and big budget feature films such as James Bond – Casino Royale.

Samuel Wilkes

Animation Supervisor / Kiddets

Samuel Wilkes is Pukeko Pictures’ Animation Supervisor for Kiddets. In this role Samuel utilises his studio experience to oversee all animated elements of the series.
In his career, Samuel has combined his experience in Animation Supervising and Directing with a passion for achieving a good character performance. His past roles have spanned Animation Artist, Modelling Artist and VR Generalist and he has worked across 16 productions across feature film and television including as Beast of Burden, Watch the Skies and April 25, Giggle and Hoot, and Sindbad.

Mary Guo

Designer & Art Director

As a Designer and Art Director at Pukeko Pictures Mary is involved in all aspects from animation, environmental design, 3D modelling as well as illustration and is currently working on new series Kiddets. With a Computer Science degree from Nanjing University of Technology, Mary has worked on concept design and animations for EA Sports games and been involved in website design and the animation of Snailgame.

Rosie Jones

Post Production Coordinator

Rosie is responsible for coordination of Post Production services for Pukeko Pictures’ projects. Currently she is serving as Post Production Coordinator on Kiddets and Co-Producer on Hundred99 Little Heroes. Previous to these roles Rosie assisted with post-production on season 2 of Cleverman and the feature film, The Changeover. Previous to joining Pukeko Pictures Rosie worked for the New Zealand International Film Festival. Rosie has a background in theatre, working for the Theatre Royal in Bath and teaching drama to primary school children. Rosie produced a short film Nan, which was a winner of the Royal Television Society West of England Student Television Awards for Best Short Film in 2015.

Kai Ma

Production Assistant

Kai is a Production Assistant on Pukeko Pictures’ 3D animated kids’ series Kiddets, working to support the crew and various departments during production. Prior to this, Kai worked as a 3D story board artist for the company, with involvement on projects such as Thunderbirds Are Go.
Kai previously worked as a Compositor for State Production Base of China Film Group on a range of entertainment content including the film Confucius, and additionally speaks Mandarin fluently. Kai also has experience as a Rotoscope Artist and Compositor on titles such as Lan, Green Forest, Han Yao Ji and San Guo.

Samuel Wilkes

Animation Supervisor / Kiddets

Samuel Wilkes is Pukeko Pictures’ Animation Supervisor for Kiddets. In this role Samuel utilises his studio experience to oversee all animated elements of the series.
In his career, Samuel has combined his experience in Animation Supervising and Directing with a passion for achieving a good character performance. His past roles have spanned Animation Artist, Modelling Artist and VR Generalist and he has worked across 16 productions across feature film and television including as Beast of Burden, Watch the Skies and April 25, Giggle and Hoot, and Sindbad.

Mary Guo

Designer & Art Director

As a Designer and Art Director at Pukeko Pictures Mary is involved in all aspects from animation, environmental design, 3D modelling as well as illustration and is currently working on new series Kiddets. With a Computer Science degree from Nanjing University of Technology, Mary has worked on concept design and animations for EA Sports games and been involved in website design and the animation of Snailgame.

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