Thunderbirds Are Go writer to share experiences at AnimfxNZ15

Rob Hoegee

Rob Hoegee

Press Release- Some parents may not equate watching TV with building a career, but for writer Rob Hoegee it led to a dream job.

Hoegee, who has written for several animated television series including Teen Titans, will share his experiences as head writer for the Thunderbirds Are Go series at the AnimfxNZ digital entertainment conference in Wellington on November 6.

“As a kid, I watched a lot of TV, so bringing a classic series to a new audience was something I was really excited about.”

Thunderbirds Are Go is produced by ITV Studios and New Zealand based Pukeko Pictures, in collaboration with world-famous Weta Workshop (Avatar, King Kong, The Lord of the Rings). At AnimfxNZ, Hoegee and Series Director David Scott, of Pukeko Pictures, will talk about how the art, direction and writing teams collaborate to produce the series, often across great distances.

“It’s a truly international production, with teams in the US, UK, Taiwan and New Zealand, but modern technology means we’re only a click away.” 

“As writers we definitely benefit from the involvement of visual artists. Storyboard artists and directors can offer ideas we may not have thought of and it helps with continuity of our creative vision.”

Hoegee says the experience has been rewarding.

“I’m constantly amazed at what Pukeko Pictures and Weta Workshop have been able to do on the series. There’s a proven talent base for film and TV production in Wellington and it’s now become a destination for creative people.”

Hoegee is proud that the Thunderbirds Are Go series is as inventive as Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s original Thunderbirds series. 

“It’s inventive, creative and futuristic, like the classic series. The gear, gadgets and tech are just as cool to kids watching now as they were to kids who watched in the ‘60’s.”

The series has been aired in 40 countries and its popularity in New Zealand has seen TVNZ move it to the popular Saturday morning timeslot. Since its debut in Australia in July, each episode has attracted 200,000 viewers.

Hoegee says he is looking forward to learning from others at the AnimfxNZ conference.
“It’s always nice to be in a forum of creative people talking shop, and Wellington is a fun place to be.”

Hoegee will also run a workshop for students and writers, supported by Pukeko Pictures.

Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency Chief Executive Chris Whelan says the impact of sector development conferences such as AnimfxNZ should not be underestimated.

“Our screen sector is world-class. It’s important that we nurture that talent by inviting international experts to share their knowledge, and by creating a forum for collaboration.” 

The Thunderbirds Are Go series is aired in New Zealand on TV2, Sunday at 6pm.
AnimfxNZ is New Zealand’s conference for Animation, Visual Effects and Game Development experts. It is organised by Grow Wellington, a unit of the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency.

Pukeko Pictures is an independent entertainment production company focused on the development and production of excellent quality multi-platform entertainment for a global audience.  Pukeko Pictures was formed in 2008 by Sir Richard Taylor, Tania Rodger and Martin Baynton, and is located in Wellington, New Zealand. With a connection to the world famous Weta Workshop (Avatar, King Kong, Lord of the Rings), Pukeko Pictures is uniquely positioned in the creation of world-leading entertainment, harnessing the best in global talent and world-class production processes. Weta Workshop is not to be confused with Weta Digital, the VFX company owned by Peter Jackson.



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