We use cookies to ensure we give you the best experience of our website. By accepting, you agree to the use of cookies as described in our privacy policy.

Computer design students with teacher

Why you should Launch Your Filmmaking Career in New Zealand

Are you thinking about a career in film?

Senior professionals from New Zealand’s world-leading film industry say the country’s innovative, high quality education system can give film students a great start.

We asked some of the top talent behind the epic new blockbuster Mortal Engines why New Zealand is a great launch pad for international students aiming for a future in film.

Hear from:

  • Liz Mullane, casting director for Mortal Engines, The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Narnia series
  • Brendan Heffernan, an art director for Mortal Engines, Thor: Ragnarok and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • Cath Maguire, extras’ hair and make-up coordinator for Mortal Engines. Her other credits include The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit trilogies

1. What’s the best thing about studying filmmaking in New Zealand?

Liz: “Everything! Kiwi actors and film crew are highly regarded around the world for talent and work ethic.”

Cath: “Most make-up educators in New Zealand are working artists who are still immersed in the industry. They give up-to-date training, and are able to offer hands-on work experience on films.”

Brendan: “A New Zealand education prepares graduates to adapt and be all-rounders.”

2. What are some of the benefits of studying filmmaking?

Liz: “You see the bigger picture and gain more confidence.”

Cath: “Training is fantastic for giving you the confidence that you know the basics of how a film works and what your role is within the film.’

Brendan: “Film design requires technicians and artists to be self-driven. Tertiary education is useful preparation for the independent practice required for the film industry.”

3. How did your New Zealand education help you succeed in the film industry?

Liz: “Studying introduced me to different ways of thinking and of processing information. It was a very nurturing yet stimulating environment. It also provided a networking framework, which has been invaluable.”

Cath: “My course gave me a great base of product knowledge and application techniques, as well as an idea of the hours of film work and what would be expected of me as a make-up artist.”

Brendan: “A background in art, composition, manufacturing processes and visual storytelling has prepared me well for a career in film.”

Start your education journey today
Find your study match

Recent graduate Eric Christianson worked on Mortal Engines. Watch how studying in New Zealand helped his career.


By Linley Boniface

Updated 3 years ago

Linley Boniface is a contract writer for Education New Zealand. She is based in Wellington, her favourite city in New Zealand. A former journalist, Linley spent a year in Montreal, Canada, as a secondary school student. 

*Views expressed are the blogger's own
Share this article

Keep in touch. Don't miss out on the latest posts.

Subscribe to Blog

Stay in touch

For personalised tips and tools for studying in New Zealand.

Please complete all of the fields below.

Please enter a valid email address.

Please enter a first name.

Please enter a last name.

Please select a country.

Please select a valid date (MM/YYYY).

this includes the existence, status and outcome of any visa application I submit, for use in accordance with, and for the purposes set out in, Education New Zealand’s Privacy Policy which I have read and understood. The results Education New Zealand receives may also include visa decisions pre/post the student visa application (such as a work visa post study). This will enable us to provide a more personalised digital experience and undertake research and analytical studies associated with our functions.

You can unsubscribe at any time By submitting this form I agree to Education New Zealand Privacy Policy, and to receive updates and marketing communications about their services, promotions, special offers, new and events.

Thanks for subscribing

Tohu icon

Kia ora! Get answers to your questions about studying in New Zealand

Learn More