Behind the scenes - Technical Direction

Meet Shortland Street Technical Producer – Malcolm Saunders

What is the role of the Technical Producer?
As Technical Producer I am responsible for the overall lighting design and technical look of the production. This responsibility extends to both the on air look and day to day quality control. Most of my time is spent carrying out my role from the control room, where I lead and liaise with a team of very talented individuals on the floor who share these responsibilities with me. George Platt works as the Technical Manager and Michael Urban and Christiaan Abernethy as LX assists.

How does working as a Technical Producer on Shortland Street differ from other productions?
Shortland Street is faster, longer, tastier and bigger than any other sausage factory I’ve worked at. However, I must stress that we make the best sausages. In a nutshell, the pure volume of television we produce separates us from every other production in the country.

How long have you worked at Shortland Street?
I have worked here for fifteen years since the very first day of filming. It has been an extremely pleasurable interaction with a whole bunch of very talented sausage makers.

What is a typical working week?
Well some weeks it’s pork, some weeks it’s beef and very occasionally it’s lamb. So really there is no typical working week. It’s up before dawn and home after sunset for me, four days a week (one day a week is shot on location outside the building) and sometimes five. In the weekend my wife and kids get to know me again.

What do you most love about your job?
The people that I work with in the control room and on set are incredible. I particularly love being on set occasionally operating a camera because you have front row seats to some great performances. I love actors and their craft each scene inspires me in its own way. If there is more you’d like to know, feel free to call me at the end of the production line where sausages are tied into bunches.

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