Rising Star - Braydon Moloney

Fresh out of film school, I got real lucky. Landing a job in development at NHNZ, then as associate producer, I suddenly found myself planning underwater expeditions to all corners of the country, and then actually on location, being swooped by skuas, tracking forest penguins and getting gassed out on an active volcano. I’ve been with NHNZ for three years now, and the experience has been unforgettable. I came into this industry seeking adventure – and boy did I get that! 

But even in the time between field shoots, there’s always something new to learn as I try my hand at different roles within the company. It’s been surreal having a direct line to New Zealand’s foremost great white shark expert. I’m on first-name basis with the peeps at the Indonesian Embassy. And nothing gets the adrenalin pumping like an edit deadline. The team at NHNZ have been great in helping me pursue my own side projects and encouraging my creativity.

NHNZ - has seamlessly expanded into a global production house with a reputation for innovation in storytelling, technology, and business integrity. Each year, NHNZ produces more than 60 hours of television, seen by millions of viewers in over 180 countries around the world and have received more than 300 international awards.

"Braydon is an Australian ex national park ranger and all round outdoor guy who has become more of an expert on the New Zealand forests than most New Zealanders. He is also a graduate of the Otago University Science Communication Post Grad course (his primary degree was as an ecologist). He also came onto my team completely green and in no time had me gob-smacked by his ability to write treatments, development pitches, post produce episodes with a wonderful story sense, as well as operate as a fantastic camera assistant, associate producer, and then shoot great wildlife sequences himself. Again Braydon has been instrumental to the success of my underwater/wildlife series plus my current series about orangutans shooting in Borneo. "
Judith Curran, Executive Producer / Showrunner

We asked our Rising Star a few key questions:

What was your childhood ambition?

When I was young my dream job was to be a National Parks ranger. I achieved that, working for five years on Christmas Island before shifting my focus to filmmaking. It was a pretty natural progression actually, since I had my camera with me most days anyway.

How did you get your first break in the business?

My first big break in the industry was Our Big Blue Backyard, a six-part series about New Zealand’s unique marine environments, produced by Judith Curran. I came onboard for the second season, fresh out of film school, and was let loose as assistant producer. It was an incredible adventure, taking me to some of the furthest reaches of the country and working with some of the most talented underwater cameramen in NZ. Judith took a gamble and allowed me to post-direct an episode too, and I guess the rest is history.

What’s your craziest /funniest work related experience/anecdote?

Most recently I’ve been working on series set in an orangutan rehabilitation center. On my last day on location, I went to say goodbye to my new ginger friends … only to find they were all mud-wrestling. Before I knew it I was at the bottom of a dogpile of young orangs, suddenly part of their wrestling match. There were hands everywhere. Literally, everywhere. By the time the babysitters extracted me from the scrum, I was caked in mud and, no doubt, and generous amount of primate poo. It was definitely up there on the crazy scale, and a farewell I won’t forget.

What do you love about your job and this business?

I just love being outdoors, in the wild. It’s what fires me. And I’ve learned that a camera and few choice contacts can get you in to just about anywhere. Since entering this field I’ve been able to visit many places that are completely off-limits to the general public, and been able to glimpse the corners of this world that are still untouched by humans. And often I find myself having to pitch in and help out the scientists or conservationists we’re following, be it restraining kiwis while they have blood samples taken, or nursing a newly-rescued baby orangutan. What’s not to love about that?

How do you like to watch content? - TV? Web ? SVOD? …Tell us Why?

Actually, I’m pretty old-fashioned. I like to buy my natural history docos on DVD and watch them without ads, without buffering, and without local voice overs. I watch them the way they were made, not the way the broadcaster wants to deliver them. So I’m not at all representative of the general population… but you should see my collection!

What kinds of natural history films would you like to see commissioned/ see more of? And why?

I’d like to see more films address the pressure the natural world is under, rather than films that create a rosy, happy, human-free reality that doesn’t actually exist.

What part of the job or business do you relish the least?

Dealing with the receipts for production expenses. Give me dead birds or animal poo any day.

 

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