Veteran cameraman Peter Janes is focusing this year on teaching EIT’s Screen Production students the wide range of skills he’s acquired during a 40-year career in the television and filming industry.
For the last six years, Peter has split his time between Hawke’s Bay and working on the live action children’s television series Power Rangers in Auckland. Moving to a permanent part-time position at EIT’s ideaschool, he is teaching camera and lighting while providing students with an overview of the industry.“I still want to be part of that,” he says, “so hope to juggle both jobs. It helps to stay in touch and to maintain contacts that may help students as they start looking for work.”
Also joining the Screen Production team are Tessa Tylee, teaching directing, and design technician David Guerin.
After leaving Hastings Boys’ High School, Peter launched his kaleidoscopic career in 1967 at the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation. Assigned to television’s sound department, he recorded items for news broadcasts, Country Calendar and other programmes.
Moving to the camera department, he worked on the first local TV production shot in colour and filmed Hells Angels’ members for a controversial documentary, If You’re in it, You’re in it to the Limit.
With music figuring strongly in Peter’s life, he has filmed many musicians, including touring overseas bands. Transferred to TVNZ’s Dunedin operation, he worked with emerging punk and post-punk musicians and directed documentary items for Radio with Pictures.
In 1984, Peter moved to Sydney, where he freelanced and scored a globetrotting job on the hit children’s show Simon Townsend’s Wonder World.
Returning to New Zealand in 1993, he worked again as a cameraman and director for drama, documentary and comedy projects and in a rare venture into feature movies filmed a Maori language production of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.
English-born Peter returned to live in Hawke’s Bay after threatening co-workers in Auckland with “going bush”.
“Power Rangers has been providing me with five months work a year for some time, so that was a solid base for coming back here.”
Peter loves teaching at EIT.
“It’s really satisfying seeing a new generation keen to enter the industry and there are so many options available to them now in film, television, games, internet and apps.”
A home-grown talent, Tessa returned to Hawke’s Bay from Auckland six years ago after a substantial career in television production.
“The screen industry is never out of your blood,” says Tessa, who helped found Film Hawke’s Bay, serves on ideaschool‘s advisory committee and recently established a business recording people’s family histories on DVD.
“Teaching directing at EIT has been my dream since coming back to the Bay. When I worked as a producer and director, I was lucky enough to have mentors. It’s important to pass on what we have learnt through experience and from others as well as letting our passion for the industry rub off onto the students.”
David Guerin comes to EIT with extensive experience in the television and film industry including working as a construction sculptor in the art department for the three Lord of the Rings movies.