Beyond the Edge Breaks NZ Box Office Records

The New Zealand Film Commission reports that the Sir Edmund Hillary epic Beyond The Edge has knocked off its own record, achieving the highest grossing opening weekend for any documentary in New Zealand.

Written and directed by Leanne Pooley and produced by Matthew Metcalfe, Beyond The Edge opened in New Zealand cinemas in 2D and 3D on October 24 and reached a total box office of $320,170 for its first five days.

Susan Battye, Managing Director of Drama Magic Ltd, congratulates Director, Leanne Pooley and Producer Mathew Metcalfe on this fantastic achievement.

The previous box office opening record for a New Zealand documentary is also held by Leanne Pooley, for her film The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls.

Beyond The Edge is a General Film Corporation Film supported by the New Zealand Film Commission, NZ On Air’s Platinum Fund, Digifilm, TVNZ, Rialto Distribution and the New Zealand Government’s Screen Production Incentive Fund.

You can download a copy of the Beyond the Edge School’s Resource for English and Media Studies created by Susan Battye for Rialto Distribution here. Beyond the Edge Study Guide. New Zealand Schools wishing to organise a dedicated screening for their students or enquire about school pricing can contact Kelly Rogers at Rialto Distribution Email:


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Theatre Set Construction

Looking to purchase some theatre set items such as:  boxes, rostra, (oblong or triangles)  free standing doors, flats or stairs constructed for your drama room?  Need a stage set designed and constructed for your next school play?

Let Drama Magic Ltd provide you with a no obligation free quote for the building and construction of set items as well as stage sets.   Drama Magic Ltd is able to offer this service in association with Frank Checketts, an experienced Auckland based Scenic Design Tutor and set construction builder who has worked extensively with schools and theatre companies. Contact with your wish list.

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Cup Magic and The Mine’s Afire! at Point Chevalier School

Last Thursday Students  from three years 5 and 6 classes at Auckland’s Point Chevalier School, listened attentively,  and asked intelligent questions  as author, Susan Battye, read them extracts from her books Cup Magic and The Mine’s Afire! (co-written with Thelma Eakin).  The presentation was part of a book fair hosted by Scholastic NZ at the school.

School Librarian,  Denise Barrington, commented that she had received very positive feedback from the teachers concerned about Susan’s ability to engage the students.  The teachers commented that they were particularly impressed with the way Susan used a variety of accents and voices to make the extracts she read very easy to listen to.

The day finished with a book signing session in the school library.


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Congratulations to Eleanor Catton Man Booker Prize Winner

Manukau Institute of Technology teacher, Eleanor Catton, has  become the youngest writer at age 28 to win the 2013 Man Booker Prize for Literature for her novel The Luminaries.

She is the second New Zealander to win the award. The award was announced at a ceremony at the Guildhall in London this morning.

The Luminaries is an 832-page novel set in during the goldrush in Hokitika in the 1860s. The book  which has a complex plot  is full of astrological allusions and reads as a murder mystery.

There were more than 150 entries for the Man Booker Prize this year and Eleanor’s book was one of six on the short-list, which included the world’s top writers.

Like her New Zealand  predecessor, Keri Hulme, who won the Booker prize in 1985 with her novel, The Bone People, Elizabeth Catton has struck a rich vein by setting her novel on the West Coast. Speaking on Radio New Zealand this morning Catton said that she values the Coast  for its stunning environment and its history of individuals who made a pile and left never to return. We look forward to seeing more novels from Catton who has undoubtedly ‘struck gold’ in winning the Man Booker Prize.

Congratulations to all of those involved in assisting with the publication of this work including Fergus Barrowman at Victoria University Press and Creative New Zealand  which funded residencies at the University of Canterbury and Auckland University for Elizabeth Catton over the past three years. Money well spent.

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Paradox Books Features Cup Magic


Cup Magic is featured at Paradox Books

Drama Magic congratulates Paradox Books in Devonport on Auckland’s North Shore for choosing to  feature Cup Magic in its window display.

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Welcome Home Emirates Team New Zealand

Dean Barker Skipper of Aotearoa in the 2013 America’s Cup greets crowd members at Shed 10

Yesterday Auckland  welcomed Team New Zealand home from San Francisco. Shed 10 on the Auckland wharf was packed for the occasion during which Economic Development Minister, Steven Joyce  announced government support for a further America’s Cup yachting Challenge. The crowd roared its approval. Susan Battye was there to capture the occasion on camera and shake the hands of Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton and skipper Dean Barker.

Grant Dalton

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Save the School Journal

A campaign has been launched to Save the School Journal. This is worth supporting. Why? Simply because many of our leading writers cut their teeth on writing for the School Journal. The School Journal has been the cornerstone of Primary School education in New Zealand for over a hundred years.

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America’s Cup 2013

The outcome of the America’s Cup challenge 2013 in San Francisco is not what New Zealand was expecting or had hoped for. But in the end skipper, Dean Barker, and indeed the whole of Emirates Team New Zealand have upheld the spirit of sailing as a sport and done us proud.

When Peter Blake led Team New Zealand to victory in the 1995 America’s Cup challenge in San Diego he could not have imagined the impact the win would have  not only on sailing and boat building but also in changing the face of Auckland’s waterfront. It is not inconceivable that a similar result could take place following this America’s Cup.

As Ian Taylor, from Animation Research, a company which has been providing graphics for the America’s Cup since 1992, said today, “The competition has offered a profile to the marine and technology industries which money can not buy, with New Zealand playing a key role in every campaign.”

It is to be hoped that the current loss will ultimately be turned into a win for the many  young people who sat glued to the television watching the massive catamarans fly at impossible speeds down the America’s Cup race course. If they decide to take up the sport of sailing or join the ranks of New Zealand’s talented boat builders and its related high tech industries then Team New Zealand’s efforts will not have been in vain.





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Cup Magic Review (8)

Writing in the Weekend Herald Canvas Magazine Teen Reads column (September 7 2013) about Cup Magic by  Susan Battye, reviewers Sue Baxelle & Isobel Marriner  commented: “A timely read for intermediate age or younger teen, Cup Magic unveils a wealth of information about yachting and the history of the Auld Mug, in a journal kept by the fictional Mike…”

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Beyond the Edge Film Study Guide

Susan Battye of Drama Magic Ltd  has written a Film Study Guide for schools for  Beyond the Edge,  a film about Edmund Hillary which opens in New Zealand on October 24 2013. Download a copy now Beyond the Edge Study Guide Watch the trailer.

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