• Facilities

    Located on Auckland’s North Shore, South Seas operates a production complex of 40,000 square feet, designed to match industry working environments.

    Conventional audio and video technology is complemented by cutting-edge computer technology. All facilities are connected to an extensive audio, video, communications and computer network to exchange data and enable sharing of resources.

  • Multi-Camera 4K Studio

    The Multi-Camera Studio facility has been upgraded to 4K resolution and is integrated with Post-Production as a Television Studio with four Blackmagic 4K dedicated studio cameras, Production Control Room, Audio Control Room and Cinetape. Complementing the Studio Facility is a sound-proof Voice-Over Booth, with video fold back, a talent intercom station and audio network access to the Cine Tape Area. A workshop is provided for set building.


    Studio Floor

    The Production Studio is a broadcast facility, 11 x 14 metre by 5 metre high Studio with 3 sided hard cyclorama, fixed lighting grid with power points, fully sound-proofed with extensive patch bay access to the Production Control Room. A comprehensive floor monitoring system doubles as a simple presentation system, backed up by the Production Control Room if required.

    Large sound-proof doors provide truck access to studio for large scale set designs. Located directly above the studio floor, the Studio can be observed from the Production Control Room through a double glazed window, while an overhead cat-walk provides a viewing terrace for training groups. All necessary studio support equipment including lighting ladders, rolling scaffold, clamps etc. and all associated costs such as power use are included in the daily rate

    Theatrelight Scenemaster 12/24 Lighting Desk, Cyclorama lighting. 2x5kW Soft bins, 4x 2kW Soft bins, 1x 2kW Fresnel and 4x1kW Fresnel Spotlights, 6x Cool-Light Fluro SoftLights 3-phase power, pre-wired Grid, 2x Theatre-light Satellite 6 Dimmers.

    Sennheiser K6 modular Microphone System, Sony ECM-44 lapel Mics.

    4x Blackmagic 4K Studio Cameras with 3x on Studio Pedestals and 1x on rolling tripod.

    CCU Control
    via Blackmagic ATEM switcher with touch screen control. Blackmagic SmartView 4K Monitor.

    2x Camera mounted Autoscript LCD Pro Auto Cue Prompters with 15” Mirrors.

    The Production Control Room includes vision switching, technical control, audio mixing, tape replay and graphics. Up to four cameras and seven remote feed waylines provide maximum flexibility.

    A pair of 48″ HD LED displays show all wayline sources, while a 32 input audio desk can access any audio source. A broadcast standard intercom system communicates with all edit suites, cameras, talent and floor manager.

    The creation of Cinetape has integrated the studio with post-production enabling the Sony Vision Mixer and Character Generator for studio productions and VT replay from Cinetape, along with access to all VTRs and expanded comms between post and studio.

    Studio Control Room Specifications

    Vision Mixer
    Blackmagic ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K Switcher, ATEM 1 M/E Broadcast Panel with Touch Screen 2 M/E control.

    Audio Mixer
    Audio Control Room with Behringer X32 Digital Mixer and associated monitoring equipment and accessories including radio, lapel and boom microphones as well as audio replay systems for the studio.

    Character Generator
    DataVideo CG-350, Blackmagic Design DeckLink Studio SDI.

    via Blackmagic ATEM switcher using a touch screen control, Blackmagic SmartView 4k monitor.

    Blackmagic Media Express via Blackmagic DeckLink 4K Extreme.

    2 x Blackmagic HyperDeck Studio Pro 4K SSD Recorders

    Blackmagic Smart Videohub 40×40 4K Router

    Full duplex with studio floor, talent IFB, Stage announce.
    Full duplex floor manager, CCU, camera and talent IFB.

    Studio Hire Facilities

    Total cost $4,600.00 (Exc GST) per day. Weekly bookings and long term hire can be negotiated at a reduced rate.

    The studio is also available as a bare/dry hire at $300 (excluding GST) per set-up day and $600 (excluding GST) per record day. Use of Studio Lighting is an extra $200 (excluding GST) per day.

    Proof of Production Insurance is required for hiring of facilities and equipment.

    Contact: Lauren Clarke
    Phone: (09) 444 3253
    Email: lauren@southseas.co.nz

  • Theatre

    Designed as a drama, lecturing and movie theatre, the tiered seating can be recessed to increase floor space, or even removed completely for drama exercises. Broadband internet access allows full use of the Internet, including video conferencing and distance learning. The theatre has a large-screen projection system installed which combines with the THX-certified sound system to give a bone-shaking movie experience. In addition, the school’s Multi-Cam Studio and Post-Production Department can replay directly into the theatre.


    Multi-purpose high stud theatre, with three tiered seating for 120 people.

    Fixed Replay DVD-Video and Bu-ray (7.1 channel, DTS, 16:9 wide screen and component video) VHS

    Mobile Floor Replay DVD & DV-Cam replay to 46 inch Sony LCD flat-screen

    Computer Replay Dell Precision workstation, GigE LAN and broadband internet connection

    Control and Linking Niles system Wall control panel, IR Remote Control, RF Keyboard and Mouse.

    Projector InFocus IN81 Full-HD 1080p DLP

    Screen DaLite Type-C, 5m diagonal hi-gain

    Amplification Marantz Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES 6.1 channel discreet 192kHz/24bit decoder. Denon THX certified 7x 210w RMS monoblock power amps

    Sound Reinforcement Jamo THX certified; 3x LCR Front @ 350w , 2x DiPole Side/Effects @ 250w, 2x BiPole

  • Cafeteria

    With cafe seats, tables and of course a coffee machine, the cafeteria is the social hub of the school. The students have lunch here or just catch up with each other between the demands of courses. A large kitchen suitable for catering with microwaves, a dishwasher, drink and snack facilities supports the cafe. Outside seating is provided for warmer days.

    Formal Occasions

    The Cafe’s proximity to the Theatre enables it to function as an ante-room for formal occasions. A split feed from the theatre is available on a television screen for late arrivals to theatre presentations.

  • Drama Rehearsal Facilities

    A high-stud open space with movable rostrum-based tiered seating, this studio is provided for drama rehearsals, performances and exercises and is also the base for our full time on screen acting course.

    More about the facilities

    As a minimalist space, the drama rehearsal studio enables uninhibited exploration for each student and allows for rostrums to be set up when plays are being put on. Black drapes run on a curtain track covering three walls. A dressing room and make-up room for productions is provided.

    The Set Bay contains ready-made quick-construction sets to create many environments. A large props area and wardrobe provides everything from couches through microwaves to flower pots. There are also three computers for Internet access and word processing in the adjacent office area.

    A portable two camera studio setup allows for students to always be in front of the camera. This provides for both situational training and learning analysis.

  • Production Facilities

    Production facilities are based on a Production House, including a Production Office, two Meeting Rooms and a Director’s Room. The Production Facilities are designed to enable students to organise productions and have group meetings. The Production Office can also be used as a small classroom, while the Director’s Room is separated from the buzz of the Production Office to enable students to have a quiet area to conceive, research and write ideas.

    Production Offices

    The Production Office is designed as an open-plan office layout, in accordance with modern offices, to encourage students to work in a professional manner, conscious of others. Computer workstations are provided for all organisational work of the production cycle.

    The computer network is maintained by the centralised Server Room with private profiles for each student. The Board Rooms feature video replay facilities and seating for 8 – 9 people each. For larger meetings they can be combined into one large Board Room.


    Computers – 12x Dell Optiplex 980 ,4x Dell Lattitude Laptops

    Software – Windows 7 64bit , Office 2010.

    Server Access – 1000Mb LAN and broadband Internet connection.

    Hard Copy – Konica Minolta C360 copier/printer

  • Directors’ Office

    The Directors’ Office is designed as another open-plan office layout, like the Production Office. The spacious room has sixteen computer work stations, as well as broadband internet access and a network laser printer. Large desks are provided with pinboards to spread out research papers or present an idea. There are Avid Cinemas for viewing, rough cuts and experimental work. Avid Media Log is installed on all machines.

    • Computers – 16 Dell Vostro 220
    • Software – Windows 7 Office 2010, FinalDraft 9
    • Server Access – 1000Mb LAN and broadband Internet connection.
    • Hard Copy – Konica Minolta 360PCL Printer Photocopier
  • Post Production

    All Post-Production and Studio equipment has been centralised into a ‘Cinetape Area’. This enables quick assignment of all tape formats and editing/studio facilities as well as providing an infrastructure to accommodate future technologies. The merging computer technology has also been integrated to create an ‘Operations Domain’ of workstations and servers with access to the Wider Area Network throughout the school.


    The original edit booths have been rebuilt into a large open area with multiple workstations. Each workstation is configured to match the exercise – from Cuts Only News suites to Avid On-Line systems. For hands-on workshop training, a display distribution network allows broadcast of a single workstation’s display to some or all other workstations.The Cinetape area is identical to those of television stations and post-production houses, thus allowing for matching operational procedures and the creation of a valuable skill base for the most common entry point for post-production graduates into the industry.

    At this ‘operations hub’, students learn to patch, route, convert, share and distribute resources as well as digitising, cueing, replaying, dubbing, blacking, monitoring and tech-checking.

    An extension of these skills involves the New Media Technologies of compressing, encoding, streaming and media serving. With unprecedented student access, the Cinetape Area patchbays and routers provide the students with ample opportunity to experiment and troubleshoot.



    • DVCam – Sony DSR-1800P, DSR-60P Digital Acquisition Format; 2 x Sony DSR-11 Digital Acquisition Format
    • HDV – 2 x JVC BR-HD50U HD Acquisition Format
    • XD-CAM – Sony PDW-1500 Digital Mastering Format
    • S-VHS – JVC BR-S822E, BR-S622E Analogue Acquisition Format
    • DVD-RW – Sony RDR-HX Digital Release Format; Primera SE DVD Duplicator
    • Blackmagic Design DeckLink Studio SDI playout server


    • Video – BNC: SDI Digital, Component/Composite Analogue
    • Audio – Bantam: AES-EBU Digital, Balanced/Unbalanced Analogue
    • Control – RJ-45: RS-422 Sony 9pin protocol
    • Computer – Ethernet LAN; IEEE1394 ‘Firewire’


    • Video – Monitor Displays 6″ to 21″; Waveform/Vector Display
    • Audio – Monitor/Speaker units; headphone jacks


    • Audio/Video – Quartz Topaz 32×32 CVBS; Quartz Topaz 16×16 YUV; Quartz Topaz 32×32 Audio; Grass Valley
    • Group 6000 XY Router Control
    • LAN – HP ProCurve 2900-24G 10GB Copper Ethernet Router
    • Comms – Clearcom In-house System

    Avid Media Composer

    The Avid editing system is an industry standard used for both off-line and on-line editing. Projects can be logged on any Producer’s or Director’s computer to be brought in for batch digitising and immediate editing.

    Further database refinement can be performed during the editing process. Up to 24 nestable and collapsible video tracks are provided in addition to 24 audio tracks with a large selection of trimming and synchronising tools. Titling, effects, full colour grading, image stabilisation and rotoscoping can be applied as part of the editing process. Final programmes can be sent back to video tape or compressed for internet or DVD release.

    The Avids are digitally linked to the Cinetape area, giving access to a variety of tape formats for input and output, including hybrid tape-to-disk cutting as applied in server-based news stations. Each Avid has one monitor for editing, a second for clip/bin management and third can also be switched to show a full screen video preview of the edit suite, or the editing display of the trainer for easy reference during workshop sessions.


    • Software – Avid Media Composer
    • Video/Audio Tracks – 24 video, 24 audio tracks
    • Extensions – Avid Script Based Editing, Film Scribe, Dupe Detector, A/V AutoSync.
    • Import/Export – Avid Media Log, Avid EDL Manager


    Diva by Group 6 Technologies offers a powerful yet easy-to-manage system that facilitates a creative and collaborative workflow but that does not require an IT expert to run it.

    The Diva supports the Avid Media Composer suites, the audio and video online facilities, and the few Apple Final Cut Pro desktops on site.


    • Diva 4RU System
    • 18 Terabyte Capacity
    • 24 Hot-Swap drive bays
    • Intel 2.6Ghz Xeon Processor
    • 8GB Ram
    • Redundant Power Supplies
    • 10 Gigabit router connectivity
  • Sound Post Production

    Audio Suite

    The Audio Suite has been designed in a versatile manner to fulfil a wide range of roles, from single channel voice-over recording, to fully integrated audio post production. Constructed in an acoustically purpose-built control room and voice over booth, the Audio Suite provides an industry grade environment for students to hone their skills.

    Control Room & Voice Over Booth

    Control Room

    Built around proven Pro Tools software and control surfaces, and with stand alone ACR playback and recording facilities, the control room can be as simple as walking in and hitting record, or as detailed as recording a multi track master recording.


    • Digidesign Pro Tools 8
    • Digidesign Pro Tools Digi 003 Control Surface
    • Dell Precision 3600 Pro Tools Computer
    • Dual 20” Dell LCDs
    • Genelec 8030A Amplified Monitoring Speakers
    • ClearCom MS-222 Coms Base Station
    • Dell Inspiron 545s Replay Computer
    • Audient MiCo Pre Amplifier
    • Fostex FR-2LE Memory Recorder

    Voice Over Booth

    The Voice Over Booth is situated directly next to the Control Room, with a sound proof window between the two allowing for clear communications. Connected via a six channel audio patch panel, the Voice Over Booth caters for multiple artists and instruments.


    • Behringer C-3 Dual-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
    • Presonus HP60 Headphone Amplifier/Mixer
    • Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones
    • K&M Microphone Stand with Isolation Mic Holder
    • Stedman ProScreen XL Pop Filter
    • Dell 20” LCD Replay Monitor
  • Field Production

    The Electronic Field Production Department is based on an Equipment Hire Facility and houses all location camera and audio equipment. Range of equipment includes 16 complete Digital Video DV Kits. The EFP department also includes four equipment bays for equipment check-out and check-in, which the students are trained to do themselves.

    EFP Kits and Accessories

    Basic Digital EFP Kits

    These basic kit were chosen to provide students with relevant skills that can readily be translated to other equipment. Each kit can be augmented by extra accessories as required.

    Camera Sony NX5D 3CCD DVCamcorders

    Tripod Miller DS-20 fluid head with two stage legs and carry case

    Audio Shure FP31 field mixer, Sennheiser ME80 Directional Mics with Windshield, Shure VP64 Omni Mic, AKG Lapel Mics, Boom Pole, Headphones, Cables.

    Lighting 1x 2kW, 2x 800W and 1x 600w Arrilites, Ranker Stands, Reflector Discs

    Accessories 6” Portable LCD field monitor, AC/DC supply, Batteries, Power splitter box and leads.

    Digital EFP Kit Designed for expansion of operating skills gained on the basic EFP kits, these intermediate kits feature newly aquired JVC High Definition HDV 1/3” 3CCD 16:9 aspect ratio Digital Cameras equipped with Fujinon Lens. The audio is also enhanced through the use of the new Sennheiser K6 system, which allows the mic to be adapted to different locations, two lapel radio mics for added flexibility and a dual output mixer for split track recording. A camera light and reference quality monitor complete these kits.

    Camera JVC HDV 1/3” 3CCD 16:9 AR Cameras equipped with Th16x5.5 BRM Fujinon
    1/3” 16×1 removable zoom lens.

    Tripod Miller DS-20 fluid head with two stage legs and carry case

    Audio Shure FP33 3×2 field mixer, Sennheiser K6 modular directional mic system,
    Shure VP64 Omni Mic, Boom pole, headphones, cables

    Lighting 2kW Arrilite, 2x 800W Arrilite, 1x 600w Arrilite camera light, ranker stands,
    reflector discs

    Accessories JVC TM-1010PN AC/DC 10” monitor, Anton Bauer Li-ion 90WhK batteries
    and AC/DC supply, power splitter box and leads.

    Advanced Digital EFP Kits

    These high-end kits introduce students to the XD Digital format, which is also used in Post Production Facilities. The Sony 1/2” PDWF330L High Definition HD and 2/3” SPDW510P 3CCD XDCam format 16:9 aspect ratio digital cameras have been widely adopted by the NZ industry and are comparable in operation with other Sony Professional Broadcast Cameras. The full digital signal processing results in recorded pictures that comply with high end professional standards. The complete camera battery system allows students to learn the power management aspect of camera operating. A two stage Miller tripod completes the camera kit to give a creative versatility in a single tripod.

    Camera Sony 1/2” PDWF330L HD and 2/3” SPDW510P 3CCD XDCam format 16:9 aspect ratio digital cameras
    Power System Sony BPL40 Lithium-Ion batteries, Sony BCL-50 Charger, Sony ACDN-1 AC/DC supply.
    Lens Fujinon 1/2” S17x6.6BRM-38B and Fujinon 2/3” A20x8.6BRM-38B Professional Digital Zoom Lens.

    Tripod Miller DS25 fluid head with two stage legs and carry case.

    Audio Shure FP33 3×2 field mixer, Sennheiser K6 modular directional mic system, Shure VP64 Omni Mic, boom pole, Sony headphones, cables.

    Lighting 2kW Arrilite, 2x 800W Arrilite, 1x 600w Arrilite, ranker stands, reflector discs.

    Accessories Sony PVM-92L 9” grade 2 colour monitor, power splitter box and leads.

    EFP Accessories

    All kits can be expanded from their standard configuration from an ever increasing pool of support equipment, which is shared between all kits. Individual kits can also be combined into larger kits as required.

    Accessories Olli track dollies, camera lights, extra lighting, scrim and gels, wireless mics, intercoms, etc.

  • Art Department

    The Art Department facilities are based on a professional operating Art Department. The Art Department is based in a separate building from the rest of the school, consisting of a large workshop, classroom, design office, production meeting room, costume and makeup department and properties storage rooms.

    The layout in the design office is based on an open plan area, which enables students to collaborate in design conception in a relaxed atmosphere.

    Workshop Facilities – 2 x design drawing tables, design area, design library
    Administration Area – 2 x makeup tables
    Computers – 1 x graphics workstation, 8 x office workstations

  • Animation Production

    The Animation Production course is delivered in a large new studio facility situated on the same main campus as the South Seas Film and Television School. This building also houses the new Photography Course studios and computer facilities as well as reception and administration.

    The animation studio is divided into two large, open space, fully equipped classrooms, a separate computer lab for 2D or 3D computer animation and Photoshop use, and a life drawing studio.

    Animation Facilities

    Animation Production Facilities

    The South Seas Animation Production Facilities are based on the layout used in an animation studio including a meeting room, a room for life drawing and a computer room. The main areas for tuition are open planned for maximum light, which allow students and tutors the best working conditions.

    The open plan environment allows the classes to meet on a social basis and see what the other classes are doing and producing.

    Animation Computer Office

    The Computer Office is designed as an open-plan office layout in accordance with modern offices, to encourage students to work in a professional manner that is conscious of others.

    There are 27 computers each with a Wacom tablet, which are designed to run with the 2D and 3D animation software used by the industry. A video projector and screen is also available for effective training. There are also two computers used to film 2D animation, which the students will find invaluable for learning animation.

  • Photography Studios

    The Photography facilities consists of 5 studios for shooting, the white studio comprises a massive 216 square metre area with a height clearance of six metres plus four other studios which are 30 square metres each. The studios are equipped with comprehensive professional flash lighting and rigging equipment for students to work on, all of them simultaneously. They are based on the ground floor of Unit 1 building; adding to the studios the Photography Department has a couple of Apple Mac Computer Laboratories with 16 computers each with the latest Adobe software for the ultimate photo editing and design workflow.

  • Library

    The Library is constantly growing, developed by the staff to give students access to back-up material. The Production Music Library is available on CD or from the central MP3 browser server, is AMCOS licensed and identical to that used in the film and video industry, including Bruton, KPM, Atmos, De Wolfe, Network, Killertracks etc.

    The Library Contains:

    CD In excess of 350 Production Music CDs and Sound Effects.
    Video In excess of 700 Feature Movies, Television Programmes & Training Videos in VHS and DVD format.
    Print In excess of 250 specialised reference books, scripts and magazines.

  • IT & Support Facilities

    The South Seas Information Technology and Support Facilities continue to grow over the years. We still operate the AV router network, although a very large number of patch panels have been added. The non-linear technology enables separating edit suites and VCRs, as well as reducing the number of VCRs required. A shared media server for the same edit suites is available.

    IT specifications

    The continuing expansion of our computer system required a completely new server system which now supports over 100 work stations. In 2010 we added fibre optic networking between buildings, with broadband internet access on every computer.

    A centralised array of servers and network printers provides security against single point failure. Our internet connection is one of the fastest available, so all students are able to enjoy high speed connection. Roaming profiles offer each student personalised access and private file access on any computer.

    The network allows efficient use of existing facilities by sharing and/or combining. The video/audio network allows VT feeds directly into the studio control room from the edit suites as well the theatre.

    The intercom network gives open two-way communications between all remote locations and the Control Room with assignable channels. Use by students of a networked environment is very important to ensure the relevance of their practical skills.


    Virtual Server Hosts

    3 x Dell PowerEdge R620 2RU Servers featuring:


    • Dual Xeon Processors E5-2630 2.30 GHZ )
    • 32GB DDR3 ECC Memory
    • RAID 1 (Mirrored) 2x 146gb 15K RPM, 6Gbps
    • 8 x GigE Network Adapters
    • Dell PowerVault MD3200i Plus 2x MD 1200 60TB Storage Array


    • VMWare vSphere ESXi 5 Cloud Computing
    • Microsoft Windows 2008 Server (Active Directory, DNS, DHCP)
    • Microsoft Exchange 2007
    • Microsoft Internet Services & Acceleration Server
    • Microsoft SQL 2008
    • Microsoft Internet Information Services

    Media Server

    Virtual server featuring:

    • Dual Xeon 2.8Ghz processors
    • 4GB RAM


    • 12 TB Network Storage


    • Microsoft Windows Media Services
    • AutoDesk Cleaner XL Video Compression Server
    • Student File serving and replication
    • MP3 audio and MPEG4 video browser serving


    The South Seas Intranet came online in 2003, and is a crucial part of the day-to-day running of the school. Developed in house, and running on the ASP and SQL Server backbone, the Intranet provides a central place for all staff and students alike to perform a vast array of common tasks.

    With features ranging from the simple network status message, to the dynamic, streaming media library, everyone relies on the Intranet’s capabilities. Because of this, the Intranet is constantly being enhanced, with more and more features being constructed all the time.


    • SQL 2008 with IIS 7 .NET FrameWork 3.5
    • News and Message of the Day
    • Scone Tracker
    • Contact Management (Students and Staff)
    • Online MP3 Streaming Production Music Database
    • VHS/DVD Student Booking system
    • Post Production Tape Management
    • Assessment and Online Exam system
    • Online Streaming WMV Student Video Archive
    • Facilities Scheduler & Manager
    • Student Attendance Records


    • LAN – Fibre GigE Backbone, Ethernet GigE Distribution
    • Internet – UFB broadband fibre
    • Video – Composite, Component, SDI, FireWire
    • Audio – Balanced, Unbalanced, AES/EBU, FireWire
    • Serial Remote – RS422, FireWire, Proprietary
    • Communication – ClearCom broadcast full-duplex system with various stations

    Backup Facilities
    As well as having a full, on-site secure backup system, daily backups of mission-critical data are made to a secure offsite location.


    • 2x Dell Power Vault MD 1000
    • 48 TB RAID 5 Backup Storage Array
    • 40 TB Synology backup


    • APC 3000 RM XL Network Attached UPS Power Backup
    • APC 1500 RM Network Attached UPS Power Backup
    • APC 750 RM Network Attached UPS Power Backup