POW Studios

Case Studies

Nori: Roller Coaster Boy, a New Zealand-South Korea co-production.


Sitting in a leafy courtyard while enjoying a quiet drink after a day at the Beijing Film Festival POW Studios' CEO John McKay and XrisP owner Xris Sohn never imagined that they would soon be entering into the first NZ -Sth Korea co-production agreement. That conversation, which began in 2015, led to POW facilitating the introduction of XrisP to Chinese animation house, York Animation and an exciting collaboration involving companies in NZ, South Korea and China working together to create the 52 episode children's animation series Nori: Roller Coaster Boy.

On top of POW’s previously proven skills as providers of post-production sound services, POW were able to access the wide range of talent available in Wellington - including award-winning actors and composers as well as providing proximity to world class recording and mixing facilities.

POW engaged internationally recognised casting director Liz Mullane to start auditioning local talent. Xris returned to Wellington for the recall auditions and, with voice director Jane Waddell, took the actors through their paces. Thomasin McKenzie’s charming and unique voice won her the role of Nori. All the characters in the series are portrayed by Wellington-based actors, including Peter Hambleton (Gloin in The Hobbit).

Thomasin McKenzie - Nori

Thomasin McKenzie - Nori

POW Studios’ creative department also provided script editorial to ensure the stories worked as well in English as they did in Korean and Chinese.

All voice and foley recording was supervised by POW’s COO, Academy Award nominated sound editor Jason Canovas. Original music and songs were composed for the series by Wellington musicians Stephen Gallagher (MPSE Golden Reel nominee) and Jeremy Cullen, while the show’s theme song We Love Nori Park was written by POW’s American partner, composer Drew Youngs.

At POW Studios we used the latest software to enable clear logging of sound tracks, editorial changes and to ensure ease of communication with York Animation in Zhengzhou, China and XrisP in Seoul. Internet deliveries between countries proved to be easy and reliable, while the relative time difference between Asia and New Zealand meant daily communication between our production team and those in China or Korea was always possible.  

The first episode was completed in time for MiP Junior in Cannes, October 2016. POW CEO John McKay joined Xris Sohn in France for this important market, bringing with him an extra video POW made to introduce the actors behind the characters.

Abby Damen - Jinny

Abby Damen - Jinny

Over the following 12 months POW Studios recorded, edited and mixed 52 episodes of Nori: Roller Coaster Boy. The series has now screened in the Republic of Korea (on KBS2), China (on v.qq.com and mgtv.com), U.S.A (on Amazon Prime) and launched on Lightbox New Zealand in March 2018.

Entering into a co-production agreement on this scale allows each company to benefit from the relevant financial incentives offered in the own country. It also means you are making content for more than one language and opening your show up to a far larger audience.

Nori: Roller Coaster Boy is POW Studios’ flagship co-production and we look forward to working with compatible partners on more quality film and television shows.


Behold the Ghost, a New Zealand Short Film.

Exciting New Zealand short film Behold the Ghost was a truly creative collaboration between POW Studios, writer/director Jesse Taylor Smith and producer David Goldthorpe.

The POW team, led by Creative Director Matt Lambourn (MPSE Golden Reel nominee), undertook ADR recording, dialogue editing, sound effects and final sound mix.  Working to a tight budget and timeframe POW Studios’ involvement ensured the sound quality of the finished film matched the high production values set in all departments. Veteran cinematographer Alun Bollinger developed the magic realism aesthetic that is reflected in the score composed by Grayson Gilmour and the POW sound design.


From producer David Goldthorpe:

"I'm really glad that the team enjoyed working on the project, we came into it with high expectations but Matt and the team exceeded them on all accounts, we were extraordinarily happy with the attention the project received and the quality of work is top shelf. In short, we're totally stoked. Thank you."

Kung Food, Chinese Feature

Unlikely hero Super-Bao must save the edible world’s delicious flavours from the bland designs of evil Lord Octopus.


POW Studios produced all sound effects, design, foley and dialogue editorial and supervised mix at MBS Studios in Hong Kong. POW’s creative work was known to some of the team at Yi Animation through previous work together. Director Haipeng Sun needed a sound team that would deliver material beyond the usual high technical standards: “I need every frame to sound delicious”. This directive became a mantra for the sound team who created sonic worlds from bread, jelly, soup, buns, rolls, sushi, tofu, vegetables and of course octopus. In addition, all character movement was created with layers of these various food items.

When the Chinese Sound Supervisor became overwhelmed with logistical and administrative issues in the music department, POW was able to take the reins and supervise the project to completion.

Producer Nicholas Zhong took pains to say he was “very pleased with POW’s professional attitude” during a difficult, new process for Yi; and most pleased that the Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival Jury had commented on the “amazing” work we were able to produce with them.