Motion Sickness creates drama-crime-comedy-online-web-series ‘The Eggplant’ for Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs


A new TV series to help young Kiwis navigate one of the great mysteries of the 21st century – the internet – has just gone live. The six-part mini-series is called The Eggplant, produced by creative agency Motion Sickness for Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs.


Says Trina Lowry, manager design engagement and innovation: “Online harms addressed in The Eggplant include bullying, using pornography to learn about sex, grooming by people they don’t know, and sending and receiving nudes.

“At DIA we have a role in helping keep people, especially young people, safe online. The harms our young people face can lead to feelings of vulnerability, isolation, depression and anxiety and, in some cases, can lead to physical harm offline.

“A public awareness campaign like this is needed, as the nature and type of online harms that our young people are exposed to are dynamic and evolving quickly. The mini-series raises awareness of the online issues young people may face, and encourages them to reach out to someone they trust and get the support they need.”

The Eggplant follows the success of the Keep it Real Online campaign also developed by Motion Sickness, aimed at parents and caregivers.

Says Lowry: “The initial campaign, featuring porn stars, an online groomer, two imaginary rabbits and a young girl being bullied, reached 870,000 New Zealand parents and caregivers, and was viewed 32 million times world-wide. It resulted in a lot of conversations about the harms our young people face online.

“Not everyone will get the eggplant reference, and that’s okay. Young people get it, and the mini-series was developed with them and for them.”

The Eggplant launches today on TVNZ OnDemand and YouTube. It stars some very talented young people, Kiwi icons Karen O’Leary (Wellington Paranormal) and Tammy Davis (Outrageous Fortune) and a few other familiar faces.

Says Sam Stuchbury, director of The Eggplant and founder of Motion Sickness: “We knew that a traditional PSA would likely get lost in the digital ether, and be ignored by our audience. To get their attention, the idea had to resonate with them, and let’s face it – they’re not binge-watching ads, are they?”

“I think that line between advertising and entertainment is going to become more blurred in the future. It’s a space that we are really interested in at Motion Sickness. In this case, we used a comedy web-series to educate teens on some pretty serious issues. It’s a bold approach, but we really needed something unique to cut through with this young audience.”

Says Hilary Ngan Kee, head of strategy, Motion Sickness: “The fact that our young people are facing these issues today is not their failing. They’re new, complex, complicated problems that can be hard for anyone (young or old) to navigate. Our rangatahi deserve our respect, and our support, when facing these challenges.

“Our goal with ‘The Eggplant’ isn’t just to raise awareness about online safety with New Zealand’s young people. We want to create a cultural shift, where our young people feel empowered to have conversations about these issues, with each other, and with the adults in their lives – we’re putting online safety into the zeitgeist.”

The campaign is led by DIA with support from Netsafe, the Ministry of Education and the Office of Film and Literature Classification in consultation with youth advisory groups.

Next year, the final phase of the campaign launches, which is aimed at keeping young children safe online.

Watch the series below:

Agency – Motion Sickness
Client – Department Of Internal Affairs / The New Zeland Government
Directed by – Sam Stuchbury
Written By – Will Macdonald, Jolin Lee, Sam Stuchbury, Alex McManus, Jordan Stent, Hilary Ngan-Kee,
Produced by – Joseph McAlpine
Director of Photography – Marty Williams
Art Director – Anna Maxwell
Editors – Pete Hansen, Jolin Lee, Damian Golfinopoulos
First Assistant Director – Chris Short
Second Assistant Director – Ivan Barge
Production Coordinator -Alex Schofield
Script Supervisor – Will Macdonald
Costume Designer- Emma Skudder
Music Supervisor -Jonathan Mihaljevich
A Camera Operator- Marty Williams
Steadicam Operator- Alex McDonald
B Camera Operator- Olly Harris
1st AC-Willy Pearce
2nd AC- Natsuki Arai
Camera Assistant-Nye Green
Digital Video Technician-Conrad Armstrong
GafferCraig – Muirhead
Best Boy-John Bell
Lighting Assistant -Chris McAlister
GripPablo- Stevenson
Grip Assistant-Noah Timpson
Sound Mixer-Wendy Adams
Sound Mixer-Craig O’Reilly
Boom Operator-Sofiane Tib
Post Production Supervisor-Jolin Lee
Audio Post Production Services -Franklin Rd
Sound Mix-Shane Taipari, Cole Goodley, Sidney Kennedy
Music Licensing-Jonathan Mihaljevich
Colourist-Matic Prusnik
Visual Effects Art Director-Jordan Stent
Animation -Fraser Macedo
Graphic Designer-Anna Hughes
Media Buyer-Josh Hawke
Head of Strategy-Hilary Ngan Kee