The Eggplant returns, via Motion Sickness

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AUCKLAND, Today: Creative agency Motion Sickness’s vegetable-based drama-crime-comedy-online-web-series, The Eggplant, is back with a new one-off special episode, this time tackling misinformation.

Trina Lowry, from Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs, said: “Misinformation online can be camouflaged, making it hard to tell what’s real, and what isn’t.

“This is a big issue for our rangatahi, especially with the country being in lockdown and young people spending more time online as a result.

“Many young people find it challenging to tell fact from fiction online, or don’t know how to check the accuracy of information.

“This can have consequences in the real world, and can lead to young people making decisions that aren’t based on reliable information.”

“The episode is part of The Eggplant online mini-series, written specifically to help 13-18 year olds navigate the harms and issues they encounter online. Past episodes have dealt with bullying, pornography, grooming and requests for nude photos.

“Although the show is written for teens, it’s a good watch for older ages also.”

The original series clocked up 4.2 million minutes watched. Shorter cuts of the episode scenes also received 4.5 million organic views across TikiTok, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

Motion Sickness conceptualised, wrote, and produced the new episode along with the original series. 

ECD Sam Stuchbury said: “With everything that’s been happening in New Zealand recently, this episode, and the subjects it tackles, feels incredibly timely.

“The campaign has earned Motion Sickness a suite of awards at both domestic and international award shows.”

“We’re so pleased with how the initial release of The Eggplant performed, and we’re hoping to keep up that momentum.

“Aside from the millions of views, the series has received an 8.7 on IMDB. Shortland Street has a 4.8, so we’ll take that.”

“The educational entertainment strategy behind the series was a groundbreaking approach to government PSA. The campaign has earned Motion Sickness a suite of awards at both domestic and international award shows.

“One of the most important markers of success however, was the fact that 91% of households with teenagers aged 13-18 reported watching the series had prompted open discussion around online safety.

“We had our work cut out for us trying to unpack the phenomenon of conspiracy theories and the spread of misinformation online, especially in an ever-evolving social media landscape, but thanks to the support of the team at DIA, and many hours on social media for research, I think we managed to capture the slippery-slope nature of fake news.

Creative/head of post-production Jolin Lee said: “Almost anyone can make the mistake of believing something ridiculous given the right circumstances, and hopefully the new episode can help our viewers recognise when it’s happening in real life, before they hit share.”

“As well as the topics covered in the episode, production was also well timed. We were also lucky enough to have wrapped the shoot on the episode before going into lockdown, and were blessed to still be able to work through post-production at home in our jamjams.”

The new ep launches today on TVNZ OnDemand and YouTube. The original cast returns, including principal Morris played by Karen O’Leary, along with some new cast members including Joe Damond, Jack Tame and Justine Smith.

In this episode, a conspiracy theory is brewing at Hilltop High, and the school tries to find out ‘the truth’ behind the giant papier mache eggplant on the rugby pitch.


Agency: Motion Sickness
Client: Department Of Internal Affairs / The New Zealand Government
Director: Sam Stuchbury
Writers: Will Macdonald, Jolin Lee, Sam Stuchbury, Alex McManus, Hilary Ngan-Kee
Producer: Joseph McAlpine
Director of Photography: Alexander Glucina
Art Director: Anna Maxwell
Editors: Jolin Lee, Pete Hansen
First Assistant Director: Chris Short
Production Coordinator: Alex Schofield
Script Supervisor: Will Macdonald
Costume Designer: Miranda Raman
Costume Assistant: Jacqui Whall
B Camera Operator: Freddy Riddiford
1st AC: Willy Pearce
2nd AC: Natsuki Arai
Digital Video Technician: Conrad Armstrong
Gaffer: Craig Muirhead
Best Boy: Matt Kofoed
LX Assistant: Josh Wijohn
Key Grip: Pablo Stevenson
Grip Assistant: Noah Timpson
Sound Mixer: Craig O’Reilly
Boom Operators: Jackson Weeks, Sofiane Tib
Make Up Artist: Guillermina Gentile
Post Production Supervisor: Jolin Lee
Audio Post Production Services: Franklin Rd
Colourist: Matic Prusnik
Visual Effects: Jolin Lee, Fraser Macedo
Photographer: Jordan Stent
Graphic Designer: Anna Hughes
Media Buyer: Josh Hawke
Head of Strategy: Hilary Ngan Kee
Executive Creative Director: Sam Stuchbury

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