Peach Wemyss Astor
Peach Wemyss Astor was a production company equipped to make both television and radio, who produced a diverse and prolific output of advertising content during the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
Peach Wemyss Astor grew out of Astor Recording Studios, Auckland – which had during the 1950s, under Noel Peach’s leadership, provided sound recording facilities to music recording labels such as TANZA as well as companies wishing to make radio commercials. When commercial television arrived in New Zealand on 1 April 1961, a new market was created for TV advertising, and Peach joined with filmmaker Stan Weymss form a new company that could cater to this exciting new creative medium. Weymss was a former National Film Unit cameraman and owner of the Vogue (now Penthouse) Cinema in Wellington.
Peach Wemyss Astor was a full-service production company, with operations in both Auckland and Wellington. It continued to grow – with Noel Peach’s son, Kelvin, working alongside and soon succeeding him – into the 1960s. The company maintained a large specialist staff, including: film and radio recording and editing staff, full-time makeup artists, an art department, electricians, and administrative support.
Kelvin Peach recalls TV stations’ use of 16mm prints for advertising during the 1960s ("Interview with Kelvin Peach," 2008, oral history by Jane Paul, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)
With their innovative approach to the form, Peach Wemyss Astor attracted a number of high profile advertising contracts. Among many other advertisements, their memorable television work includes:
- Advertisements for Four Square, featuring the iconic animated Mr Four grocer (1960)
- Advertisements for cars, such as the Vauxhall Victor 101 (1962)
- National Airways Corporation advertisements (1964)
- Mobil Oil
- A hip and modern 1969 political advertisement for the Labour Party
Kelvin Peach on the lengths he went to to get the right shot ("Interview with Kelvin Peach," 2008, oral history by Jane Paul, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)
Alongside television advertising, the Wellington branch of Peach Wemyss Astor also produced television documentaries and dramas – including Survey (1971), Uenuku (1973), One Family in Three (1985) – until Stan Wemyss’ death in 1988.
Kelvin Peach discusses the relationship between production companies and creative agencies during the 1960s and 1970s ("Interview with Kelvin Peach," 2008, oral history by Jane Paul, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)
- Interview with Kelvin Peach, 2008, oral history by Jane Paul, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.
- "Stan Wemyss," NZOnScreen