Their company's called Filthy Productions and they've scored close to $15 million of New Zealand On Air funding in two years.

But there's nothing dirty about this thriving new production house, set up by three of New Zealand's most successful television writers and producers.

Writers Rachel Lang and Gavin Strawhan became company directors in January 2014, before producer Steven Zanoski joined them as managing director in October.

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Between them, Lang and Strawhan have created and worked some of the country's favourite television shows, including Outrageous Fortune, Nothing Trivial, Go Girls, This Is Not My Life and more.

Zanoski was a writer and producer for Shortland Street for four years before heading up South Pacific Pictures' development team.

Now, after years of making great content - and money - for other people, the trio are going it alone and grabbing a big chunk of the NZOA funding pie in the process.

As Lang says: "We have always made the work that got the funding, and we are still doing that."

Writers Gavin Strawhan and Rachel Lang have set up their own production company, Filthy Productions.
Writers Gavin Strawhan and Rachel Lang have set up their own production company, Filthy Productions.

She also points out that unlike other, bigger players, they are independent and locally owned.

"We are all creatives, with a long track record in the industry. Personally, I am pleased that NZOA and TVNZ have had the confidence to back a company of creatives."

Last year, they successfully pitched the new multi-night drama Filthy Rich, claiming $8.25 million of taxpayer funding.

Now, they've secured a further $6.7 million for Dirty Laundry, which will also screen on TVNZ.

A NZOA spokesperson said the decision was made entirely on the strength of the idea, not the production company behind it.

"Both Filthy Rich and Dirty Laundry are excellent projects that have been through a lengthy and contestable development process," said the spokesperson.

"Both ourselves and TVNZ will, as always, keep a close eye on both projects to ensure a quality outcome, within budget. We have confidence in the creatives involved who have an excellent track record in television drama."

Despite an apparent theme to the titles, TVNZ says the shows are "quite different".

"They both come from two of New Zealand's most successful television writers and have been subject to TVNZ's rigorous internal assessment and selection processes," said a TVNZ spokesperson.

Production is already underway on Filthy Rich, which centres on "three illegitimate children who discover they each have a claim to the fortune of one of New Zealand's wealthiest men".

Spy has heard shooting has taken place across Auckland, with exterior shots of real mansions set to feature in the series. We can't wait to see whose homes make the cut.

Meanwhile, Dirty Laundry will reportedly centre on a middle-class family whose mother is jailed for money laundering. If they want to keep the lifestyle to which they're accustomed, they'll need to keep the family business going.

Which sounds a bit like Cheryl West on the other side of the prison bars to Spy...

We asked Filthy Productions, TVNZ and NZ On Air: Do you think it is fair to say Dirty Laundry has a similar premise to Outrageous Fortune?

Of all our questions, this one was specifically not answered.

- nzherald.co.nz