Since 1997, Story Inc has been helping clients of all shapes and sizes from across the museum, heritage, cultural and commercial sectors to tell their stories by creating visitor experiences 


James McLean

James was born in Washington, DC, and grew up in France, Malaysia, New Zealand and Britain.

He graduated from Victoria University in 1982 with a first class Honours degree in English Literature, and worked in independent documentaries. Between 1986 and 1990 he lived in Tokyo, learned Japanese and worked as a production manager for Japanese film and television location shoots around the world. After returning to New Zealand he wrote for TV and video. He was Creative Director at Corporate Visibility Ltd from 1993 to 1995. In 1997 he was one of the founders of Story Inc, and has since produced and developed the content for exhibitions and visitor attractions around the world. James is married with three daughters and two sons.


Steve La Hood

Steve is a third generation New Zealander of Lebanese descent. He is a graduate of Victoria University of Wellington (BA Languages & Literature, 1971) and California State Universities at Humboldt and Berkeley (MFA Theatre Production & Cinematography, 1974). Steve designed and built settings for professional theatre, rock concerts, dance performances and political protest movements. 

Steve worked as a TV director at TVNZ until 1986 then established his own company to produce and direct dramas, documentaries and feature films.  In 1997, after the success of ‘Golden Days’ for Te Papa, Steve and James McLean founded Story Inc.  Steve has since produced, directed and developed visitor experiences around the world. Steve has chaired many industry boards and is currently an Industry Advisor to the WelTec Creative Technologies School.  He is married with three adult children.



We tell stories in places for visitors.


To make a positive difference to the communities we work in – economic, social, or both.


Creativity is the heart of our business; creativity harnessed to take your visitors on a journey.

  • We tell stories
  • We bring fresh eyes to the material
  • We look for revelations – the ‘ooh factor’
  • We fuse content and design
  • We challenge the boundaries of both content and presentation
  • We are culturally sensitive and understand that stories may be approached from many perspectives
  • We evoke emotional outcomes and reactions from visitors

Whatever medium we are working with, we surprise and delight


Established in 1997, Story Inc has created visitor experiences worth tens of millions of dollars for cultural institutions, government agencies and corporations in many countries.

Our work ranges from museum exhibitions to theme park experiences, from visitor interpretation centres to art installations – and everything in between.