1 September 2021
By Lidia Williams
Screen Australia has announced six projects that will share in $920,000 of production funding through the Online Fund. This includes new seasons of popular TikTok series The Formal and Australia’s Best Street Racer for YouTube; and comedy Counter Girls, a spin-off of hit series Rostered On.
Comedian Nina Oyama joins an exciting team of writers for satire Clockwork about Australia’s 6th most influential pop culture news website, and It’s Fine I’m Fine will explore the magic of therapy, both for Facebook. The slate also includes new vertical series Krystal Klairvoyant for TikTok.
Screen Australia’s Senior Online Investment Manager Lee Naimo said, “We’re excited to support this impressive mix of projects from teams around the country. We’re really pleased that online creators are continuing to work hard and identify and then hook in their audiences with great characters and storylines. We can see great examples of this with new seasons of 2 Street 2 Racer and The Formal which both connected with viewers on YouTube and TikTok respectively.”
THE FUNDED PROJECTS ARE:
2 Street 2 Racer: A second series of Australia’s Best Street Racer which gained over 1.7 million views on YouTube. The six-part comedy sees the return of 18-year-old Taylor James who is determined to cement his legacy in Launceston’s late night street racing scene, in his mum’s 1994 Holden Barina. Writer/directors Dylan Hesp and Michael O'Neill team up again with producer Georgie Lewin and executive producer Nathan Earl. This project is financed with support from Screen Tasmania.
Monologue (formerly Clockwork): A six-part satirical series for Facebook set in the newsroom of Australia’s 6th most influential online pop culture magazine, Clockwork, where journalistic integrity competes with hashtags, fake news and egos, all wrapped up in the 7-second news cycle. The series follows editor Heidi, who tries to bring respect to a magazine better known for pop listicles and celebrity gossip; and owner Max, a conservative entrepreneur concerned with clicks, profits and boat shoes. The creative team features writer/director Nina Oyama (The Angus Project), director Nicholas Clifford (We’ve All Been There), and writers Nick Melin, Vidya Rajan, Deirdre Fidge and Amberly Cull. It is produced by Jim Wright (Goodnight Sweetheart), Emma Roberts (Mwah) and Elise Trenorden (All These Creatures). This project is financed with support from Film Victoria.
Counter Girls: An eight-part comedy spin-off of hit series Rostered On, which sees fan favourites Beeanka and Sarah find themselves over 30 and without the career, partner or lifestyle they envisaged for themselves. With their 10-year anniversary at ElectroWorld approaching - what was supposed to be a temporary summer job - they are feeling the pressure to figure out what comes next. Counter Girls sees the return of Rostered On writer/director Ryan Chamley and producers Stephen Luby and Madison Sara. They are joined by writer/director Michala Banas, writers Diana Brumen (who stars as Beeanka) and Lewis Mulholland (Loving Captivity), and director Jackson Tozer. The executive producers are Ryan Chamley, Stephen Luby and Stu Ross. The series will be released on YouTube and Facebook.
It’s Fine, I’m Fine: A 10-part series for Facebook that follows psychologist Joanne and the ups and downs of her patients as they explore love, loss, anxiety, obsession and the uncertain future ahead. Told with elements of magical realism this dramedy asks, how do we find the magic in everyday life? It’s Fine, I’m Fine is created and directed by Stef Smith whose short film Joy Boy won Best Australian Short Film at the 2019 Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and is written by Arky Michael (Australian Summer), Anna Lindner (A Beginner's Guide to Grief), Cecilia Morrow, Chris Bunton, Jeanette Cronin, Michael Gupta, Nick Coyle (Sarah’s Channel) and Wendy Mocke. The series will be produced by Smith along with Clare Delaney, Iain Crittenden and Jessie Singh, and executive produced by Annette Davey (Pam & Tommy), Florence Tourbier, Gracie Otto (The Last Impresario) and Oliver Lawrance (Sweet Country). This project is financed was developed with support from Screen NSW.
Krystal Klairvoyant: A 23-part vertical series for TikTok about Krystal, an online tarot card reader and misanthropic agoraphobe with a shopping addiction. Krystal discovers she's a witch when she accidentally starts casting real spells on her customers, and soon the fragile strings that kept her life together start falling apart. This existential comedy is written, directed and produced by Erin Good, the creator of online drama Jade of Death which garnered 4 million views on YouTube. Good teams up with writer/producer Huna Amweero (Blaze).
The Formal Series 2 and 3: Two follow-up seasons of The Formal which has over 3.9 million views on TikTok. This series follows two very different girls, Hannah and Monique, as they plan the biggest night of the year, nay, the biggest night of their lives: the Year 12 Formal. The new series kicks off with Hannah and Monique having confessed their feelings for each other but with the formal fast approaching they must navigate commitment, jealousy, the beep test, and their future together. Creators and stars Monique Terry and Hannah Rae Meegan also write the series and direct alongside Abby Gallaway, with producer Sarah Lang (How To Stay Married).
The blocklines are available here for 2020/21 and here for 2021/22.