Roadshow Films returns to television production

  • Film editor/media journalist

    Australia’s major screen entertainment group, Roadshow Films, will venture back into ­television production for the first time in ­almost three decades with ­producer John Edwards, as ­revealed in Diary last week.

    And Mr Edwards said the new Rough Diamond Roadshow ­production company may not be confined to long-form drama.

    The producer of Love My WayThe Secret Life of UsOffspring and Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo, said the company’s output would be “naturally quite ­eclectic” and could move across genres, such as a recently developed drama series that morphed into a feature documentary.

    “It’s one of my — maybe regrets is too strong (a word) — but I would have loved to have done more in a non-scripted area over time,” Mr Edwards said.

    RDR’s potential push into that area will be aided by Mr Edwards’ partner, former program buyer for XYZ Networks and sales executive with ITV Studios ­Global Entertainment, his son Dan.

    Village Roadshow has had ­recent successes with its film exhibition and distribution arms, and film production company Village Roadshow Entertainment Group (including recent multi-Oscar winner, Mad Max: Fury Road), but has not ventured into TV production since Roadshow Coote & Carroll made series such as GP and Brides of Christ in the early 1990s.

    Co-chief executive of Roadshow, Chris Chard, said long-form television for local and international ­markets was a no-brainer given the growth of new broadcast ­platforms and changing viewing ­habits. And Roadshow knows the market.

    “We have relationships and partnerships with some of the ­biggest television producers in the world — the BBC, ABC, HBO, Shine — and we see there is obviously growing demand for longer-form drama here in Australia,” Mr Chard said.

    “We’re exposed to that growth in content and we’re sort of well placed to make those decisions.

    “Also, we already have access to creative talent for the shorter form, film, and you’ve seen this ­attention paid to creative talent working between the two and moving from film to TV.” He added the move into television was not at the expense of Village Roadshow’s local or international film ambitions.

    “It’s really an expansion of the business and represents no lessening of our love and passion for Australian film,” Mr Chard said.

    Mr Edwards, who established RDR after leaving the newly merged Endemol Shine Australia last November, would not put any numbers or forecasts on the company’s production slate beyond noting, “we have about eight things that are reasonably active at the moment”.

    “It’s always ad hoc and see what you can sell, but our ambitions are to take over the world. I’ve been my happiest and most fruitful when I’m busiest.”

    The only active project he left with Endemol Shine is the sequel to Blue MurderThe High Road, starring Richard Roxburgh as convicted killer Roger Rogerson. The two-part miniseries for Seven is now filming in Sydney.

Comments are closed.