Shooting starts on Jonathan M Shiff’s $12.3 million series Mako Mermaids

08 May, 2012 by IF

Press release from Jonathan M Shiff Productions

Principal photography has commenced on the next Jonathan M. Shiff Production, MAKO MERMAIDS (aka MAKO – ISLAND OF SECRETS), within days of wrapping their new 13-hour family drama REEF DOCTORS, it was announced today.


Continuing the company’s highly successful Mermaid franchise, MAKO MERMAIDS is the new 26 half-hour children’s spin off of the smash hit H20 JUST ADD WATER, which is enjoyed by an audience of tens of millions in over 160 territories including Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom.

With a budget of $12.3 million, MAKO MERMAIDS centres on three mermaids, Sirena, Nixie and Lyla, who are charged with the task of protecting their magical Mako Island from trespassers, only to be thwarted by the arrival of a 16 year-old land-dweller Zac – who forms a special connection with theisland and is granted a fish-like tail and amazing powers. Threatened by his existence, the mermaid pod are forced to move away, abandoning Sirena, Nixie and Lyla, who in a bid for survival must get legs, venture onto land, and take back Zac's powers – or risk being outcasts forever.

With hundreds of teenagers auditioning for the coveted lead roles, the three mermaids will be played by – Lucy Fry (Lightning Point, Reef Doctors), Ivy Latimer(Me & My Monsters, All Saints, Home & Away, Love My Way) and Amy Ruffle, a stunning newcomer to television with experience in stage and musical theatre. The series also introduces Chai Romruen as the merman, Zac.

Produced by Jonathan M. Shiff, directed by Evan Clarry (Lightning Point, and the feature films Blurred, Under the Radar) and Grant Brown (The Elephant Princess, Rush, Crownies) and executive produced by Jonathan M. Shiff and Julia Adams, MAKO MERMAIDS commences filming this week at the Village Roadshow Studios and around the Gold Coast.

In making the announcement Jonathan M. Shiff said “REEF DOCTORS was undoubtedly our most ambitious project to date and our first foray into long-form series with a broad family appeal. Lisa McCune and our wonderful cast have delivered an extraordinary series showcasing a grand adventure set against Australia’s tropical north. Now we are thrilled to commence immediate production on our next series. Children all over the world love mermaids – but now a merman opens up a whole new world of fantasy and action.”

Renowned the world over for outstanding family and children’s drama, Jonathan M. Shiff Productions’ new family drama REEF DOCTORS will premiere in 2012. With productions sold into more than 160 territories worldwide, the company’s impressive credits include the critically acclaimed and multi-award winning OCEAN GIRL, THUNDERSTONE, WICKED SCIENCE and THE ELEPHANT PRINCESS, as well as the international phenomenon H2O JUST ADD WATER (currently sitting at No 40 in the National Top 50 programs in Australia) and the upcoming LIGHTNING POINT.

MAKO MERMAIDS is a Jonathan M. Shiff Production produced in association with Screen Australia, Network Ten, ZDF Enterprises Germany and Screen Queensland, with assistance from Gold Coast City Council’s Business Gold Coast.