Stan today unveiled five Stan Original productions – two drama series, a true crime docuseries, a film and a comedy special – as part of an ambitious plan to ramp up local commissions.
The Nine-owned streamer said it plans to invest in more than 30 productions per year within five years, drawing on Nine’s production facilities and via co-productions with international partners including Hollywood studios and international networks.
It will continue to build on relationships with state and national screen agencies including initiatives such as the Stan and Film Victoria Development Fund and the Screen Queensland and Stan Premium Drama Development Fund.
The slate announced today includes Every Cloud Productions and Balloon Entertainment’s eight-part murder mystery Eden; Claudia Karvan, Kelsey Munro and Roadshow Rough Diamond’s 10-part half-hour drama Bump; and After the Night, a four-part true crime docuseries from EQ Media Group and Salon Pictures, created and directed by Thomas Meadmore.
Dom and Adrian: 2020 is an original comedy special from the creators of the Bondi Hipsters, Christiaan Van Vuuren and Nick Boshier. Also, Christiaan Van Vuuren will direct a Stan Original Film written by Elliot Vella, Gretel Vella and Timothy Walker, which is in advanced development.
Nine reported Stan had 2.2 million subscribers and the business turned cash flow positive in the second half of the 2019 financial year with revenues of $116.6 million, up 79 per cent, and pre-tax earnings of $14 million in the first half.
“Stan continues to experience significant growth, reaching a scale that is delivering strong positive cash flow,” CEO Mike Sneesby said.
“As part of our strategy to bring the world’s best content to Australians, we will shift greater investment into Stan Original productions through our local and international partnerships.
“This strategy is further bolstered by Nine’s production capabilities as we maximise the efficiency of our content investment across the group’s market leading television platforms.”
Eden and Bump are now shooting, adhering to COVIDSafe guidelines. Stan’s chief content officer Nick Forward credits the producers of both shows with ensuring optimum precautions, adding that the insurance risks are being managed in a variety of ways.
“The slate demonstrates the real variety in genres and audience approaches in Stan Originals commissions,” he told IF.
Created by emerging writer-director Vanessa Gazy and based on an original concept by Every Cloud’s Deb Cox, Eden is filming in Byron Bay with Fiona McConaghy (The Gloaming) producing.
John Curran (Bloom) is the set-up director and will helm three episodes, and Mirrah Foulkes (Judy & Punch) will direct three. The director for the remaining two is yet to be named.
The all-female writing team led by Gazy comprises Jess Brittain, Anya Beyersdorf, Clare Sladden and Penelope Chai, with Alice Englert as a writing consultant on the series.
Starring newcomers Sophie Wilde and BeBe Bettencourt alongside Keiynan Lonsdale, Cody Fern, Cassandra Sorrell, Claude Jabbour, Alexandria Steffensen, Christopher James Baker and Samuel Johnson, the series explores the hidden lives of the locals in a seemingly idyllic coastal town following the disappearance of a young woman.
It was developed in collaboration with Bryan Elsley, who founded the UK’s Balloon Entertainment with comedian Harry Enfield, and previously worked with Every Cloud on the web series Deadlock. All3Media International is on board.
In Bump Nathalie Morris plays Oly, an ambitious and high-achieving teenage girl who has a surprise baby, with Karvan as her mother Angie. Casting of Angie’s husband is yet to be announced.
Set in and around a high school in inner Sydney, the series explores unexpected motherhood, unwelcome new relatives, unintended consequences and the culture clash between the two families.
Carlos Sanson Jnr plays the baby’s Chilean father, with Catalina Palma, Safia Arain, Paula Garcia, Ioane Saula, Peter Thurnwald and Ricardo Scheihing Vasquez as school friends and family members.
Karvan is producing with Roadshow Rough Diamond’s John Edwards and Dan Edwards. The directors are Geoff Bennett (Wolf Creek), Gracie Otto (The Other Guy) and Leticia Caceres (The True History of Billie the Kid).
The series is created and co-written by Kelsey Munro, joined in the writing team by Jessica Tuckwell, Timothy Lee, Mithila Gupta and Steven Arriagada. ITV Studios has the international rights.
Karvan said: “Bump feels truthful, funny and alive. It has a strong sense of place and its examination of intimate relationships is surprising and unsettlingly recognisable which is testament to the talent and honesty of our writers.”
‘After the Night.’
After the Night profiles one of Australia’s deadliest serial killers in Eric Edgar Cooke, known as ‘The Night Caller,’ who terrorised and destroyed a suburban Perth community, murdering eight people and assaulting and attempting to kill many more, in the 1960s.
Meadmore, who had unprecedented access to the killer’s wife and the two men wrongly convicted of his crimes, examines the devastating aftermath of serial murder and how his victims have come together through grief and injustice in the pursuit of redemption.
“Growing up, mum’s tale of the man who randomly knocked on the neighbours’ door in the night and shot the person who answered terrified me,” Meadmore said. “It is amazing that Stan, alongside my other production partners, have afforded me the opportunity to fully explore the legacy of this epic home town story and the people it affected – some in the most profound ways possible.”
Now in production, Dom and Adrian: 2020 stars Christiaan as Dom and Nick as Adrian in a 35-40 minute mockumentary chronicling their journey through the horrors of 2020.
‘Dom and Adrian: 2020.’
Having been billed to play at a premier bush doof, Dom and Adrian’s career was on precipice of taking off… until the bushfires hit. They were next booked to play a bushfire fundraiser when the floods washed through. Then they were going to headline a flood-relief show when the hail storms came down.
Now, the night before their biggest gig yet, raising money for the #PanelBeatBondiAiD movement, the whole country was thrown into lockdown due to the global pandemic. But the two best friends quickly see all this as an opportunity to refocus, “pivot” and evolve creatively.
Julia Corcoran is producing in partnership with Easy Tiger, with Van Vuuren directing.
Every Cloud will produce the Stan Original Film to be directed by Van Vuuren, described by Forward as a “genre mash-up which will be a crowd-pleaser.”
Gretel Vella co-wrote The Great, the Hulu-commissioned series created by Tony McNamara, and three episodes of Nine/Easy Tiger’s Doctor Doctor.