Stephen M. Irwin and Leigh McGrath.
After collaborating on multiple projects including Harrow, Tidelands and Secrets & Lies for seven years, creators/showrunners Stephen M. Irwin and Leigh McGrath have launched their own production company.
Funded by Screen Queensland’s Enterprise program, Moving Floor Entertainment has no fewer than 35 projects in development spanning diverse genres and platforms.
The partners intend to serve as showrunners on the projects they create and are looking to work with new and emerging writers, utilising Queensland talent and crew as much as possible.
“Unlike many production companies, Moving Floor is a creative company with a central focus on showrunning,” said Irwin. “As experienced showrunners, writers and producers, we can present to networks, streamers and cable services content where we can quality-control story and production in-house, from the first pitch to the last sound mix.”
The name was inspired by the scene in Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark in which Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones looks down on a moving floor covered by slithering snakes.
The term is also a metaphor for good storytelling when the floor falls unexpectedly, Irwin explains.
“Leigh and I had been working together informally so the Screen Queensland funding was the catalyst for us to form a company,” he continues. “It was almost a foregone conclusion that when time allowed, we’d form a company to produce the kind of content that excites us.
“We are grateful for Screen Queensland’s fantastic support of the way Moving Floor will be creating international content here in Queensland.”
The development slate spans short form works, feature films and TV series across multiple genres including crime thrillers, sci-fi, period, comedy and adult animation.
McGrath, who co-created Hoodlum Entertainment’s Five Bedrooms, said: “Moving Floor will create and produce high quality and diverse streaming and broadcast drama, comedy, feature film and new media content for international audiences, written and produced entirely in Queensland.
“Our hope is that returning television shows will provide capacity for upcoming writers to hone their craft and, in the long term, build a diverse body of showrunning talent that uses Queensland as a global launchpad.”
Capitalising on their international connections, they have initiated discussions with streamers, networks and other potential investors in the US and UK.
Among projects in the works are several for SVOD services and a free-to-air network in the US and one for a UK-based streamer.
By mid-2021 they aim to have their first project in production and at least two in advanced development.