Funding approval for Nine’s Beaconsfield telemovie

Screen Australia invests in Nine's Beaconsfield disaster dramatisation and a new 26 part live action sci-fi for kids on the ABC.

Screen Australia has announced some funding for new projects which includes Beaconsfield, a Nine telemovie based on the 2006 mining disaster and a new ABC sci-fi series for kids.

Beaconsfield is a three-hour telemovie produced by John Edwards for Nine, to be directed by Glendyn Ivin and written by Judi McCrossin.

The 26-part live action sci-fi children’s series Resistance, combines ‘action, thrills and cutting-edge special effects with the challenges of ordinary childhood life.’ The Australian-Canadian co-production is produced by Andrew Dillon, directed by Andrew Dillon and Geoff Bennett and written by Naomi Janzen and Sarah Lambert.

Screen Australia’s Chief Executive, Ruth Harley said, “Beaconsfield is a tense and emotional version of the mine disaster and subsequent rescue of two men 15 days later which will be sure to attract a significant audience.

Resistance is a mash-up of Alias meets Buffy meets Transformers meets Spooks and promises to be an entertaining children’s series which will be shot in Australia with a significant proportion of Australian cast and crew.”

Southern Star Entertainment Pty Ltd
Producer John Edwards
Writer Judi McCrossin
Director Glendyn Ivin
Broadcaster Nine Network
International Sales Endemol Worldwide
Synopsis The true story of the 2006 Beaconsfield Mine collapse and the rescue of Todd Russell and Brant Webb.

That’s-A-Wrap Pty Ltd
Producer Andrew Dillon
Writers Naomi Janzen, Sarah Lambert
Directors Andrew Dillon, Geoff Bennett
Executive Producers Catherine Nebauer, Gary Kurtz
Broadcasters ABC TV, YTV
International Sales Shaftesbury Sales Company
Synopsis The fate of humankind is in the hands of a small group of teenage resistance fighters. Armed with technology beyond the cutting edge and trained by a mysterious billionaire, they’re our last line of defence against alien invasion.

Any tips on casting the Beaconsfield flick? Shane Jacobson and Gyton Grantley perhaps?

26 Responses

  1. Hey Brad I’m going to respond to this (even though you probably wont get it now because we’re off the main page) just in case you’re Brad Lyons. There really are talented producers out there but an entire generation of producers just cannot get arrested. Southern Star a has shoehorned some pretty mediocre deal-drive material into various networks over the years as every network attempts to mitigate the risk. Seven in particular are very good at accepting all the accolades when something is a hit, but laying off all the blame to outside producers when something misses.

  2. @ GuanoLad – indeed. Shaft of Hope, Shaft of Hope. Whatever happened to the Shaft of Hope? Maybe it’s under, Laurie Oakes. (He sang, referencing another nerdy radio comedy bit by poorly imitating Bob Dylan.)

  3. It was the stuff above the ground that would make a better film than the Brant and Todd film, The Noami Robson make-up truck rumour story, journalist complaining about the quality of the coffee and some people leaving Beaconsfield to attend the Logie, Bill Shorten bomber jacket. There’s your Frontline-style film.
    I wonder if the Foo Fighters will be asking for a royally cheque.

    and for those confused by “Shaft of Hope”


  4. @David K – I’m disagreeing with myself then – I thought Paper Giants was good stuff. I wasn’t being sufficiently clear. What I meant by “events like this” is the ones based on some fairly recent disaster or near-disaster. I guess I see them as a little ghoulish as they’re obviously intended to play on people’s relatively clear memories and emotions.

    For me, Paper Giants is different. It’s about a time far enough back that it’s “history” rather than “(nearly) current affairs” and depicts an important turning point in Australian publishing history. It also helps that it is driven by two strong (and major) characters rather than just ordinary folk, altho’ I’m sure that the “people just like me” thing is what gets a lot of people in.

    That probably sounds overly cynical but that’s how I see it.

  5. I hate how ch9 do these events. I know at the time they wrre massive stories and its good that the two main men had a good outcome but remember that a miner lost his life. I just hope they do the family justice.

    Its the only time that 9 can get back in the ratings doing these movies.

    Well we know the ending so at least we know they get out.

  6. I post these comments here because we all know network programmers and commissioners do read your fantastic site. Also – not a personal criticism of John Edwards – he of course has producers on all of these series as it’s just not possible to produce that much returning drama on your own. My point about the lack of diversity is pretty demoralising for the rest of the producing community who are pretty keen to sell and tell their yarns.

  7. Dramatisations of real-life events like this always leave me cold. They don’t tell us anything we don’t already know, often distort what we do know and, we already know how it ends.

  8. You’d have to think Ch7 will be irked.
    One might have formed the opinion – thanks to the antics of Volunteer Paramedic Koch – that Ch7 ‘owned’ Beaconsfield as they ‘owned’ Thredbo.
    And David K is right – the media were part of the story – all the ‘stars’ he’s listed will have to be portrayed. I wonder if the Naomi Robson character might wear a lizard on her shoulder to aid identification?

  9. Harsh but true. John Edwards has two drama series in production at Ten – Rush 4, Offspring 2, Tangle 3 on Showtime, a Kerry Packer mini series commissioned by Nine along with this telemovie. Rescue SO is a Southern Star / Endemol production as is Wild Boys for Seven. There are other drama producers besides Screentime and Endemol in Australia and they just don’t get a look in. The point I am making is that this lack of diversity in who is securing network drama commissions is not good for the longer term health of our industry.

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