iview teen series Deadlock to film in Byron Bay

High-octane regional project has been developed through youth sharing their stories with producers.

Byron Bay will be the setting for a new iview teen series Deadlock, developed through workshops with local youth and Skins co-creator Bryan Elsley.

Described as a high-octane, 5 x 12-minute web series, it was workshopped with local youth sharing stories, through Northern Rivers Screenworks and will be produced by Every Cloud Productions (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Newton’s Law, The Gods of Wheat Street).

A one hour version will also be produced.

Deadlock crashes though the incredible highs, heartbreak, camaraderie, laughs and bittersweet sorrow of what it is to be a teenager. When a mysterious car crash exposes the dark underbelly of an idyllic paradise, it dramatically changes the lives of the teens it touches,” a press release outlines.

Sally Riley, ABC Head of Scripted Production, said: “Deadlock will reflect the candour and vibrancy of youth culture and the complex issues faced by teenagers in Australia with humour, courage and energy. While unique in its regional Australian setting, Deadlock is also about the universal experience of youth struggling for identity and self-discovery.”

“We have been confident Deadlock would be a teen drama that captured an authentic, youthful voice ever since its early development – when we supported Skins creator Bryan Elsely to lead a story workshop. This ABC commission only reinforces writer/director Billie Pleffer’s reputation as a hugely promising talent and provides Every Cloud Productions – who have a reputation for premium drama – the chance to produce a short-form, digital content series in regional NSW,” said Sally Caplan, Head of Production at Screen Australia.

Deb Cox and Fiona Eagger said: “Deadlock has been a passion project of ours for a while now – helped along by Story Enterprise funding from Screen Australia which enabled us to bring out Bryan Elsley to Australia. We’re so thrilled to be producing this youth focused project with young creatives, including the talented writer / director Billie Pleffer, in the regional area that gave rise to the concept.”

Casting is yet to be announced but the series will also use local cast and crew from the Northern Rivers region wherever possible.

Deadlock will screen on iview later this year.

An original concept by Deb Cox for Every Cloud Productions, and developed with Billie Pleffer, the series is produced by Belinda Mravicic, Fiona Eagger and Deb Cox for Every Cloud Productions (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Newton’s Law, The Gods of Wheat Street). Deadlock will be directed by Billie Pleffer, mentored by Tony Tilse (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Underbelly).

Development of the series involved local youth sharing their experiences with the series writers and producers in a workshop hosted by Northern Rivers Screenworks, and held in collaboration with Bryan Elsley (co-creator and co-writer of the edgy UK youth drama series Skins, and, more recently, Dates and Kiss Me First). The workshop was funded by Screen Australia through their Enterprise Stories program and their Story Development programs.

An Every Cloud Production, Deadlock is presented by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Screen Australia, in association with Film Victoria and Screen NSW. Developed with the assistance of the Screen Australia, Film Victoria and Northern Rivers Screenworks. All3Media International will handle international sales.

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