WTFN kicks up heels for 20th anniversary

Management & staff were joined by talent at a 20th anniversary party last night in Melbourne, toasting a huge output of unscripted titles.

Production group WTFN last night celebrated its 20th anniversary at an event at River’s Edge in Melbourne.

Founders Daryl Talbot (pictured right) and Steve Oemcke (pictured left) were joined by founding shareholder Frank Dunphy, and COO Wes Crook and staff.

Also attending were Wilbur Wilde, Red Symons, Mike Brady, Dylan Lewis, Jane Gazzo, Graham Ross, ITV’s Ben Ulm, Foxtel’s Jim Buchan and director Jon Olb from Hitmaker Studios.

The team reflected on its many hits including The Living Room, Paramedics, Emergency, Space Invaaders, Mercurio’s Menu, Keeping Up with the Joneses, Talk to the Animals, Trishna & Krishna, Oddball and more.

There was a special mention to early support from the late Ian Johnson, who encouraged the company with their first series, Coxy’s Big Break, to David Mott for backing Bondi Vet and to Foxtel’s General Manager of Factual Jim Buchan for 5 shows at Foxtel.

“It’s been a wild ride,” Talbot reflected. “We’ve had our highs and lows, and the baby has needed a lot of attention at times. Starting a business at anytime -nevermind running a complicated business like a TV production business- is really difficult. But the great thing about this partnership with three of us is that every time we focus on something new, the other two guys go and get behind it 150%. …It’s that kind of leadership that allows us to get on and do the crazy shit which often seems like mountains to climb.”

Since 2003, WTFN has produced 1,461 hours of original programming, 76 original programs of which 18 have run for three
series or more.

Steve Oemcke noted, “I think it’s 400 million views that Bondi Vet has reached. We’ve reached 2.3 billion views across our digital channels in that time. And across all of our channels we’ve got six and a half million subscribers.”

“WTFN has been made up of researchers, producers, post-producers, editors, lawyers, accountants, our board, audio people, drivers, runners, presenters, and.. who have I left out… occasionally a cameraman, a sales person, has made a contribution,” said Talbot.

“There’s been a lot of talent behind the scenes and so many people, when you think about it, from the start to the end of a TV show. Steve had a great saying: ‘We relied on every person taking a WTFN project, polishing it to the best of their ability and handing it on to the next person.'”

Photo: Miranda Stokkel

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