Robyn Malcolm: “There’s never a moment where you don’t panic.”

After the Party star and producer Robyn Malcolm reveals when filming began on the NZ series, the crucial episode 6 still hadn't been written.

Actor Robyn Malcolm, who co-created acclaimed drama After the Party with writer Dianne Taylor admits it was a steep learning curve moving into an executive producer role for the NZ drama.

At one point the production cycle went from coasting along to hectic.

“You swim around in that lovely calm lake of development where nobody has to do much except just think and ponder, write and rewrite. Then a network gives you the green light and says ‘And we want it by this date.’ The brakes are off and everyone just goes hell for leather. Suddenly we were starting shooting and we didn’t have any episode six!” Malcolm reveals.

“It felt very fast at the end. But I think that’s pretty standard. I’m kind of new to this development side of things. But my understanding from being an actor is that there’s never a moment where you don’t panic.”

One of the early advocates for the series was NZ-born producer Helen Bowden, one half of Australia’s Lingo Pictures, which ultimately co-produced the series.

“Helen had been a friend of mine. We’d done a show called Wake in Fright, but I also knew her around the Kiwi traps,” Malcolm continues.

“But I was unsure what we should do with script and I rang Helen and I said, ‘I just want to pick your brains.’ By the time we got to the end of the conversation, she said, ‘How come you’re asking me for advice, but you’re not sending me the script?’

“And I and I said, ‘Oh, do you want to read it?’

“At that stage Di and I didn’t really know whether we had anything or it was just a big pile of poop. I sent the first couple of scripts to Helen when she was in LA and she said she rang me immediately and said, ‘Don’t show this to anybody else. I’m jumping on a plane and I’ve coming to New Zealand.'”

After The Party continues 8:30pm Sunday on ABC, all episodes on iview.

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