It’s not often a new local drama premieres on a regional network, but this Sunday night Space_ will premiere on Southern Cross multichannel ELEVEN.
The low-budget drama is the creation of 23 year old writer / producer Billy Betts and friend Mark Alexander, who serves as director. Both are graduates of Wagga’s TV Production course and work in Southern Cross TEN’s Programming department in Canberra.
Space_ is described as a drama about four friends, Dani, Amy, Bree and Steph. The one-off episode sees Amy break-up with her boyfriend after months of fighting. Her friends want to take her mind off the break-up so they convince her to go out on the town in Canberra.
Betts says he made the drama in order to get a TV credit, shooting on the weekends using Canon 550d DSLRs, with 2 camera operators and 1 boom guy.
“After focusing on screenwriting for many years, I decided to write to my means and focus on a concept that could be done with little money,” he says.
“I write girls better than guys so I came up with a story about four girls who live in a share house together. I used talking heads as a running commentary from the characters.
“One of the girls goes through a break-up and her friends have to band together. I sent casting calls to lecturers at ANU and UC and we had about 8 girls audition for the 4 roles. We shot at several venues around Canberra and the community was very welcoming.
“I am a quiet, ideas, writing, producing type while Mark is very much a loud, confident director type so we work well as a team,” he says.
“It was all great fun and we will work together in the future.”
Space_ stars Claudia Vannithone, Alicia-Louise Gall, Lucy Lovegrove and Codie Searle but will only be seen on ELEVEN in regional areas from 10pm this Sunday, ahead of a new Wilfred episode.
“The Australian industry is great and just recently there has been some quality drama and entertainment across FTA,” says Betts.
“My goal is to write and produce TV on a day to day basis.”