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Podcast – Jason Stephens: Lingo Pictures

Producer Jason Stephens on starting Lingo Pictures with Helen Bowden and their approach to developing, creating, and selling Australian television.

Two images side by side, headshot of Jason Stephens and an image of Milly Alcock and Tim Minchin on the set of Upright

Jason Stephens, Milly Alcock and Tim Minchin on the set of Upright

Find this episode of the Screen Australia Podcast on iTunes, SpotifyStitcher or Pocket Casts

The Australian screen industry is a business built on relationships, according to producer Jason Stephens.

It’s a theme that comes up throughout Stephens’ episode of the Screen Australia podcast, whether he’s talking about working with different broadcasters, to pitching television ideas, to how the production company Lingo Pictures came about.

Stephens, who started in the industry as a comedy writer before turning to producing, had been at Fremantle Media for a decade when he started thinking of branching out again.

“The idea of being an independent producer was really attractive - and finding a partner that I could work with and enjoy the process with,” he says on the podcast.

Director Jessica Hobbs, who Stephens had worked with on Devil’s Dust suggested he meet producer Helen Bowden, one of the founders of Matchbox Pictures who Hobbs knew through The Slap.

From there Lingo Pictures was born, and since 2015 has produced a number of series, ranging in formats, styles and with different broadcasters, including: Network Ten’s The Secrets She Keeps, which began airing in primetime on BBC One in July; Tim Minchin series Upright, as well as the most nominated series in AACTA history - Lambs of God – for Foxtel; female-driven four-part SBS series On the Ropes; and miniseries Wake in Fright for Network Ten (read about its journey from book to screen here).

Throughout the podcast, Stephen talks to a wide variety of topics around producing Australian television, such as the challenges and positives of shifting from a large production company to an independent one, creating a sustainable business, working with different broadcasters, and how long the turnaround is from television idea to delivery.

For feedback about this episode, please email [email protected]

Watch:

  • Lambs of God and Upright on Foxtel
  • The Secrets She Keeps and Wake in Fright on 10play
  • On the Ropes on SBS on Demand

Subscribe to Screen Australia Podcast on iTunes, SpotifyStitcher or Pocket Casts