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Podcast – Marta Dusseldorp: making ABC thriller Bay of Fires

Marta Dusseldorp on starring in Bay of Fires and co-creating with Andrew Knight and Max Dann.

Bay of Fires

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It was while starring in Janet King that Marta Dusseldorp was first introduced to creative producing.

“I was invited into the writers’ room for season two and then season three,” she says on the latest episode of the Screen Australia Podcast.

“Greg Haddrick was leading it then and [I] put in where I could and shut up when I couldn't and slowly I realised this is a type of producing, where you give to the story, you understand about locations and how to get a call sheet done… I thought, ‘this is something I really love doing and being a part of’. It's really the creative collaboration that's the most exciting part.”

Dusseldorp was an associate producer on Janet King before starting the company Archipelago Productions with theatre director Ben Winspear, and working with producer Jo Porter at Fremantle Media to expand her producing skillset. Then in May of 2020, having moved to Tasmania and now in the midst of lockdowns, she reached out to writer Andrew Knight.

“I said, 'I've got an idea and I'm living in the most remarkable place in the world. Let's have a chat’,” she says.

The result is ABC series Bay of Fires – an eight-part crime/thriller co-created by Dusseldorp, Knight and Max Dann, which launches on ABC and ABC iview on 16 July.

In Bay of Fires, Dusseldorp plays a woman who has to flee with her two children to a tiny isolated Tasmanian town called Mystery Bay. It’s the kind of place you won’t find on postcards, filled with simmering feuds and more secrets than even Stella is holding. Directed by Natalie Bailey and Wayne Blair, it also stars an ensemble cast including Kerry Fox, Tobey Leonard Moore, Yael Stone, Rachel House, Pamela Rabe, Roz Hammond, Stephen Curry, Matt Nable and more.

Throughout the podcast, Dusseldorp talks about her shift from acting into producing, starting Archipelago Productions, how Bay of Fires came about, and collaborating with Dann as well as Knight, who she first met some 30 years ago. Dusseldorp also talks to the shoot in Tasmania, the crew that brought it all together, and current challenges facing Australian producers.

For the full episode, listen to the Screen Australia Podcast.

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