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Meet the Teams Behind Fresh Blood 3 – Part 2

Meet the teams behind five of the Fresh Blood 3 projects and Australia’s newest comedy webseries.

First run in 2013, Fresh Blood is a joint ABC and Screen Australia initiative created to unearth new comedic talent. Ten teams were selected to produce three comedy shorts of 3 x 5 minutes duration. Up to three projects are then selected to make a longer pilot, with the potential to be commissioned by the ABC as a series.

Fresh Blood has been the launchpad for the careers of some of Australia’s best comedy writers, directors, and performers, including Aunty Donna, Nina Oyama, Freudian Nip, Fancy Boy, Michael Cusack, and Skit Box.

The Fresh Blood 3 webseries are now available on ABC TV + iview YouTube Channel here.


with creator Wendy Mocke and producer Jessica Magro
Wendy Mocke and Joseph Althouse in Bad Ancestors

Bad Ancestors is a comedy series created by writer/actor Wendy Mocke following best friends Nora and Charli who must spend their afterlife providing ancestral guidance to young Black people. It is also so-called Australia's very first Pacific-Australian comedy series! 

What inspired the story?

Wendy: As a writer, I always begin with the intention of humanising the Black and Pacific Islander experience. Whether it’s self-indulgent, prickly, silly or wildly absurd. Bad Ancestors inspires a new and re-imagined way of how the people of the Pacific (Oceania) deal with growing up and bearing the weight of collective responsibility. Especially when you don't necessarily feel like you're ready or, let's be honest, qualified. One of its aims is to also put a contemporary perspective on a rich, spiritual world that is often spoken about with reverence.

What do you hope audiences take away from the series?

Wendy: Maybe when seeking advice from the Ancestors, it might be useful to direct your request for help to the Ancestors who are actually good at their jobs. Maybe look at their google reviews? Otherwise you’ll end up with Ancestors like Nora and Charli and I don’t know if you want that chaos in your life…..maybe you do!

Jess: Working alongside your own communities makes a world of difference. Sets filled with BIPOC folk are rare - but opportunities like Fresh Blood allow us to continue building capacity in our communities so more sets are filled with stunning Black and brown faces!  

Bad Ancestors is available to watch on ABC TV + iview YouTube channel

Going Under

with co-creator Danielle Walker
Danielle Walker and Lauren Bonner in Going Under

Going Under is about the town Gowa that is due to be evacuated in six months due to constant flooding. It follows aspiring journalist Sam as she tries to document her family in her childhood home for perhaps the last time ever. Going Under is by Danielle Walker, Lauren Bonner and Megan Wilding.

What inspired the story?

It’s about the little details and moments with family that are important. We’d love for people to notice and love the little annoying things their family do that drive them insane, because those are the things you’ll probably remember and joke about when they’re gone. So, you may as well try and love them now.

What were the challenges of filming on location?

Travel time, but that’s about it, I’ve worked on locations where I had to be outside in cold water all day so this was a dream in comparison!!

What have you learnt during production?

What translates to film from writing and what doesn’t. I learn’t I like to be in the edit suite.

Favourite moment during production?

Watching the children of the Caterers fan girl over Heidi Arena as Mrs Gonsha.

Going Under is available to watch ABC TV + iview YouTube channel

Fine Art

with writer and director Emma Holland
Torso puppeteer Alice Osborne and host Emma Holland on the set of Fine Art

Fine Art is an amalgamation of everything from kids shows growing up that made me feel unsettled. It's a primary-coloured fever dream. Kooky children’s art presenter Emma struggles to teach morals to a new generation through the joy of crafting, as the puppets, set, and even herself, derail the show in increasingly unsettling sketches (for adults only).

What inspired the story?

Aesthetically, I was inspired by a lot of kids TV; Art Attack, Monica's House, Soupe Opera. Anything where the world felt in some way hyperreal. I also took a lot from the music video for "What I've Done" by Linkin Park. I made the whole crew watch it while we shot episode 1. 

What were the technical challenges of incorporating puppetry?

SO MANY, particularly figuring out how to fit our puppeteer Alice within to the set without being seen. we shot it all in a tiny studio and had to get creative about how to make it look and feel bigger than it was. It was a lot of problem solving and tetris. Luckily, Alice is an expert and gave us direction of how to best conceal her while keeping the set aesthetic we wanted. We also recorded the voice actor on a separate day so we had to get her to move to the recordings. She was dynamite. 

What do you hope audiences take away from the series?

A sense of doom and a reframing of the childhood shows they loved. Don't believe the smiles. There's a reason every Disney star has a podcast now. 

Fine Art is available to watch ABC TV + iview YouTube channel

Starship Q Star

with creators Lauren Anderson and Meegan May
Co-Captains (and ex-girlfriends) Sim and Aurelia in Starship Q Star

Starship Q Star follows the “first all women and non-binary crew” on a PR mission to Mars, when they inadvertently end up the last six humans in the universe. If Bottoms, Star Trek and Our Flag Means Death had a three way it would birth our show about a messy, chaotic, horny queers in space.

What inspired the story?

Our shorts are based on our award-winning fiction podcast. It was inspired by a viral news story about NASA trying to stop their astronauts shagging on long range missions by only having all-women crews. We (and every queer in the world) thought that was hilarious and the show was born.

What were the challenges of animating the project?

Animation is very labour intensive, so you are always watching your budget and schedule. To help offset that pressure, we wanted to keep the episodes as tight as possible, so we had to work hard to make every second count.

Our aim was for it to feel like a natural expansion of the audio series. The same characters and tone – now with the lights on.  Developing the look was very exciting.  We finally got to answer big questions like, ‘is this a good mix of queer haircuts?’ and ‘just how hot is Sim?’

What have you learnt during production?

Neither of us had directed or produced animation before so this was a real crash course in animation production. There were times that the learning curve felt like a sheer cliff but we were lucky to have an incredible team and some great support to help us through.

Starship Q Star is available to watch ABC TV + iview YouTube channel


with creator, director and animator Joshua Yasserie and co-writer Jon Rex Williams.
Meet Reg in KingsLand

KingsLand follows Reg, an animated First Nations man struggling to fit into the real world, as he tries to find his real Country; guided by the spirit of his late wife Agnes and an angry animated koala named Wiiny who he can’t understand.

What inspired the story?

Joshua: KingsLand came from within my understanding of myself, the people around me and the environment. Growing up there was little to no representation of people who looked like me or lived the lives we lived in our communities. It wasn’t until I was designing Reg through a deep and intensive character design process that I poured a lot of myself into him, that most of my work aligned with the KingsLand world.

What were the challenges of combining animation and live-action?

Jon: We shot the live action scenes first; once with the incredible Luke Carroll as Reg, and then again without him. We figured the animators could animate over Luke then we’d just put their animations onto the blank footage, but we forgot how many different angles we used. Each one required animating a new Reg from scratch.

Favourite moment during production?

Joshua: There were plenty of beautiful moments in the production. But I think it was the people who worked on this project to bring it to life, those who gave us support, time and labour. That is what I found to be special. Being in Redfern among local community people, being a First Nation led production, being at the end and saying we did it.

KingsLand is coming soon to ABC TV + iview YouTube channel.