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Byron Shire
May 17, 2021

Deadlock is LIVE!

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Nick Sergi, producer of the Byron Music Festival talks to The Echo.

Interview with Mell and Zara from the Byron Comedy Fest

After a year under a COVID-19 hiatus, The Byron Comedy Fest is back! Next Thursday sees this fledgling event open the doors to its second weekend presenting all that is fabulous and funny. Set on the Byron beachfront at the Byron Surf Club and styled as a classy bespoke beachside speakeasy, this event is the creative lovechild of besties Zara Noruzi and Mell Coppin.

Deadlock at Splendour – from left to right: Every Cloud Productions’ Deb Cox, Danny Phillipou, Amit Pala, Bijou Gracie Henry and EP Fiona Eagger.

Locally made youth drama series Deadlock enjoyed a private screening at the Brunswick Picture House last Thursday, with cast, crew, local partners and stake holders all in attendance to view all five episodes which were released on iview this weekend.

Ben Franklin MC was in attendance to congratulate the Every Cloud Production team on their achievements and assured them that if the series was to film more episodes that he would do what he could to support them to make it happen in the northern rivers.

The cast and crew fronted a panel at Splendour in the Grass where they talked about the series to interested festival goers.

Executive Producer for the series, Fiona Eagger said the experience was ‘fantastic. The main cast got on stage – they are incredibly articulate. They spoke about their characters and how important it was to see diversity on screen.’

Deadlock centres around the lives of five young people and how they are impacted by a car accident that claims three lives. The creators drew on the inspiration from a tragic accident that happened on Broken Head Road over a decade ago. ‘We were living here when that accident happened. It really made you aware that there was an undercurrent to the paradise,’ says Fiona.

As a creator of TV series, Fiona was passionate about creating a series for young voices that she felt weren’t getting air time in Australian productions.

‘My kids don’t watch TV’ said Fiona, ‘They watch Youtube. They watch American TV. I wanted to create something meaningful that related to them. Comedy is fun, but Deadlock shows we are interested in them – we wanted to give them something to relate to.’

The series creators wanted Deadlock to have the credibility of a show like UK series Skins. They were so committed to the concept, they asked Brian Esley, who wrote Skins to be part of the early development workshops.

‘He really kept us on track’ says Fiona. ‘Brian said, don’t make this a parental fantasy. Don’t make the kids come to the parents at the end for help. They aren’t learning lessons or having personal insights. At that age there aren’t right or wrong answers. You can’t be moralistic. From a craft point of view you try to take characters on journeys and find resolutions that way.’

Deadlock was filmed in the northern rivers over July/August last year, employing local crew, and offering roles on screen including Ocean Shores girl Bijou Gracie Henry who scored a lead. The production also gave nine young people experience as attachments on set, learning the craft with industry professionals.

If the series is to be commissioned, Fiona is keen for it to be here in the northern rivers. ‘It’s like an extended family for us up there’ says Fiona, ‘and having the support of the community makes all the difference.’

Deadlock is now available on iview and will air on ABC weekly from Friday 27 July at 10pm.

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