Students crew new ABC series, DEADLOCK

Byron Bay

22 Aug 2017

HERO Deadlockcrewphoto



Students crew new ABC series, DEADLOCK

22 Aug 2017

Photo: DEADLOCK's Production Attachments - Simon Scotti, Rhys Hicks, Morgan Beresford, Byron Grieves-Handley, Billi-Hunter Drury, Clementine Bourke, Emily Page, Tim Eddy and Harry O’Meara.

A number of current students and alumni from SAE Byron Bay have been selected to work on the new ABC drama series DEADLOCK which started filming in the NSW Northern Rivers region earlier this month.

The production opened career opportunities for nine talented locals to join the film crew working in Production Attachment (paid internship) roles that were made possible through the support of individuals, businesses and organisations, including SAE Institute, who were keen to assist with the initiative and create employment and career pathways in the region.

Aged between 18 and 27 years, the interns have varying levels of work experience in the industry. Their roles on DEADLOCK see them working long days for three to four weeks (depending on their role) being paid a wage while working alongside a highly experienced film crew. Their names will also be mentioned in the list of credits on the feature broadcast production. Not bad for an internship!

Photo: DEADLOCK production in full swing with a great crew and cast at Ballina Skate Park

Two of the nine Production Attachments roles are current SAE Byron Bay students. Rhys Hicks is a Trimester 5 Bachelor of Film student while Byron Grieves-Handley is studying a Diploma in Sound Production. SAE Byron Film alumni Simon Scotti and Clementine Bourke were also offered a place on the production crew.

"So far the experience working on Deadlock has been a huge insight into working on a professional set. I've learned a lot and surprised myself with how well my skills have developed throughout my studies. Overall its been a great foot-in-door opportunity - I'm so glad I was selected to be part of the crew!" said current SAE film student Rhys Hicks who is working in the Art Department.

Fellow SAE Byron audio student Byron Grieves-Handley who is working in the Sound Department on the series explains why he applied for a role on the DEADLOCK project.

“I thought it would give me a chance to get a good amount of hands-on experience in the field that I would like to pursue after my studies. These kinds of invaluable experiences that SAE offers its students provide hours of on-the-job mentoring.”

“I had been involved in the early stages of script development with the DEADLOCK team, so it has been a huge privilege to be able to see the written script transform to being played out by the actors. Having the opportunity to be involved in the filming of the series myself has been amazing!”

Photo: DEADLOCK shooting in Ballina supermarket

Set in and around the Byron Bay area, the high-octane drama series crashes though the incredible highs, heartbreak, camaraderie, laughs and bittersweet sorrow of what it is to be a teenager. When a mysterious car crash exposes the dark underbelly of an idyllic paradise, it dramatically changes the lives of the teens it touches.

The original concept for DEADLOCK was conceived by acclaimed Northern Rivers filmmaker Deb Cox. The series was then developed by writer Billie Pleffer, presented by Screen Australia and ABC, and produced by Belinda Mravicic, Fiona Eagger and Deb Cox for Every Cloud Productions. The production company’s list of credits features other notable Australian dramas that include Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Newton’s Law, East of Everything and The Gods of Wheat Street, which was also filmed in Northern NSW around Casino and Lismore in late 2012.

Development of the series came about through a workshop hosted by Northern Rivers Screenworks with a group of local youth who shared their experiences of what it’s like being a teenager living in this region with the series writers and producers.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for these nine early career screen practitioners,” explained Screenworks General Manger Ken Crouch.

“It means that these young screen workers can build their screen industry skills, connections and careers without leaving their home towns. While the majority of production happens in metropolitan centres, we are seeing an increase in production in the Northern Rivers and Screenworks wanted to make sure that our early career filmmakers benefited,” continued Mr Crouch.


Deb Cox from Every Cloud said, “This reaffirms Every Cloud’s ongoing collaboration with Screenworks and our shared commitment to a vibrant screen industry in the Northern Rivers. Having raised my own children in the region, I’m keenly aware of how important it is to inspire and connect youth as they’re forging their futures and I’m so excited that we have this opportunity to help.”

Today, film students at SAE Byron Bay were treated to a special guest lecture from DEADLOCK’s Story Producer, Mike Jones. Mike is a writer, script-editor and creative producer who works across screen, page & interactive media. He has been a recipient of numerous accolades including an Australian Writer’s Guild Award and has worked in script and project development with companies that include the ABC, WarnerBros, EveryCloud, Porchlight, Deadhouse Films, Latenite Films and Princess Pictures. He has also overseen long-form script labs for YouTube and is story consultant to ABC Signature studios in the US.

MikeJones Masterclass3
Photo: Mike Jones, Story Producer, DEADLOCK, speaking to current SAE film students at the Byron Bay campus

DEADLOCK will screen on ABC iview and ABC 2 TV later this year.

You can follow the DEADLOCK production as it unfolds on INSTAGRAM & SNAPCHAT.



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