OUT BOX OF THE
JOEL Edgerton hasn’t wasted any time getting back to work after spending a year bringing Aussie feature film The Square to the big screen. Last week he was back in front of the cameras at the Railway Hotel in West Melbourne filming the six-part ABC series Dirt Game. Edgerton plays former unionist Shane Bevic in the mining drama, which also stars Shane Connor, Gerald Lepkowski and Katie Wall. Edgerton says he hasn’t been put off by the disappointing box-office results for The Square, which he co-wrote with brother Nash and featured a standout performance from Rush star Claire van der Boom. Despite strong reviews, the movie grossed about $250,000 at the local box office. The actor says he plans to get another feature film in production as soon as possible. ‘‘The next project I want to get up will have me as an actor but with another director on board,’’ he says. ‘‘Nash and I are talking about doing some more stuff together and there’s a project in the US I’ve been developing, so we’ll see if we can’t get that made as well.’’
FILMING has begun in Broome on a new Channel 7 children’s series, which follows the mysterious events at a remote research station. Produced by Bruce Best and Andrew Lewis, the drama involves a group of children battling a faceless enemy in the remote location. The 26-part drama features eight key characters aged from 11 to 16, all unknown young actors cast from Western Australia. It will screen next year.
Hill eyes America
LES Hill, who plays Jason Moran in gangland drama Underbelly, won’t be in the show’s prequel, but there’s hope Hill is about to crack the US market. Hill has just returned from the US, where he secured an agent and manager, and is working on obtaining a visa so he can go back. ‘‘The plan is to go back to LA and hit the audition queue,’’ Hill says.
FILM Victoria is sponsoring attachments on the crew of Underbelly, despite the series being filmed in Sydney. Designed for people eager to build their on-the-job experience in the production industry, attachments are available in the art, costume, editing and sound departments during the production of Underbelly, which runs for 10 weeks from mid-October. Contact Film Victoria for details.
Keeping the kids amused
AUSTRALIAN children may soon have their own series modelled on adult fare such as Rove, Thank God You’re Here and Spicks and Specks. The ABC wants ideas for a Melbourne-based live-action children’s format to excite, entertain and inspire kids aged between 10 and 14. An initiative of Film Victoria, the Australian Children’s Television Foundation and ABC Children’s Television, Kids360 seeks television pilots for bold, interactive ideas similar to those created for adults, mixing studio audience participation, comedy, skits, music, games and challenges. It has to be something that Australian children want to watch, want to be a part of and have a sense of ownership of, the foundation’s Bernadette O’Mahony says. Details are at www.actf.com.au.
Spick of the bunch
TOP-RATING radio star and regular panelist Hamish Blake lifts the lid on the secrets of Spicks and Specks in a behind-the-scenes special to screen on the ABC on October 8. Promising a peek at snippets that hit the cutting-room floor, the special answers the questions most commonly asked by viewers, including the source of Alan Brough’s extensive music knowledge, Myf Warhurst’s worst moment (Nirvana, anyone?) and the names of the rudest, crudest and weirdest guests. Spicks and Specks continues on air until mid-November with its annual Christmas special to be filmed in December.
Given a fair shake
Running with the Hack
TRIPLE J radio stalwart Steve Cannane makes the switch to television this week with a screen adaptation of his long-running daily radio current-affairs show Hack. The Hack Half Hour is a studio-based discussion program that promises to tackle serious and not-so-serious issues impacting on young Australians. It premieres on ABC2 on Monday at 8.30pm. Cannane previously fronted a shorter news segment on Triple J TV. THE Chaser’s Chas Licciardello counts down his favourite hits on Channel [V] this weekend, in a special that screens from 12.30pm on Saturday. The program is said to have eventuated after Licciardello warned [V] program director Brett Nossiter that he would crash the [V] offices if the channel didn’t stop playing Metro Station’s Shake It— one of the most popular songs on their playlist. Nossiter refused to bow and offered Licciardello a slot instead.
Digging for dirt:
(from left) Shane Connor, Freya Stafford and Joel Edgerton.