Cockatoo Co.Lab debuts comedy series in Australia with Network Ten
Since securing International placement in June, Australian comedy 600 Bottles of Wine today announces it will broadcast locally on Network Ten’s channel Eleven as a 4 x 18’ series as well as on TenDaily and TenPlay as an 8 x 9’ web series.
Bec Bignell (MediaXpress NSW and formerly ABC) and Dr. Marius Foley (RMIT) founded Cockatoo Co.Lab in December 2017. Their cutting-edge methodologies in filmmaking are anchored in a human-centered design and advocate an audience led approach. Their mission is to recycle and re-purpose content for consumption across multiple platforms, as opposed to restricting audience-reach to one medium.
600 Bottles of Wine emerged from a sassy proof of concept blog written by award winning actress Grace Rouvray about her life as a young, single woman. In transmedia fashion, the blog voice flows into the authentic and relatable web series.
“We’re really excited that Network Ten have embraced the innovation in story repackaging as it indicates an industry commitment to experimentation, which is essential in the current landscape. 600 Bottles of Wine is a web series but it’s also a television series, it’s format fluidity means it can’t be identified as one or the other, which pushes the boundaries and subverts traditional industry expectations,” says Bignell.
Bignell has harnessed her experience as a social media, digital native in the exploration of the role of an audience. Cockatoo Co.Lab is interested in the way social media natives have an intimate relationship with audiences and is dedicated to the creative opportunities that transmedia storytelling presents.
“We nurture a collaborative relationship with the audience to create an inclusive two-way channel. Conventional media organisations and brands traditionally use social media as a marketing tool. Whereas we consider how social media and evolving behaviours of people interacting on digital platforms can actually influence and change the texture of the media itself,” says Bignell.
600 Bottles of Wine is not only a story told from a female perspective, it’s also made by a multi-discipline female creative team. The women met as actors and comprises of Australian comedy creator, Ainslie Clouston (Director and Script Editor), award-winning actress, Grace Rouvray (Writer and Lead Actress) and Bec Bignell (Producer, Cockatoo Colab Co-Founder).
Director Ainslie Clouston says, “The situation of having to gauge where you stand in a new relationship can be brutal so I wanted to add a sense of quirk and warmth. I was able to meticulously craft an immersive audience experience from script edit to final edit; weaving my slightly bent, poignant comedic tone throughout so that the story can seamlessly exist in multiple formats.”
In February 2018 Escapade Media entered a partnership with Cockatoo Co.Lab for worldwide distribution. Managing Director Natalie Lawley comments, “Since Escapade was launched we had been searching for the right project to start our Comedy genre and when we screened 600 Bottles of Wine, there was absolutely no question the global appeal of the series was hugely attractive but what really appealed to us was the short form episodes for the online world, and the ability to re-format the durations into longer episodes for the linear world.”
Cockatoo Co.Lab endeavours to identify and consult under represented communities through digital engagement and insights at the outset so their multi-media stories are produced interactively with the intended audience.
Bignell continues, “Appointment and linear media is losing to flexible schedule and device delivery and digital natives have a fluid purchase of how media enters the world. In 600 Bottles of Wine the creative team produced a story that moved seamlessly across different spaces and unique time slots. We were interested in the commuter time slot and experimented with a format that appealed to the appetite for shorter, fast paced episodes that can be viewed on the way to and from work.”
The next project on Cockatoo Colab’s production slate, Rain Dance, is a multi-media film project aiming to give a voice to the underrepresented communities of regional Australia through a story about two female shearers. Rain Dance is a hybrid web series; the storyline is fictional however, local people (non-actors) cast in character roles actors will bring their unique selves to the film. This project has been developed in partnership with the interactive online creative hub, Rural Room, a Facebook, web and Instagram community of over 60,000 people located largely in Australia’s rural and remote regions. Rain Dance will be broadcast as a web series, repurposed as a short form series and a Feature Film.
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