Night Terrace is a new, full-cast, eight-part science fiction audio-comedy series following the adventures of Anastasia Black, played by Neighbours' Jackie Woodburne, and created by some of the people behind Splendid Chaps, ABC1's Outland and ABC2's The Bazura Project.
Anastasia used to save the world for the government, but now she just wants a quiet life. So when her house abruptly starts travelling in time and space she’s understandably miffed. She’s also not exactly thrilled about Eddie Jones, who happened to be on her doorstep at the time and is now her unlikely fellow traveller. University hasn’t prepared Eddie to cope with other worlds or time paradoxes, but he still thinks they’re a step up from selling electricity plans door-to-door.
Together Anastasia and Eddie will face alien invasions, hideous monsters, and a shadowy figure known only as “Sue”. All the while hoping the house will eventually take them home…
Night Terrace's first series of eight 25-minute episodes will be available as a DRM-free digital download and, via this Kickstarter campaign, on various physical media including CDs, USB keys and (for the first episode only) even a limited run of unique vinyl pressings! Plus we've also announced some exciting stretch goals: we're already producing a making of documentary, and if we make it to $15,000, a prequel mini-series available exclusively to Kickstarter backers! (See update #4 for more details.)
Who's in it?
Night Terrace stars Jackie Woodburne as Anastasia Black. Jackie studied at the National Theatre Drama School and has appeared in Australia's most iconic TV shows. She's had roles in Skyways, Cop Shop, Sons and Daughters, A Country Practice and The Young Doctors, but is best known as Julie "Chook" Egbert in Prisoner, and as the much loved Susan Kennedy in Neighbours. She joined the Neighbours cast in 1994 and in October 2013 celebrated her 4,500th episode.
Starring alongside Jackie will be co-producer and co-writer Ben McKenzie as Eddie Jones, and co-creator Petra Elliott as the mysterious "Sue"! (You can find out more about them in the "Who's making this?" section below.)
We've also announced some exciting guest stars, including Jane Badler (V, Mission: Impossible), Toby Truslove (Outland, Laid, The Strange Calls), Adam Richard (Outland, Spicks and Specks), Alan Brough (Spicks and Specks), Chris Taylor (The Chaser), Dave Lamb (Bell Shakespeare), Amanda Buckley (Impro Melbourne) and Phil Zachariah (Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol)! And we'll have more as pre-production continues.
Who's making this?
The series is being written and produced by a team with years of experience working in Australian theatre, television and comedy. We started collaborating on the hit Doctor Who podcast Splendid Chaps, which topped the iTunes Film & TV podcast charts in Australia and the UK, sold out live performances, and was listed as one of the "Eight Best Podcasts In Melbourne" by Time Out magazine. While we were discussing Doctor Who, the team realised we were all very much in favour of a woman playing the Doctor - but rather than waiting for the BBC to do it, we decided to create our own show with a female lead!
John Richards is our head writer and co-producer. John has written and performed sketch comedy for radio and television, including for JJJ and Channel 10, and is co-creator and writer of the acclaimed ABC1 sit-com about a gay sci-fi fan club, Outland ("polished, assured and full of zing" - The Sunday Age; "Pick Of The Week. Sensational writing, a great ensemble, and universal themes of love, loss, and friendship... a hit..." - The Weekend Australian).
Lee Zachariah, writer, is a screenwriter and critic, best known as one half of the ABC's much-loved The Bazura Project ("distinctively witty, self-deprecating and outrageous style" - Crikey; "Clever, informative and wonderfully daft" - The Weekly Review). He's also a writer for Australian comedy group The Chaser including work on The Hamster Wheel and The Hamster Decides.
John and Lee also co-wrote the stage play Songs for Europe: Two Short Plays About Eurovision ("refreshingly original - the writing is crisp and multi-layered and the performances terrific. ...you should consider this an absolute must-see of the Fringe" - Stage Whispers; "an impressively rendered telling of loss, hope, art and spirit" - Crikey; "Pick Of The Fringe" - Aussie Theatre).
Ben McKenzie, writer and co-producer, will also play Anastasia's sidekick Eddie. An actor and comedian, Ben is a veteran of more than a dozen Melbourne International Comedy Festival shows, and co-created the Channel 31 cult hit TV show Planet Nerd ("magically dorky [and] adorably earnest" - The Green Guide).
Petra Elliott will play the mysterious "Sue". Petra is a professional actor and singer who has written and performed cabaret and comedy for the last decade. Her extensive stage experience includes credits in productions of Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, The Vagina Monologues, Othello, Noises Off, Godspell, Cabaret and Les Miserables. Petra also appeared in Songs For Europe ("Petra Elliott is excellent" - Groggy Squirrel). Her new solo cabaret show Petrasexual opens in Melbourne in April.
David Ashton, writer, is also our sound designer and audio engineer. David was a writer, performer and producer on the 3RRR FM sketch comedy show The Third Ear before going on to work as an audio engineer at SBS and ABC radio. He has produced live programs, pre-recorded productions and outside broadcasts, including recordings of The Church, Regurgitator and Michael Franti. He now produces audio for film and television at his own studio, Sample and Hold.
We'll also be featuring a plethora of Melbourne actors and comedians as guest stars throughout the series!
Tell us more about the rewards!
We've tried to keep the rewards explanations brief, but complete, in the list to the right. Below we've expanded on some that might need a bit more explanation. You've probably noticed we don't mention a thank you; that's because we'll be thanking all backers at all reward levels on our web site, nightterrace.com, plus backers who receive a CD will also be thanked in the liner notes, and associate producers will be in the show credits.
Note there are additional postage costs for rewards being sent outside Australia; we've tried to keep them as low as possible, but we are quite far away from most of you!
- If you'd like to check out the show without buying the whole series, the Night Taster level gets you the first two episodes for just $10. In case you like what you hear, you'll also get a code so you can buy the rest of the series for the Kickstarter price.
- All rewards of $25 or more include a digital copy of the entire first series of eight episodes. All our digital releases will be DRM-free, and we'll make sure backers get first access, too.
- Any backer at the Key to the Terrace level of $50 or above, in addition to the other rewards, is invited to our launch party in Melbourne! The launch is tentatively scheduled for September or October 2014, and will depend on our final production and reward completion schedule. If you're not in Melbourne, don't despair - instead we'll send you a personalised postcard from Eddie.
- Speaking of the Key to the Terrace, the USB key you'll get is actually shaped like a house key, and sports the Night Terrace logo - what better way to show your support for the series? We'll send it to you in a little box with it's own key tag, so you feel like you've been given your own key to Anastasia's house. (See the image below.)
- The Night Visitor reward is definitely available whether or not you're in Melbourne; we'll work out a way to record your line of dialogue.
- If you're thinking of going in on the $1,000 Night Producer reward with friends, we'd welcome that - get in touch and we'll work out how you can be credited and how we can make sure you all get copies of the show!
Got questions about the rewards? Maybe you want to mix things up by adding a set of CDs to a level that doesn't have them? Send us a question via Kickstarter and we'll work something out!
How will you use the money?
We have experience with crowdfunding and have budgeted carefully to ensure we'll make enough to cover our base costs of production, while still paying for all the rewards, and Kickstarter and transaction fees.
Most of the money will be going toward cast and crew. It's a fraction of what they would normally get but we want to make sure everyone gets paid: our three key cast, sixteen guest performers, plus our sound engineer and the writers. Additionally we need to hire rehearsal space, commission artwork, and hire a studio large enough for the project; a full-cast audio drama requires more space for recording than a single-person voiceover booth.
If we manage to exceed our goal, we have some stretch goals! If we hit the stretch goal amounts, not only will we make the additional bits of Night Terrace content listed below, we'll also have more than the minimum funds needed to make Night Terrace happen - so we can pay the cast and crew more for their hard work, and make the series even better! See Update #4 for more details of our stretch goals.
- $12,000 Stretch Goal (funded!) - The Making of Night Terrace: a half-hour audio documentary about the making of the series, available to all Kickstarter backers and anyone who buys the full first series of Night Terrace. The documentary will be produced by award-winning podcaster Josh Kinal (Boxcutters, The Nudge, Devil's Avocado)!
- $15,000 Stretch Goal - The Adventures of Eddie: a prequel series of mini-episodes featuring Ben McKenzie as Eddie Jones, Anastasia's hapless sidekick, before they met. Exclusively available to Kickstarter backers who choose the $25 or higher reward level.
Rest assured that even if we don't reach these stretch goals, our base goal will allow production on Night Terrace series one to go ahead.
Risks and challenges
This is a big project, but we Chaps have a long track record of producing quality comedy, as well as extensive experience working with audio. We'll be joined by our usual sound engineer and designer David Ashton to ensure a top notch project your ears will love.
We need a large studio and we'll be working to a tight timetable, but we've factored this into our budget. We plan to have two full days in the studio with the full cast, which will be enough to record the bulk of all eight episodes, with an extra day budgeted in case anything goes awry.
We all have experience producing comedy and pre-production is well underway to ensure we know exactly what Night Terrace is and how it will sound. We've outlined our eight episodes and planned our story arc, and the first episode has already been written. We also have access to a top notch cast so we know we can make Night Terrace in the time and budget specified.
We also have previous crowdfunding experience; we took Splendid Chaps to Sydney via a campaign on the Australian crowdfunding platform Pozible, for which Ben is an Ambassador who has advised on several other successful campaigns. We've already done our research on the costs and timeframes for producing rewards, including the USB keys, CDs and vinyl pressings, and have plans in place to get them out to you on time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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