After Ear, Nose and Throat went the way of the white rhino, I landed the gig as creative director of Fly, the first digital TV channel in Australia, which ran for 12 hours a night, 7 nights a week until mid 2003.
It launched in 2001, when nobody had digital TVs, so we were making content for an audience of dozens. But there's something liberating about that, and we were given a huge amount of creative freedom. There were about 25 of us in total, including Doug Bayne, James Hackett, James Wan and Leigh Whannel. So not a bad hit rate.
The same Head of Television who binned Larry Labrat eventually closed us down to make a drama series called Fireflies. Remember that? me neither.
After Fly I whored myself around town while trying to get various features off the ground. A desert noir called Pokerface looked promising for a while, but it was pretty hard to get traction so I teamed up with Sam and Nige again to make a film for Tropfest, the World’s Largest Short Film Festival ™.
The film, Rattus Pistofficus, starred old mate Larry Labrat and myself.
At no point did it enter our excessively swollen heads that we wouldn’t get in, and indeed we did get in, so our arrogance was rewarded. Ah, sweet justice.
Once in, it at no point entered our excessively swollen heads that we wouldn’t win.
We didn’t win.
The next year I was a finalist in both the Tropfest Feature Project and the second season of Project Greenlight Australia with a script called Hidebound, but alas, a bridesmaid in both.
I continued eking out a living animating, most notably for The Chaser’s War on Everything, and then produced 42 episodes of a music and yammering show on the ABC called triplej tv with the Doctor.
In the Winter 2007 I was acting in a short film by a friend, Rob Gibson, alongside another friend, John Cordukes. At about 4 in the morning, standing on the balcony of the location staring into the wilds of the Blue Mountains, John and I decided to bypass the usual channels we’d been wasting our time with and make a horror movie off our own bats, whatever it took.
18 months later we were shooting Primal.