“I was aiming for something that would travel. It’s an Australian show, but it has universal themes”
Distributor Fox Networks Group Content Distribution
Producers Blue-Tongue Films; Jungle Entertainment
Length 6 x 30 minutes
Broadcaster Foxtel Showcase Australia
A regular guy trying to juggle his personal and professional lives might not sound like much of a premise for a TV show, but the ace up Mr Inbetween’s sleeve is that
Ray Shoesmith is a hitman in his day job. “The story is about the way he navigates between these two worlds,” says director Nash Edgerton.
“He’s flipping back and forth between murdering people and being a father, ex-husband and boyfriend. In the first season, we see him trying to keep the two sides of his life separate, though you can see cracks start to develop.”
The 6 x 30-minute series was a long time in gestation. “The starting point was a super-low-budget film I made with Scott Ryan [writer and star of Mr Inbetween] in 2005,” says Edgerton.
That film, a mockumentary called The Magician, dealt with a similar subject to Mr Inbetween, making the latter a kind of TV extension of the former.
“We spent a long time developing the scripts, until the opportunity to make the show came along,” says Edgerton
In that time, Edgerton has established himself as a movie director as well, most recently with crime comedy Gringo.
Commenting on the differences between film and TV, he says: “I blocked Mr Inbetween like a three-hour film, so that was pretty similar. The editing process was different, though, and you have to shoot a lot faster on TV than on a feature film.”
He enjoys both processes. “I love storytelling. Some projects lean more one way than the other, but I don’t mind which I do.”
Mr Inbetween is set in Australia, but the positive reception at this year’s Sundance Festival suggests it has more global potential.
“I was always aiming for something that would travel,” says Edgerton. “It’s an Australian show, but it has universal themes.”
Fox Networks Group Content Distribution, which manages FNG originals, is distributing the series internationally. Executive vicepresident and managing director Prentiss Fraser says the US is the first port of call.
“We anticipate English-speaking territories are going to be our first placements,” she says. “However, we are also planning to host a screening to the Latin America market at the LA Screenings.”
Fraser adds: “The series does play more to a male-skewing audience, but the humour and Ray Shoesmith’s emotional connection with his daughter will encourage co-viewing.”
As for the kind of deals the company wants, she says it is targeting both linear and digital. “At 6 x 30 minutes, it’s bite-size viewing, so you can binge the whole thing in one go or watch it weekly – both will work,” she says.
“The more exposure and the bigger we can grow the audience, the more likelihood that we can support the commission of season two.”
Other highlights of the Fox Networks Group Content Distribution scripted slate include the next series of National Geographic’s Genius, following Geoffrey Rush’s turn as Albert Einstein in series one.
This time, Antonio Banderas takes the lead in the 10 x 60-minute Genius: Picasso, which explores the life, loves and revolutionary work of the Spanish artist. It was filmed on location across Europe, has a strong cast and is executive produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard.
Fox is also bringing Here On Earth, a Mexican crime/political thriller that has just been selected for Cannes Series. Directed by Everado Gout and produced in Mexico by Fox Networks Group LatAm, it has high production values and the distributor is confident about the show’s international prospects.