FAREWELL MAD KIDS! HELLO GALACTIC BABY AND KARMA LAMA DING DONG!

Dear Friends and Family of Mad Kids,

It's the END OF AN ERA! After running our mad little company together as a trio via Perth, Sydney, LA, Spain and South Africa over the last seven years, we’ve decided to go solo so we can take on exciting gigs, projects and opportunities as individuals, no matter where we are in the world.

Lauren will establish new production company, Galactic Baby, Matt will establish new production company, Karma Lama Ding Dong and Henry will continue to create, write, direct and edit as a freelance filmmaker.

Mad Kids operations will officially wind up shortly, following the release of our final project, KGB, which has just dropped on ABC iview.

THANK YOU so much to Screenwest, Screen Australia, the ABC, our agents at CAA, post-production partners, advertising clients, friends, family and entire cast and crew for your unwavering support and abundant humour over the last seven years. We’re very proud of the work we all produced together at Mad Kids, and look forward to continuing to work with you all in our new ventures!

So now, we're all gonna have a quick dinner and f*ck off.

Lauren, Henry and Matt

LAUREN ELLIOTT SET TO LAUNCH NEW PRODUCTION COMPANY, GALACTIC BABY

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After seven years at the helm of Mad Kids, Lauren Elliott is set to launch Galactic Baby, a new Western Australian production company.

Galactic Baby will specialise in development, production and audience strategy for scripted film & television and will also provide marketing, public relations and production services.

Galactic Baby’s development slate includes the debut feature films from award-winning writer/directors Henry Inglis and Zoe Pepper, who each took out the Australian Director’s Guild (ADG) Award for Best Direction in an Online Comedy in 2018 (Small Town Hackers) and 2019 (The Big Spaghetti), respectively.

“Lauren Elliott is a modern-day pioneer in the Western Australian screen industry, in comedy especially. An undeniably talented producer, leader and advocate for her projects, writers and directors, she’s consistently delivered quality, original productions to the ABC, in particular our digital series DAFUQ?, which was well ahead of its time, and remains one of my favourite of our comedy series. I’ve loved working with Lauren both at her own Mad Kids and at Jungle Entertainment over the last five years, and I’m seriously excited to see what Lauren and Galactic Baby do next.” said ABC Head of Comedy Rick Kalowski.

Lauren’s producing credits include the AACTA-nominated Small Town Hackers for Saturday Night Live's digital platform, Above Average, DAFUQ? for ABC iview, The Shapes for ABCME,The Legend of Gavin Tanner for ABC1, The Write Stuff with Noel and Carl Pennyman for ABC2, Henry & Aaron's 7 Steps to Superstardom for Foxtel, Lucy Durack’s screenwriting debut, LIFT for 10Peach and Sando and Squinters Season 2 for Jungle Entertainment and ABC.

“Lauren has played a critical role in my career as a writer/director and I’m so excited for the next era of our creative collaboration - from our very first project, Henry & Aaron to Mad Kids and now to Galactic Baby.” said Henry Inglis.

“Lauren is an absolute talent, she is a true creative producer who brings so much to the table both creatively and strategically. Once she gets behind a project she's unstoppable, so I'm so glad we're working together on our first feature.” said Zoe Pepper.

Lauren was the winner of the inaugural Screenwest Emerging Producer’s Initiative in 2015 and was awarded $100,000 to put towards project and professional development. Following her win, she spent six months learning the Hollywood ropes at Red Hour Films and Abso Lutely Productions in Los Angeles and has since split her time between Perth, Sydney and LA.

"Lauren’s track record as a comedy producer in Western Australia is extraordinary. She’s a great asset to the state. We’re lucky to have her here, and we look forward to working with her and the talented team she’s putting together for Galactic Baby.” said Matthew Horrocks, Screenwest Head of Development and Production.

In 2016, she was selected to attend AusFilm's exclusive 'Partner With Australia' Week in Los Angeles and was also selected for the Screen Producers Australia (SPA) prestigious 'Ones to Watch' Program. In 2017, her debut documentary, DIGILANTE, made its international premiere at Hot Docs International Documentary Festival.

In 2018, Lauren launched commercial division, Ad Kids which attracted a number of new commercial and corporate clients including Water Corporation, Woodside and Fringe World.

In 2019, Lauren was recognised as one of Western Australia's 40 leading business entrepreneurs under the age of 40, winning a 40under40 Award out of 104 impressive nominees from across the state. She was also selected by Screenwest and ABC Indigenous as Executive Producer for hilarious new ABC iview indigenous comedy series, KGB which stars Clarence Ryan, Bjorn Stewart, Mark Coles Smith, Aaron McGrath and Genevieve Morris.

Mad Kids founders Lauren, Henry and Matt Lovkis would like to thank Screenwest, Screen Australia, the ABC, their post-production partners, advertising clients and their entire cast and crew for their unwavering support over the last seven years and look forward to working with them in their new ventures.

KGB will be Mad Kids’ final project and the 5-part series is set for release online on ABC iview and on television on ABC COMEDY from 7 July 2019 as part of NAIDOC Week.

Lauren and her cast and crew are celebrating KGB’s release tonight with an exclusive premiere screening at Luna Leederville in Perth.

Stay tuned for more news from Galactic Baby in the coming months!

KGB TRAILER DROPS ONLINE TODAY!

Check it out, people!!

Our brand new indigenous comedy web series, KGB, dropped its OFFICIAL TRAILER online today and it’s already getting an epic response on social media! Created by Western Australian indigenous filmmaker brothers, Luke and Dan Riches, will premiere on ABC iview on Sunday 7 July and nightly on ABC COMEDY from Monday 8 July to Friday 12 July during NAIDOC WEEK 2019.

Set in Perth’s notorious KGB (Koondoola, Girrawheen, Balga), the series follows two rookie detectives, tough guy Jack and gentle giant Nigel, as they deal with the chaos of their new jobs, no-nonsense boss, work rivals, drug dealers and suspects who consistently turn out to be family. Despite battling their own insecurities at every turn, and the fact that Jack bullied Nigel in high school, these two might just turn out to be KGB’s finest detectives.

The series boasts a stellar Australian cast including Clarence Ryan (Wrong Kind of Black, Cleverman, Wanted), Bjorn Stewart (Black Comedy, Get Krack!n), Genevieve Morris(No Activity, Bloom, Comedy Inc.) Mark Coles Smith (Pawno, Last Cab to Darwin, LIFT),Aaron McGrath (Mystery Road, Glitch, Jasper Jones), WAAPA alumni Jesse Phillips in his television debut and indigenous theatre stars Lynette Narkle and Amy Smith, as well as a number of up-and-coming Western Australian performers. The legendary Ningali Lawford (Last Cab to Darwin, Rabbit Proof Fence) also features in a very special cameo role.

Check out the OFFICIAL TRAILER above and our OFFICIAL POSTER below!

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KGB'S SERIES PRODUCER TARYNE LAFFAR SELECTED FOR ONES TO WATCH 2019

Taryne Laffar, our amazing Series Producer for KGB has been selected for SPA’s prestigious 'Ones to Watch' Program for 2019!

Now in it's seventh iteration, Ones To Watch is an annual initiative by Screen Producers Australia (SPA) aimed at accelerating the careers of Australia's screen makers. Sixteen emerging producers from across Australia have been chosen for this year's program after a competitive submission process which included compliance with strict application guidelines. 

Taryne descends from the Bardi and Jabbir Jabbir peoples of the Dampier Peninsula in WA and has a wonderful mixed global heritage of Filipino, German, Slavic, English and Scottish. Having worked in Indigenous Arts realms for her adult life, her interest in the film and television industry began in 2006, with work as a 2nd AD attachment for Deadly Yarns Short Film production, MAIN ACTORS. Later that year did Taryne did her first work in the Extras Casting Department on SBS TV Series, THE CIRCUIT and wrote and directed her first short documentary WHO PAINTIN’ DIS WANDJINA?

Taryne has since worked in the industry professionally as Extras/Casting Coordinator/Casting Director for feature films STONE BROS., BRAN NUE DAE, MAD BASTARDS, A FEW LESS MEN and GO KARTS. And on talk show STRAIGHT SHOOTIN’, feature documentaries JANDAMARRA’S WAR and YAGAN and short films ONE FINE DAY, HIGH TIDE and DARK WHISPERS.

Taryne has also now completed numerous projects as Producer; BINGO! and RAINFOREST WARRIORZ, are her first scripted and factual projects respectively. Taryne has also managed the now completed Indigenous Community Stories initiative in 2013-2014, co-producing over 15 of these archival stories, some of which included broadcast versions for NITV.

Taryne produced five short documentaries for NITV in 2015; including Directing RUBEUN YORKSHIRE & Co-Directing BECCY GARLETT. Co-Writing (with Karla Hart) and Co-Producing (with Mago Films) ON COUNTRY KITCHEN, a 6 x 30-minute television series starring chef Mark Olive and presenter Derek Nannup in 2016. The series was broadcast on NITV and SBS Food Networks in 2017 and is now available on iTunes internationally.

Taryne is the unannounced recipient of Screenwest’s Spark Yearlong Indigenous Initiative 2018/2019 and is currently in development for a half hour pilot for NITV and will soon begin her Producers Attachment on Mystery Road Series 2.

"SPA has an impressive history of nurturing the next wave of Australia’s talented producers," said SPA CEO Matthew Deaner. "In tandem with the industry expertise of our project partners and valued mentors, we are excited to support the journeys of the 2019 Ones To Watch as they are exposed to exclusive industry opportunities and grow as distinctive Australian storytellers."

The Ones To Watch will spend six months being mentored by some of the most accomplished and experienced producers in the Australian screen industry, as well as attending development workshops and opportunities, before being provided with a specially curated itinerary at SCREEN FOREVER 2019 (12-14 November, Melbourne).

They will also be given the opportunity to participate in one-on-one pitching sessions with commissioning editors from SBS, with one participant being awarded the $15,000 ‘SBS First Look Grant’ to assist in the development of ideas and project concepts. 

Additionally, the participants are eligible for the Screen Australia supported 'Screen Internship', a $20,000 grant which allows the recipient to work with a host production company from any country, including Australia, and for any screen content type.

The recipients of both grants will be announced at the 19th Annual Screen Producers Australia Awards at the Forum Theatre, Melbourne on the final day of SCREEN FOREVER 2019.

CONGRATULATIONS TARYNE and a very special shout out to EMILIA JOLAKOSKA, fellow Western Australian producer extraordinaire!

Check out the Class of 2019 here: https://www.screenproducers.org.au/ones-to-watch

THE BIG SPAGHETTI DROPS ONLINE TODAY

The Big Spaghetti dropped online today, thanks to the good folk at Cinema Australia!

Following its international premiere at Slamdance Film Festival 2019 and Director Zoe Pepper’s win for Best Direction in an Online Comedy Series at the 2019 Australian Directors’ Guild (ADG) Awards this month, our delicious new web series is now available online.

The Big Spaghetti is a beautiful, surreal, tragicomedy series written by Pepper, Adriane Daff andTim Watts, directed by Pepper, produced by Susannah Day and executive produced byLauren Elliott from Mad Kids.

The 5-part series tells the story of Gabby (Tim Watts) who seeks solace in Melissa’s (Adriane Daff) home to mend her broken heart and reinvent her life. But when Gabby’s fierce alter ego becomes the object of Melissa’s affections, their blissful playground breaks apart at the seams.

Pepper, Daff and Watts are also the writers and creators of The Irresistible, the Helpmann-nominated stage play that has just sold out a season at DARK MOFO 2019, which kicks off in Hobart next month.

Check out all 5 episodes HERE and make sure you check out Zoe Pepper’s guest article at www.cinemaustralia.com.au

LIFT SCOOPS OFFICIAL SELECTION AND FOUR AWARD NOMINATIONS AT MELBOURNE WEBFEST 2019

MELBOURNE WEBFEST 2019

*** OFFICIAL SELECTION ***
LIFT

*** BEST AUSTRALIAN DRAMA ***
LIFT

*** BEST SCREENPLAY - NOMINEE ***
LUCY DURACK, JESS MURRAY AND LEON MURRAY

*** BEST LEAD ENSEMBLE - NOMINEE ***
LUCY DURACK AND DUNCAN RAGG

*** BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR - NOMINEE ***
MARK COLES SMITH

Following our television premiere on Valentine’s Day, LIFT has been officially selected to screen at Melbourne WebFest 2019, and we’ve also been nominated for four awards - Best Australian Drama, Best Screenplay, Best Lead Ensemble and Best Supporting Actor - CONGRATS TEAM!

MWF is Australia’s international web series festival. MWF was the fourth festival of its kind in the world, and remains the biggest celebration of web series in the Southern Hemisphere. Digital series entertainment is growing rapidly and is fast rising to challenge traditional modes of producing, distributing and engaging with screen content. Innovative web series creators are a driving force in this storytelling evolution.

Melbourne WebFest is working to acknowledge digital screen producers and is creating a hub for networking and professional development in the heart of Melbourne. It is also an opportunity for the public to experience the best in digital series entertainment from around the globe. The festival includes screenings, keynotes, discussion panels, masterclasses, and, a live pitching competition.

The Festival will be held in Melbourne in July 2019 and all details can be found online at www.melbournewebfest.com

ZOE PEPPER WINS AUSTRALIAN DIRECTORS' GUILD (ADG) AWARD FOR THE BIG SPAGHETTI

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Zoe Pepper has won the 2019 Australian Directors Guild (ADG) Award for Best Direction in an Online Comedy Series for our gender-bending and genre-bending web series, The Big Spaghetti, following its international premiere at Slamdance Film Festival in Utah.

The annual Awards recognise excellence in the craft and art of directing, as well as acknowledge individual contributions by Australian Screen Directors to film, television, documentary, animation and interactive media. The ADG Awards are the only opportunity for Australian directors and their work to be acknowledged by their directing peers.

Zoe attended the Awards Ceremony and Gala dinner at the City Recital Hall and Ivy Ballroom in Sydney last night, alongside fellow winners including Warwick Thornton for Sweet Country, Rachel Perkins for Mystery Road and Jeffrey Walker for Riot.

Best Direction in an Online Comedy Series

  • Zoe Pepper for The Big Spaghetti - WINNER

  • Corrie Chen for Homecoming Queens

  • Sophie Hyde for Fucking Adelaide

  • Nina Oyama for The Angus Project

  • Henry Stone for Be Your Own Boss

CONGRATULATIONS ZOE!

Check out the complete list of winners on the Sydney Morning Herald here.

ZOE PEPPER NOMINATED FOR AUSTRALIAN DIRECTORS' GUILD AWARD FOR THE BIG SPAGHETTI

The ADG has announced the nominees for the 2019 Australian Directors’ Guild Awards (ADG Awards) and Zoe Pepper has been nominated for Best Direction in an Online Comedy Series for The Big Spaghetti.

The annual Awards recognise excellence in the craft and art of directing, as well as acknowledge individual contributions by Australian Screen Directors to film, television, documentary, animation and interactive media. The ADG Awards are the only opportunity for Australian directors and their work to be acknowledged by their directing peers.

The 2019 ADG Awards Ceremony and Gala dinner will be held at the City Recital Hall and Ivy Ballroom in Sydney, on Monday 6 May 2019.

Best Direction in an Online Comedy Series

  • Zoe Pepper for The Big Spaghetti

  • Corrie Chen for Homecoming Queens

  • Sophie Hyde for Fucking Adelaide

  • Nina Oyama for The Angus Project

  • Henry Stone for Be Your Own Boss

CONGRATULATIONS ZOE!

LAUREN ELLIOTT 40UNDER40 WINNER - CLASS OF 2019

Lauren won! Mad Kids Founder / Managing Director / Producer Lauren Elliott has been recognised as one of Western Australia's 40 leading business entrepreneurs under the age of 40, out of 104 impressive nominees from across the state.

Established in 2002 by BUSINESSNEWS, the 40under40 Awards program is designed to recognise and celebrate Western Australia's 40 leading business entrepreneurs under the age of 40. The program recognises not only personal determination and commercial drive, but also the philanthropic pursuits that balance these young individuals' professional achievements, recognising the less public contributions to the welfare of Western Australia.

The black tie Awards Gala for 2019 was held at Optus Stadium in Perth on Wednesday 13 March. 750 guests celebrated the evening including the Mad Kids team Henry Inglis, Joel Gray and Clare Toonen together with Lauren’s family Kathy Elliott, Ryan Elliott, Alana Elliott and Luke Andrzejuk.

When asked what her top business quote was, Lauren said , “If you don't build your dream, someone else will hire you to help build theirs. This quote always resonates with me. Whenever I face challenging days, it propels me to see the bigger picture, reminding me of the personal and professional gratification I'm working towards.”

Check out the entire class of 2019 here and check out some images from the night below.

CONGRATULATIONS LAUREN!


MAD KIDS INDIGENOUS COMEDY SERIES 'KGB' GREENLIT BY THE ABC

THE CAST OF KGB: Clarence Ryan, Bjorn Stewart, Genevieve Morris, Mark Coles Smith, Jesse Phillips, Aaron McGrath.

THE CAST OF KGB: Clarence Ryan, Bjorn Stewart, Genevieve Morris, Mark Coles Smith, Jesse Phillips, Aaron McGrath.

Together with Screenwest, Screen Australia and ABC Indigenous, we are thrilled to announce KGB, a comedy web series created by Western Australian indigenous filmmaker brothers, Luke and Dan Riches, has been greenlit by the ABC thanks to Screenwest’s Indigenous Online Initiative – Originate.

Originate is a Screenwest and ABC Indigenous narrative web series development and production initiative for emerging Western Australian Indigenous screen practitioners looking to hone their storytelling skills across a series of episodes. The successful series is awarded development funding, production funding and an experienced Executive Producer, as well as a series commission by ABC Indigenous.

Set in Perth’s notorious KGB (Koondoola, Girrawheen, Balga), the series follows two rookie detectives, tough guy Jack and gentle giant Nigel, as they deal with the chaos of their new jobs, no-nonsense boss, work rivals, drug dealers and culprits who consistently turn out to be family members. Despite battling their own insecurities at every turn, and the fact that Jack bullied Nigel in high school, these two might just turn out to be KGB’s finest detectives.

The series boasts a stellar Australian cast including Clarence Ryan (Wrong Kind of Black, Cleverman, Wanted), Bjorn Stewart (Black Comedy, Get Krack!n), Genevieve Morris (No Activity, Bloom,Comedy Inc.) Mark Coles Smith (Pawno, Last Cab to Darwin, LIFT), Aaron McGrath (Mystery Road, Glitch, Jasper Jones), WAAPA alumni Jesse Phillips and indigenous theatre stars Lynette Narkle and Amy Smith, as well as a number of up-and-coming Western Australian performers.

The Riches are the founders of Ardiol Media, a Perth-based production company. After leaving behind their day jobs to pursue their dreams in the film industry, the brothers received a crash course in television production through the making of Lost Diamonds, a documentary coming soon to NITV. The boys are excited to endeavour on a web series comedy which they describe as Hot Fuzz meets Black Comedy.

"We were surprised to be selected given the competitive field of applicants, but also super thankful and excited for the opportunity Screenwest and the ABC are providing us. KGB will allow us to explore our creativity in a whole new genre." said Luke and Dan.

KGB will be Executive Produced by Lauren Elliott of Mad Kids, produced by Taryne Laffar and written by the Riches, together with emerging WA screenwriters Joel Gray (Small Town Hackers, Aussie Rangers) and Clare Toonen (You, Me and Karen, Rift). The Riches will direct, with Henry Inglis (Small Town Hackers, DAFUQ?) as Director’s Mentor.

“I’m so glad KGB won because I really want to watch it! I feel very privileged to be selected by Screenwest and ABC as EP, and I’m excited to be mentoring Luke, Dan and our Series Producer, Taryne Laffar. This opportunity is a real coup for Mad Kids as it will allow us to support emerging indigenous Western Australian talent, as well as produce a show that we think is bloody funny.” said Lauren.

Following a competitive Originate Stage 1 Development Workshop about web series production, how to examine collaborative techniques, what concepts work well for short form narrative, how to effectively reach your online audience and how to execute using minimal resources, KGB was selected by an expert industry panel from 11 shortlisted Originate applications.

“Online series are the new short film in terms of carving a career pathway, and this initiative in particular will provide Luke and Dan with invaluable experience and access to the large ABC audience.” said Devina McPherson, Screenwest Indigenous Programs Manager.

“ABC Indigenous is a proud supporter of new Indigenous voices in the screen industry. Partnering with Screenwest on the Originate initiative ensures that we can continue to provide amazing career opportunities for exciting Western Australian Indigenous talent like Luke and Dan Riches. We can’t wait to share this show with our ABC audience!” said Kelrick Martin, Head of Indigenous for ABC.

Lee Naimo, Online Investment Manager at Screen Australia said, “Screen Australia champions the development of home-grown online projects, and this is a fantastic opportunity for the Riches brothers to further develop their careers, working with EP Lauren Elliott whose credits include the AACTA-nominated Small Town Hackers, Lucy Durack’s screenwriting debut, LIFT and ABC iview original series, DAFUQ? KGB reimagines the much-loved detective comedy genre with a fresh local twist and I’m confident its relatable characters will resonate with audiences when it premieres online in 2019.”

Mad Kids are the team behind a number of original digital and television comedy projects including Small Town Hackers, LIFT, The Big Spaghetti, DAFUQ?, The Legend of Gavin Tanner, The Shapes, Henry & Aaron’s 7 Steps to Superstardom and viral sensations It’s a Snap! and Set Yourself Free.

We kick off filming in Perth this month and the series will premiere on ABC iview in 2019.