ABOVE AVERAGE AND SCREEN AUSTRALIA ANNOUNCE PRODUCTION OF SMALL TOWN HACKERS

Above Average and Screen Australia, in association with Screenwest and Lotterywest, are proud to announce Small Town Hackers, a three-part online series commissioned exclusively by Above Average, the digital studio founded by legendary comedy producer Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video (Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Portlandia).

Created by Henry Inglis and Matt Lovkis, and produced by Lauren Elliott of Mad Kids, Small Town Hackers is the first Australian series to be commissioned by Above Average.

Small Town Hackers is Mad Kids’ first narrative series and features their trademark comedic tone with a dash of action and mystery. It tells the story of Alex Gout who, when he returns to his backwater hometown of Durran, is shocked to discover the police lied about the death of his high school sweetheart Lucy Boddington. Alex must enlist the help of his idiot younger brother Devon and his ragtag gang of wannabe hackers to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Small Town Hackers is set to star award-winning Sydney comedian Sam Campbell, theatre performers and devisers Tim Watts and Adriane Daff from The Last Great Hunt and Trystan Go, star of The Family Law on SBS. 

“We’re so thrilled to be producing our first ever project for an American digital platform and working with Above Average has been such a great experience,” said producer Lauren Elliott. “We’ve taken inspiration from our own consuming habits and have created a series-long story and complex world of characters living in the fictional, small town of Durran. This web series is kind of the origin story of our hackers and we hope the mystery leaves audiences wanting more.”

“Above Average was founded five years ago to discover and develop the next generation of comedic talent, and we feel incredibly lucky to be partnering with Mad Kids, said Josh Poole, Vice President of Development and Executive Producer for Above Average. “It’s our first Australian collaboration and we could not be more excited about Small Town Hackers.”

Mad Kids are a Perth-based production company who have produced a slate of original digital and television comedy projects including DAFUQ?, The Legend of Gavin Tanner (for ABC Comedy Showroom), The Shapes, The Write Stuff with Noel and Carl Pennyman (for Fresh Blood), Henry & Aaron’s 7 Steps to Superstardom, ABC2 documentary DIGILANTE (for Opening Shot) and viral sensations It’s A Snap! and Set Yourself Free.

“We have been charting the rise of WA production house Mad Kids for some time, including their successful commissions for the Fresh Blood and Comedy Showroom initiatives,” said Mike Cowap, Investment Manager of Online Production at Screen Australia. “With their unique style of quintessentially Australian comedy, they have created a truly memorable assortment of characters, carving out a niche for themselves online. Securing this partnership with Above Average is an incredible coup for Lauren, Matt and Henry who will be given the opportunity to take their comedy Stateside and beyond. We can’t wait to see what comes next.”

“With numerous digital shorts and web series under their belt, the Mad Kids team have proven that they can write and produce comedy for Australian audiences,” said Rikki-Lea Bestall, Screenwest Head of Development and Production. “They are well poised for this next challenge of connecting with US and international audiences on the innovative platform, Above Average.”

The 3 x 6 minute series will premiere online at aboveaverage.com later in 2017 and will be available globally. Audiences will be given a sneak peek at VIDCON Australia in Melbourne this Sunday 10 September, where Matt Lovkis will appear on the panel Innovation Showcase: Guilty, Ludo, Mad Kids and The Woolshed Company. 

Read the Screen Australia announcement here.