Auditions and casting are underway for a new web series that will be filmed and produced entirely on the Sunshine Coast.
Hard Knock Life is a sitcom that follows Ella, Maddy and Callum, a group of friends living on the Coast, and each episode sees them recount their past and present experiences on love, life and relationships with relatable comedic twists.
Creator Laree Gadenne says the series has been sitting at the back of her mind for a few years and it was the assistance of a $7000 Regional Arts Development Fund grant from the Queensland Government and Sunshine Coast Council that helped kickstart the process of bringing the script to life.
“One day I was sitting and thinking about it and had a bit of time on my hands, so I told myself I needed to put these ideas down. I started writing, and it just flowed out of me so easily,” she says.
“If it’s meant to be, it happens for you naturally.”
The 30-year-old multitalented performer started out in the industry at the age of five and in 2013 was selected to represent Australia at the World Championships of Performing Arts in Hollywood.
After winning gold and silver medals, she received a prestigious 12-month scholarship to train at Millennium Dance Complex in Los Angeles with the world’s best dancers and choreographers including those who work for Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, Usher and Justin Bieber.
She then went on to London for two years, where she featured in various commercials, TV series and movies, including The Royals, The Weekend and Breathe as well as Netflix’s Black Mirror and rekindled her passion for acting.
Ms Gadenne says her latest project, Hard Knock Life, will provide an opportunity for local actors and production crew to gain experience at home and not have to travel afield.
“I wanted to create something on the Sunshine Coast because I was born and raised here and there has never been a lot of opportunity for local actors or entertainers to be involved in something so professional locally,” she says.
“This will help them to gain experience and exposure to take them to the next level as well as showcase our region and the paradise that we live in.”
Auditions will begin next week, with lead characters and up to 50 extras, some with speaking roles, to be cast. Ms Gadenne says they are looking for people aged between 20 and 40.
Having saved substantially herself to bring the project to life, Ms Gadenne says the RADF grant was a welcome boost and she has had a flood of support from the local industry, with JF Records already taking on a huge role in the five-part series.
With the added support of future sponsorships, Ms Gadenne says they will broadcast on a YouTube channel as well as enter local, national and international film festivals and will reach out to national and international TV networks to push the series further.
“We’re aiming high,” she says.
“We’re hoping to have filming and editing done by July, so we can start on the film festival circuit, which kicks off in September. We’ll have five episodes to start with and we hope to continue and film a whole season.”
For more information on auditions or how to become a sponsor, visit facebook.com/karizmatikproductions.