Remember that time Australia’s military, complete with machine guns, managed to lose to a bunch of emus? Well, that glorious defeat is being immortalised in a YouTube series.
The series was one of five projects to receive official Screen Australia funding, according to an announcement Wednesday morning. One of the projects includes Sunset Paradise, a new show from the makers of the Meta Runner esports anime. A pilot episode for Sunset Paradise has already aired online, gathering more than 1.27 million views at the time of writing.
But the headline here will be the seven-part absurdist series The Emu War, which follows a platoon of Australian soldiers in their quest to cull the emu population in West Australian. It’s based off Australia’s greatest military failure, and according to Screen Australia the series will be written by Lisa Fineberg, John Campbell, Jay Morrissey, Dane Simpson, Jonathan Schuster and Urvi Majumdar. Each episode will be about 9 minutes long, according to the blocklines.
Here’s the full list of online shows to get an injection of federal funds:
- First Day series 2: A four-part second series of the award-winning children’s drama for ABC iview, centred on transgender student Hannah Bradford (played by Evie Macdonald). This series follows Hannah in her second year at Hillview High as she sets out to change the culture at the school, and finds it’s only through working together that meaningful change can be achieved. Returning for series 2 are writer/director Julie Kalceff and producers Kirsty Stark and Kate Butler. They are joined by writers Eloise Brook and Martine Delaney (The Village). This project is financed with support from the South Australian Film Corporation.
- Ginger & the Vegesaurs: A 20-part children’s animated series for ABC iview and YouTube set in a world dominated by Vegesaurs, the freshest and most delicious creatures ever to rule the planet. Ginger, a young plucky Tricarrotops, and her three baby Pea-Rex pals share adventures in a valley populated by a host of other Vegesaurs – some friendly, some not so much. Created by Gary Eck and Nick O’Sullivan whose credits include Happy Feet 2, the series was developed and will be produced by Cheeky Little Media. Eck and Sam Carroll (Grace Beside Me) lead the writing team and the series will be produced by Celine Goetz and executive produced by Patrick Egerton and David Webster who previously collaborated on Kangaroo Beach.
- ReCancelled: A six-part second series following on from COVID-inspired drama Cancelled, which has garnered over 2.5 million views on Facebook to date. Inspired by true events, the new series follows creators and stars Luke Eve and Maria Albiñana one year on from the start of the pandemic as they continue to navigate life in lockdown in Spain. Realising they still won’t be able to get married, life then throws them another curveball and the couple embark on this new challenge together in a life full of restrictions. ReCancelled is directed by Eve and written and produced by Eve and Albiñana. It is financed with support from Tourism Valencia and the Spanish Embassy Australia.
- Sunset Paradise: A 10-part animated series for YouTube from Glitch Productions, the team behind hit series Meta Runner. This comedy adventure series follows a young woman Meggy, who arrives on a tropical island for a holiday only to find a criminal conspiracy threatening the safety of the island. It’s up to Meggy to save the island from danger – and rescue her holiday plans. The pilot episode which launched in March has already amassed over 1 million views. Sunset Paradise is written by Jasmine Yang and Jasper Marlow, directed by Luke Lerdwichagul and produced by Kevin Lerdwichagul.
- The Emu War: A seven-part YouTube series inspired by the unbelievable true story of when Australia declared war on the emu population in 1932. This absurd comedy follows the platoon of soldiers who were sent to kill the emus but who were eventually defeated by the birds. The creative team features writer, director and producer Lisa Fineberg and writer/directors John Campbell and Jay Morrissey who previously collaborated on Gocsy’s Classics, as well as writers and comedians Jonathan Schuster (Fancy Boy), Dane Simpson and Urvi Majumdar.
Screen Australia is also continuing to fund other online series, including the VR-only Prison X – The Devil and the Sun and Superwog: Season 2, the latteer of which will air on the ABC. You can view the full list of projects approved for online production here.