Australia’s ABC orders live-action series Turn Up The Volume

The Matchbox Pictures/Film Camp project gets off the ground as the Aussie children's content production industry continues to experience a decline.
July 19, 2022

Australian public broadcaster ABC has greenlit a live-action youth series called Turn Up The Volume about music, gender identity and adolescence.

In production now by Matchbox Pictures and Film Camp, the 10-part series features a group of teens who decide to form a band at a music camp in Melbourne as they try to discover themselves. The show is inspired by Film Camp’s 2019 documentary No Time For Quiet, which also features a group of teens at a music camp.

Philippa Campey and Rachel Davis are producing for Film Camp, with Matchbox Pictures’ Amanda Higgs and Margaret Ross serving as EPs. The series is being financed with support from the Victoria government’s screen and economic development agency, VicScreen, according to a release.

The project gets underway in a time of decline for children’s content production in Australia, caused by the government’s move to axe broadcaster quotas for kids programming in October 2020 (the rules used to be that broadcasters needed 260n hours of kids content, and more than half (55%) of it had to be Australian). In the 2020/2021 period, only seven local kids shows went into production, down from 14 in 2019/2020, according to Screen Australia. With the quotas eliminated, ABC has become one of the few platforms where producers can sell their content, according to producers.

These declines and shifts led the government to take a first step toward requiring streamers to dedicate a portion of their budgets to local content earlier this year. The government’s Streaming Services Reporting and Investment Scheme Discussion Paper from February outlines its plan for SVODs to report how much they spend annually on content, and a mandate for streamers to invest more than 5% of their gross Australian revenue into local content.

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