Tel 02 9213 4250 Fax 02 9212 4150 Mobile 0410 45 35 48 email@example.com
18 MARCH, 2002 - JUNE 4, 2002
MEDIA KIT CONTENTS
EPISODE ONE LINERS
PRINCIPAL CAST INFORMATION
PRINCIPAL CREW INFORMATION
COX KNIGHT PRODUCTIONS
29 Nott Street, Port Melbourne VIC 3207
Tel: 03 9673 1473 Fax: 03 9646 7644
SYNOPSIS WORST BEST FRIENDS revolves around the life of Roger Thesaurus, whose two best friends are worst enemies! Eleven year old Thesaurus’ is devoted to his mouth organ, his dog Chewbarker, his key ring collection and his tropical fish. When the rough and tumble Dusting turns up uninvited determined to be his best friend, Thesaurus is in trouble. You see, Thesaurus already has another kind of best friend and her name is Millicent. Millicent and Thesaurus were born in the same hospital on the same day, and according to her this means they are bound to each other forever. Whenever Millicent and Dusting vie for Thesaurus’ attention, sparks begin to fly!
Celebrating the absurdities of childhood, WORST BEST FRIENDS charts Thesaurus’ course through the minefield of playground politics and family issues. As his parent’s marriage slowly disintegrates, Millicent and Dusting are provided the inspiration for many hair brained schemes and desperate measures to save Thesaurus’ sanity and win his friendship.
Conceived and written by award winning novelist and script-writer Max Dann, WORST BEST FRIENDS features characters from Max’s highly successful children’s book series (‘Adventures with My Worst Best Friend’, ‘Going Bananas’, and ‘Dusting in Love’.)
EPISODE ONE LINERS
Episode 1: THE EXCURSION: Thesaurus, Millicent and Dusting get lost in a factory full of aliens.
Episode 2 – KISS OF MILLICENT: Dusting would prefer a bout of dreaded ‘Jungle Rot’ than kiss Millicent in the school play.
Episode 3 – MY TWIN RABBIT: Community Week is a time to help those less fortunate than you – Millicent chooses Dusting with poor results.
Episode 4 – FANCY RUGS FROM INDIA: When the ‘Aunty from hell’ comes to stay, Dusting and Thesaurus run far away . . . or so they think.
Episode 5 – EDDIE’S UNDIES: There’s a new kid on the block – Eddie: he’s big, he’s tough . . . and he eats bugs!
Episode 6 – IN THE PINK: Millicent’s friendship is threatened when Dusting becomes roommates with Thesaurus.
Episode 7 – THE MOTEL: Thesaurus is taken on an impromptu bonding adventure.
Episode 8 – MOROCCAN CHICKEN: Disaster strikes Thesaurus’ kitchen when Millicent and Dusting attempt to cook for his parents.
Episode 9 – BETTER THAN GLEN: Will Dusting become Class Captain and take over the school?
Episode 10 – MISS PERSONALITY: Thesaurus finally tells Millicent what he really thinks.
Episode 11 – SINGLE WHITE AVRIL: Will Thesaurus and Avril become relatives?
Episode 12 – THE CHOSEN ONE: Max’s lifelong fear comes true.
Episode 13 – DIED A HORSE: Who will be Millicent’s dancing partner at the fancy dress party? It’s not who you think!
Roger Thesaurus has to think twice every time Dusting announces he’s the best thing that’s ever happened to him. Thesaurus’ mouth organ collection is rapidly diminishing, his tropical fish are dying and Dusting claims he won Thesaurus’ dog in a bet. Millicent also claims she’s the best thing that’s ever happened to Thesaurus. However the more she forces him to square dance and comb his hair in a certain way - the more he begins to wonder.
Roger’s mother manages most of the parenting as his father has a thankless bureaucratic job that means he often works late shifts or stays back at the office. Roger is often reluctantly called on to provide companionship for his lonely mother. Her needy hugs and hair ruffling is magnified in his mind as her desperation increases and the silent feuds between his parents become entrenched.
Cameron Attard stars as Thesaurus in his first television role. The twelve year old lives in Sydney and began acting classes when he was eight years old.
PRINCIPAL CAST RAYMOND MIRAMS as ERNEST DUSTING
If true friends are the ones who always wait at the school gate for you (whether you want them to or not), let you sit on their bench for free and always remember your name, then Dusting is Thesaurus’ true friend. And when it comes down to it, Thesaurus is Dusting’s only friend. There are about eight people in Dusting’s sprawling family, but it is hard to tell. The household is messy, raucous and it’s everyone for themselves at meal and bath times.
There is still romance in the air between Dusting’s parents. Most evening’s they ignore the rabble enough to put on a favourite country record and dance around the lounge room, dreaming of their next trip to Tamworth. Dusting appreciates there is safety in numbers and keeps his head down as much as he can.
This is hard as he shares his bedroom with two older brothers, and their hand painted dividing line down the middle of the floor cuts him off from the door and the window.
Eleven-year-old Raymond Miram’s has been acting with Geelong’s Music Box Theatre Company since 1995. Raymond has appeared in guest roles on BLUE HEELERS and HALIFAX fp.
PRINCIPAL CAST SEYCHELLE as Millicent
Millicent is Thesaurus’ loyal friend. Unlike Dusting, she is popular, capable and wants the best for Thesaurus – as she has learnt from the best. Her mother is a feminist so Millicent knows that women can be strong but they need to take action to change the world into a better place – and for her that world would be a much better place without Dusting getting in her way.
Bossy, sometimes overbearing and always dominating Millicent was born in the same hospital on the same day as Thesaurus and is sure their souls are bound together by birth.
Seychelle stars in WORST BEST FRIENDS as Millicent. This is the eleven year olds first major television role.
PRINCIPAL CAST JOSHUA JAY as MAX
Max is a sixty-five year old man stuffed into an eleven-year-old’s body and the worry is starting to show on his face. Train crashes, nuclear bombs, tropical storms, injuries and diseases are just a few of Max’s daily anxieties. Max believes he has had every illness known to humans – twice – and knows the pathology in great detail.
He believes this knowledge is necessary because of his genetic misfortune. Both his parents forbearers have died young – from cancer, heart attacks, brain tumours – and his mum and dad are so determined to beat it that they’ve turned into health nuts who make a living flogging miracle supplements of the month. Max is so obsessive about eating all the right health tablets and vitamins that he barely has room for lunch.
Joshua Jay comes from a family with a background in the Performing Arts. His television credits to date include BLUE HEELERS, NEIGHBOURS and three episodes of ALL SAINTS, for which he received an AFI nomination for Best Young Performer in 2001. Max also appeared in the Australian feature film THE BANK.
PRINCIPAL CAST LEE CORMIE as GILBERT
Gilbert prefers collecting stick insects and experimenting with beetles, than the company of humans. . . that is until Avril shares her lunch with him. Because both parents are scientifically minded boffins like their son, Gilbert doesn’t lead a normal home life. Instead of making school lunches and buying new shoes for their son, Gilbert often finds himself at a loss, hungry or barefoot without the faintest idea how to change it.
That’s what he loves about Avril. She’s so practical, so prepared. She thinks of everything and always knows what’s going on with everyone else. From the moment he forgot his lunch on that first school excursion and she shared her peanut butter and jam sandwiches with him, he found her incredibly romantic. She always has spare food, spare money, tissues, band-aids. . she is ready for anything. Gilbert doesn’t mind that Avril is constantly rude to him because he’s no use in her social master plan – but when she is miserable and her so-called friends have deserted her, Gilbert will be there to pick her up like a broken butterfly and sticky-tape her wings back together.
Lee Cormie has appeared in the television series BLUE HEELERS as well as a number of television commercials.
PRINCIPAL CAST REBECCA HETHERINGTON as AVRIL
Avril, Avril, Avril. . . .
Avril’s heart desire is to be Millicent and she lives in her shadow to study her as closely as possible. If ever Millicent is taken by aliens and disappears, Avril would be able to step into her shoes and be Millicent in an instant - except Avril would be able to do better cartwheels of course.
The only person who seems to care about Avril is Gilbert – maybe he isn’t that stupid after all?
Eleven year old Rebecca Hetherington plays the role of Avril. Rebecca most recently performed in the Opera Australia Production LA BOHEME at the State Theatre and is a member of the Johnny Young Talent School.
JESSICA JACOBS as MOLLY
A couple of years younger than the others, Molly is Millicent’s little sister. Most of the time Molly is happy to do what Millicent says, but is protected by her own dreamy world of strange rituals and fixations. Molly’s world revolves around her pets, and she’s had a few – rabbits, guinea pigs, gold fish, turtles, and budgies. Sadly, Molly has lost a few, if not all of them.
Molly’s backyard has become a pet cemetery with elaborate shrines and headstones made from cardboard boxes and towers of bricks – all painted with poorly spelled poetic tributes to the departed. Molly decorates each one daily with filched flowers and remembers all the birthdays and anniversaries of each animal’s death. Her reputation as an animal lover has been tarnished by the life expectancy of her pets. Jessie Jacobs appears as Molly in her first television role.
ANDREW S. GILBERT as MR THESAURUS
Andrew S. Gilbert is a well-known face on Australian television, appearing in WORST BEST FRIENDS as Roger’s father, Mr Thesaurus. Andrew has appeared in countless television programs including the successful ACTF Production ROUND THE TWIST, HOME AND AWAY, POLICE RESCUE and BODYLINE.
Andrew’s film credits include IDIOT BOX, THE DISH, MULLET and RABBIT PROOF FENCE.
CHRISTEN O’LEARY as MRS THESAURUS
Established theatre performer Christen O’Leary plays Roger’s mother, Mrs Thesaurus. Christen has won two Green Room Awards for her role in COMPANY (2000) and A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (1997); and was nominated for another for her role in THE ESKIMO in 2000. Christen also appeared in the Cox Knight television series SEACHANGE.
JAN FRIEDL as MISS HODGSON Jan Friedl is the class teacher, Miss Hodgson in WORST BEST FRIENDS. Jan has worked extensively in all areas of the performing arts and has been resident at major Australian theatre companies including Melbourne Theatre Company, South Australian Theatre Company and Playbox. Jan is also an accomplished singer and has appeared in numerous opera and musical theatre productions for Victorian State Opera, singing works by a range of 20th Century composers.
MAX DANN - Writer/Co-producer An extremely talented writer, Max Dann has written feature films scripts which include SIAM SUNSET (1999), CRACKERS (1997), GINO (1993), SPOTSWOOD (1991) and THE BIG STEAL (1990).
Max has also written for numerous television series including STINGERS, FLIPPER, the telemovie MUMBO JUMBO, and the CoxKnight Production SEACHANGE. Max was also a contributing writer for FAST FORWARD and FULL FRONTAL.
Max has written a number of adolescent and children’s books which include:
Adventures With My Worst Best Friend (1982);
Bernice Knows Best (1983);
Going Bananas (1983);
One Night At Lottie’s House (1985);
Ernest Pickles Remarkable Robot (1984);
The Lonely Hearts Club (1987);
Horrible Humans (1987);
Dusting’s Disasters (1989);
Doris Trouble (1989);
Dusting In Love (1990);
Jason Prince (1992); and
No Place For Grubbs (1998).
Penguin will republish a selection of Max’s children’s books in 2003.
DEB COX - Story Editor and Executive Producer An honours graduate in English Literature and linguistics, Deb Cox is one of the most sought after script editors and writers for film and television in Australia. She has worked on numerous successful prime-time series including The Sullivans, Carson's Law, Flying Doctors, Fire and Janus. As Head of Drama Development with Artist Services, Deb initiated numerous projects including the feature film The Sound of One Hand Clapping. During this time she wrote and co-produced the successful and award-winning mini series, Simone de Beauvoir's Babies about four single women approaching forty who make a pact to procreate – en mass. Deb also wrote and co-produced the moving feature film Dead Letter Office, for which she received a Writers’ Guild Award for Best Original Screenplay.
DEB COX - Story Editor and Executive Producer continued Deb co-wrote the mini-series Kangaroo Palace about four young Australians who set off on a journey of discovery to London in the swinging sixties, which screened successfully in Australia and the UK. Deb was co-creator, principal writer and story editor of three seasons of the multi award-winning series SeaChange.
ANDREA DENHOLM - Executive Producer
Andrea always wanted to be an actor, but her father cautioned her against the financial uncertainties of such a career and suggested she study something she could “fall back on” between critically acclaimed performances. She took his advice far too seriously and ended up with degrees in law and economics. She commenced her career with a large national law firm, working in the areas of corporate law and banking and finance. Four years of infrastructure financing and corporate takeovers confirmed Andrea’s passion for the film and television industry and she moved to a law firm specialising in media and entertainment law to familiarise herself with the industry.
In 1996 Andrea began working for Artist Services as Business Affairs Manager and In-house Counsel. It was in this role she had the extreme good fortune to meet Andrew Knight and Deb Cox. Andrea’s initial involvement in financing and contracting their projects soon expanded into a more creative role. Over the three seasons of SeaChange Andrea was executive producer, script executive, associate producer and writer. Andrea is now executive producer and producer for CoxKnight.
ANDREW KNIGHT – Executive Producer Having been involved with more than 30 Australian feature films and produced or executive produced more than 3,000 hours of television, the only thing that prevents Andrew Knight being classified as a 'legend of the industry' is his youth.
In 1989, Knight founded the company Artist Services with partner Steve Vizard. This landmark organisation quickly became one of the top three production houses in the country, signing the biggest output deal in Australian television history. Artist Services went onto produce a string of successful television series for both free-to-air and cable television. 1998 saw the sale of Artist Services to Granada. Andrew remained with the company as Creative Director and in 2000 with Deb Cox and Andrea Denholm formed CoxKnight Productions as their own independent production company, maintaining a close relationship with Granada.
With a little nudging, Knight confesses to an astonishing list of credits including:
Co-writing with John Clarke two series of the ABC Comedy Drama, The Fast Lane
Head Writer and script executive on two series of the groundbreaking D-Generation for the ABC and later the Seven Network
ANDREW KNIGHT – Executive Producer continued
Co-writer on the feature Spotswood starring Anthony Hopkins and Russell Crowe
Executive producer of the features The Sound of One Hand Clapping and Dead Letter Office
Executive producer, producer and head writer for four series of the highly successful Fast Forward sketch comedy series for the Seven Network.
Executive producer for the tonight show, Tonight Live
Co-producer of the ABC mini-series Simone de Beauvoir's Babies
Co-writer and executive producer of the mini series Kangaroo Palace
Co-creator, writer and executive producer of three seasons of the highest ever rating television drama series, SeaChange, a program that has received literally dozens of awards and nominations and the eternal affection of the Australian viewing audience.
SUE SEEARY – Producer One of Australia’s most respected producer’s, Sue Seeary began her career as a freelance production manager on various feature films and documentaries, including field producer for television program BEYOND 2000.
In 1988, Sue produced her first feature THE CROSSING, directed by George Ogilvie and written by Ranald Allan and starring Russell Crowe, Robert Mammone and Danielle Spencer. Sue's credits include producing the short film THE RESTING PLACE; associate producing the Academy Award ® winning THE ADVENTURES OF PRISCILLA: QUEEN OF THE DESERT and producing the documentary series HEAVEN’S BREATH.
In 1995 Sue joined the Australian Film Finance Corporation as Documentary Investment Manager, before being appointed the FFC's Investment Manager - Melbourne.
Sue left the FFC in 2001 and re-established her own production company Seaside Stories. She is currently producing, consulting and developing a number of feature and television projects.
KATE WOODS – Director Block 1
Kate Woods’ career spans some 14 years. She came into the spotlight in 1991 with the hugely successful ABC TV Drama series PHOENIX, which was nominated for four AFI Awards including Best Director (1991 & 1992).
Kate then went on to direct ESCAPE FROM JUPITER (1993) and the award winning ABC TV Drama series JANUS (1994). Her relationship with the ABC continued with her direction of the drama series CORELLI (1996), MERCURY (1996), RAW FM (1997) and WILDSIDE (1997.) Kate’s acclaimed direction of SIMON DE BEAUVOUIR’S BABIES (1997) was nominated for five AFI Awards including Best Mini Series, and was awarded Best Actor and Actress.
LOOKING FOR ALIBRANDI (1999) was Kate’s first feature. With Producer Robyn Kershaw, it went on to be nominated for 8 AFI Awards and winner of five 2000 AFI Awards including Best Film, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress and Best Editing. It was also nominated for 7 Film Critics Circle of Australia awards (2000) including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Editing.
In 2000 Kate returned to ABC television with her direction of THE FARM, and then in 2001 with CHANGI, a 6 x 1 hour mini series written by John Doyle.
ARNIE CUSTO – Director Block 2 Arnie Custo has directed an array of children’s drama series including GUINEVERE JONES, MISERY GUTS, THE SADDLE CLUB, WILD KAT, FLIPPER and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation Production ROUND THE TWIST.
Arnie has also directed episodes of television drama series STINGERS, WATER RATS and was 2nd unit Director on the television mini series 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA.
STEVE JODRELL – Director Block 3
JAEMS GRANT – Director of Photography Jaems Grant has worked as Director of Photography on a number of high profile productions which include the acclaimed feature film HEAD ON, the telefeatures HALIFAX F.P, Cox Knight’s SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR’S BABIES, THE LAST OF THE RYANS and the series FIRE.
James was also DOP on the Australian Children’s Television Foundation documentary FIRST DAY.
KERITH HOLMES – Production Designer Kerith studied Graphic Design and film and television at the prestigious Swinburne Institute of Technology, as well as studying film and television design at The Australian Film Television and Radio School in Sydney.
Kerith’s feature film credits include IDIOT BOX, THE DROVER’S BOY, GREENKEEPING, EIGHT BALL, RETURN HOME and WITH LOVE TO THE PERSON NEXT TO ME
Kerith was also production designer on the telemovies HALIFAX fp episode 6 and THE FEDS as well as the television series BONDI BANQUET.
The creative combination of Andrew Knight and Deborah Cox represents one of the greatest, quietest success stories of the Australian film and television industry. These two remarkable writers and producers have been responsible for some of the most successful and enduring film and television ever seen in Australia.
With wealth of experience and an outstanding list of credits, Andrew and Deb together with Andrea Denholm, recently formed their own independent production company, CoxKnight Productions. Described in the media as a “dream team”, CoxKnight’s amazingly varied list of productions, are all characterised by a depth and quality of story, and underscored with a rich humanity and unique humour that touch deep into characters and audience alike.
Among CoxKnight’s numerous credits are the endearingly whimsical portrait of a sea-side town SeaChange, (the highest-rating series ever to screen on the ABC); the popular and critically acclaimed Simone de Beauvoir’s Babies; the local and international success Kangaroo Palace and the powerful Australian classic, My Brother Jack. Add to this a string of successful feature films, including Spotswood, Dead Letter Office and Siam Sunset. Their projects have won more industry and popular awards than any other producer in Australia, including Australian Film Institute Awards, Logie Awards, Australian Writers’ Guild Awards and several foreign film Awards.
CoxKnight have been variously described as bold, innovative, original, irreverent, often dramatic, sometimes quirky, and when it comes to understanding audiences, right on the money. But beyond this, they are simply wonderful story-tellers.
WORST BEST FRIENDS Director Kate Woods says of CoxKnight: “Cox Knight always make television that is different. They’re not bound by the normal parameters other television shows are. CoxKnight always work outside the square, and I love that their productions are always very witty, human and heartfelt.”