SYDNEY DOUBLES FOR CALIFORNIA IN SONY’S AND PLAYMAKER’S RECKONING
FILMING IS UNDERWAY IN SYDNEY FOR RECKONING, A NEW THRILLER SERIES FROM PLAYMAKER FOR SONY PICTURES TELEVISION NETWORKS, STARRING ADEN YOUNG (RECTIFY, THE DISAPPEARANCE) AND TONY-NOMINEE SAM TRAMMELL (THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, TRUE BLOOD).
Set in California, the ten-episode-series is being filmed and wholly produced and post-produced in Australia, after being secured through incentives from the Create NSW Made In NSW International Footloose Fund, which was recently renewed by the NSW Government to offer up to $10m in yearly funding to bring film and television productions to the State.
Reckoning explores the darkest corners of the human psyche through the eyes of two fathers, one of whom is a serial killer. Mike (Young) and Leo (Trammell) try to do what’s best for the people they love and the families they protect. But as both struggle to suppress their inner demons, the murder of a local teenager sets them on a course of mutual destruction that will emanate through every facet of their quiet, suburban community.
Also joining the cast are Simone Kessell (Pine Gap, The Crossing), Laura Gordon (Undertow, Secret City 2), Gloria Garayua (How To Get Away With Murder, Bounty Hunters), Mitzi Ruhlmann (Hiding, The Code), Milly Alcock (Pine Gap, Fighting Season), Ed Oxenbould (Wildlife, Paper Planes), Finn Little (Tidelands, Angel of Mine), Anthony Phelan (The Kettering Incident, Deep Water) and Diana Glenn (The Slap, Secrets and Lies).
Created by David Hubbard (Noel) who is co-showrunner with David Eick (Battlestar Galactica, Falling Skies), Reckoning is executive produced by Playmaker’s David Taylor and David Maher (The Code, Chosen), produced by Diane Haddon (The Code, Friday On My Mind), directed and co-executive produced by Shawn Seet (The Code, Storm Boy) with Jennifer Leacey (Bite Club, Pulse) and Peter Andrikidis (Bite Club, Underbelly) also directing.
An Australian production, Sony Pictures Television Networks commissioned Reckoning for its international channels, including AXN, in select territories in Europe and Latin America. The psychological thriller is being produced by Playmaker, an Australian leader in premium scripted content. Sony Pictures Television Distribution will handle worldwide sales of the series, which is set to debut next year.
Assisting with location scouting across the city, the Create NSW’s Screen Destination Attraction team were instrumental in helping producers envisage California in the Sydney setting. Ausfilm members SLATEVFX are also on board for the VFX of the production, and as well as being the home of Playmaker Media, Fox Studios Australia is also aiding the production by providing stages for additional photography and publicity shoots, lighting equipment, production offices, art and costume workshops and a unit base for truck parking.
WE CAUGHT UP WITH THE PRODUCERS TO SEE HOW FILMING IS GOING AND TO GET THE LATEST NEWS FROM THE SET:
Why did you choose Sydney as location for Reckoning?
“As Reckoning is set in a coastal Californian town, and the series is being produced by Sydney-based production company Playmaker, it made sense to set the series in Sydney. Sydney’s beaches and lifestyle have a very similar vibe to California.”
What NSW locations have you shot in so far?
“We’ve filmed in and around the beautiful Northern Beaches, Richmond, St Ives, Centennial Park and Auburn.”
How have you found the process of filming in Australia and making it look like California?
“The process has been relatively straightforward. Finding residential streets, houses and buildings that resemble Californian architecture hasn’t been difficult. The beaches and waterways are alike, and areas of vegetation are similar. It’s particularly helpful that Eucalypts are also prevalent in California. It’s really only the vehicles and streets that require a bit more consideration and planning. The availability of contemporary left-hand drive vehicles is limited here but we overcame this by bringing in a number of our key character’s vehicles from the US. Driving and street sequences require us to control the streets we are filming in so that we have vehicles on the right side of the road. This has all been manageable with good planning and co-operation with the relevant traffic and roads authorities.”
How does the quality of Australian crews compare to those in the US?
We’ve found the Australian crews to be outstanding. They are highly-skilled, creatively talented, hardworking and incredibly efficient. The amount and quality of what they can achieve in a 10-hour day is impressive.