Tag Archives: Jamie Laurenson

Close to The End

Created and written by Samantha Strauss (Dance Academy), The End is a 10-part series looking at how three generations of a family deal with issues surrounding life, death and everything in between.

Frances O’Connor plays Dr Kate Brennan, an Australia-based specialist in palliative care who is passionate in her opposition to euthanasia. On the other side of the world, Kate’s mother, Edie Henley (Harriet Walter), feels just as strongly about her right to die.

Kate has little choice but to ship Edie out from England and deposit her in a nearby retirement village in the Gold Coast – Edie’s worst nightmare. And while Kate struggles with her own problems, her children are trying to work out who they are, and who they want to be.

In this DQ interview, Strauss and See-Saw Films executive producers Rachel Gardner and Jamie Laurenson reveal their ambitions to tell a story around the assisted-dying debate and how the story was inspired by real-life events.

They also talk about using a half-hour format for the series and finding the balance between comedy and drama around such a sensitive subject.

The End is produced by See-Saw Films for Sky Atlantic, Now TV and Foxtel, and distributed by Endeavor Content.

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Marital strife

State of the Union, which premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, stars Rosamund Pike and Chris O’Dowd as a couple who meet in a pub immediately before their weekly marital therapy session.

Each episode pieces together how their lives were, what drew them together and what has started to pull them apart – exploring the complexities of marriage via writer Nick Hornby’s characteristic honesty and humour.

What makes this series stand out, however, is that it is a shortform drama consisting of 10-minute episodes, with the story playing out over 10 weekly instalments.

In this DQTV interview, Hornby (High Fidelity, About a Boy) reveals how some free time in his schedule led him to take up the challenge of writing a 10-minute drama. He also talks about finding the voices of his characters and bringing together stars Pike (Gone Girl) and O’Dowd (Bridesmaids) and director Stephen Frears (A Very English Scandal).

Hakan Kousetta and Jamie Laurenson from producer See-Saw Films also discuss the challenges of financing and producing shortform series.

State of the Union is produced by See-Saw Films for SundanceTV and is distributed by Endeavor Content.

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