The producers of the new independent sci-fi thriller Restoration this week announced that their hour-long production has been picked up for broadcast by Nine and for streaming by Stan. The pilot presentation will also be available to watch on Virgin Australia flights, providing a captive domestic audience.
Mediaweek spoke with producer Toby Gibson about the production.
Why produce this as an hour-long TV presentation and not as a feature?
It was important that this project not only work in its own right but also act as a proof of concept to establish the foundations for an ongoing TV series. Ninety minutes would not be enough, while an hour of TV speaks to the narrative and format we wish to continue to develop and produce for.
There has been a rise in the number of indie TV producers. Is this a reflection of there being a bigger market for producers to sell TV?
There is greater opportunity for independent producers given the recent increase in distribution avenues. However, it is also clear that there is an appetite for content that respects its audience as intelligent viewers who demand greater choice now that the market has opened up and access to global content is at their fingertips.
Is this hour-long production effectively a pilot presentation? Will viewers feel satisfied with the story by the end of the hour? If a series is produced, does this serve as the first episode?
It is not a traditional pilot where the audience is left hanging, but it will leave the audience asking questions and hopefully wanting more. Restoration is more of a featurette rather than a pilot and in this sense doesn’t serve as a first episode. The ongoing series, provisionally titled Reversion, can be considered Restoration 2.0 and promises to take this property to a new level as a high-concept crime thriller.