Australian indie WFTN Entertainment – the company behind hit blue-light shows including “Bondi Vet” and “Paramedics” – is hoping to lure unscripted creatives Down Under in a new hiring drive, Variety can reveal.
WFTN says it has already identified 20 roles it needs to fill – including editors, producers, showrunners, post producers, field producers and production managers – and is prepared to spend up to seven figures to snap up a host of U.K. creatives. That sum will go towards flights, accommodation and work permits as well as salaries.
The indie says that due to growing demand – it reports an uptick in commissions – plus the post-COVID production boom Australia is currently experiencing means it is becoming increasingly hard to fill those roles domestically – which is why Steve Oemcke, WTFN Group’s co-founder and CCO, is now casting his eyes across to the U.K.
Among the shows WTFN is currently working on are a fourth season of “Space Invaders” and a still-to-be-announced crime and factual series for commercial broadcasters.
“In common with most production companies, we have a healthy core team and then staff up with the required freelance talent for the duration of series in production,” Oemcke tells Variety. “However, the perfect storm of a buoyant domestic market, general skills shortages and our own increase in commissions, has left us with significant talent gaps. We are known for producing top quality, story-led factual and aim to maintain and build on this reputation. Therefore, it is important for us to find people, especially in post roles, who understand how to bring a story together.”
“We have regularly worked with British freelancers, both on the ground in Australia and remotely in the U.K., often sight-unseen, and we know the U.K. talent base is amongst the best in the world.
“We are in an enviable position in that we can already see some way down the line this year, so starting to fill these specific roles now, alongside our continued investments in general recruitment and training up, will ensure we meet commitments to our broadcaster clients. It goes without saying that it will also be a wonderful by-product if, in meeting our needs, we can help find meaningful roles on exciting series for people currently suffering from the commissioning downturn in the U.K.
“And who knows, longer-term this might even be the start of a fluid exchange scheme that helps countries, companies and individuals ride out some of the market fluctuations that frequently impact television production around the world.”
Last week, Variety published an in-depth report about the U.K.’s acute lack of unscripted work that has resulted in an “emergency” for freelance staff, many of whom are having to look for jobs outside TV to pay their bills. Many have said they are considering leaving TV permanently.
WTFN says potential applicants interested in relocating to Australia should send a CV and covering email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured above: “Bondi Vet”