Filming begins on exciting new tween horror-comedy series Crazy Fun Park
An eerie and spectacular world full of ghosts and ghouls has come to life in Victoria, with horror-comedy series Crazy Fun Park now in production.
Produced by Werner Film Productions for the ABC with major investment from the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, Crazy Fun Park is the story of Chester, a teenage boy whose life is turned upside down following the death of his best friend Mapplethorpe at an abandoned theme park.
Chester discovers that the soul of Mapplethorpe is very much still alive and kicking – and so he returns night after night to hang out with his friend and the other undead kids who haunt the fun park.
Filming has begun on location around Melbourne, and first look images from the set show a dramatic, captivating and visually stunning backdrop for the coming-of-age story for tweens and teens.
It features a talented young cast, including Henry Strand, Stacy Clausen, Hannah Ogawa, Justin Holborow and Pedrea Jackson, with appearances from an esteemed adult guest cast including Judith Lucy, Kim Gyngell, Bernard Curry and Simon Burke.
The series was created by writer-director Nicholas Verso, whose screen credits include Boys in the Trees, Nowhere Boys and Itch.
He has partnered with award winning producer Joanna Werner of Werner Film Productions, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the film and television industry. Her credits include Dance Academy, Ready for This, Riot and The Newsreader.
As well as providing production investment, the ACTF will distribute the 10 x half hour series worldwide. Screen Australia and Film Victoria have invested in the series.
ACTF Head of Content Bernadette O’Mahony is an executive producer on the series, alongside Joanna Werner, Stuart Menzies and ABC Head of Children’s Content Libbie Doherty.
Bernadette says: “It is exciting to see Crazy Fun Park come to life. It’s complex, fun and funny, and sometimes a little bit scary. Audiences are going to love these characters and the extraordinary theme park world, and they will relate to Chester and Mapplethorpe’s friendship and the exploration of grief when you lose someone. Ultimately, Crazy Fun Park is a life affirming, visually stunning, rollicking ride.”
The idea for the show came about through Verso’s experience with death and grief as an adolescent – but despite the serious subject matter, Crazy Fun Park is funny, adventurous and wildly entertaining.
Verso says: “I didn’t want it to be heavy-handed or morose – I know that as a teenage boy I wouldn’t have wanted to tune into that. I wanted it to be a fun, explosive celebration of life and spirit… one that kids can’t wait to watch because it feels like a high energy party and the emotion just gradually sneaks up on them when they’re not expecting it, giving them tools to explore and process difficult feelings.”
Joanna Werner says: “Nick has created a fascinating world of compelling, diverse characters, both alive and dead, whose stories are told in the incredible setting of an old abandoned fun park that comes alive after the sun sets. This is a big ambitious production which wouldn’t be possible without the amazing support of the ABC, ACTF, Screen Australia and Film Victoria, and we can’t wait to bring it to audiences in Australia and around the world.”
Crazy Fun Park is expected to premiere on ABC ME and ABC iview in early 2023.
CRAZY FUN PARK is a Werner Film Productions series, produced for the ABC. Major production investment from Screen Australia and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation in association with Film Victoria and the ABC. Distribution by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation. Created by Nicholas Verso, Directed by Verso, Sarah Hickey and Adrian Russell Wills. Writers: Nicholas Verso, Magda Wozniak, Craig Irvin, Enoch Mailangi and Fury. Produced by Joanna Werner. Executive Producers: Stuart Menzies, Joanna Werner, Bernadette O’Mahony and Libbie Doherty.
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