Fed up with the magical realm’s obsession with large-scale fantasy warfare, Jack the wizard decides to migrate to the sanest place he can think of: Melbourne’s western suburbs.

After accidentally causing Flinders Street Station to turn ever so slightly into a giant fish monster, his existence (and that of his fellow magical immigrants) is revealed to the Australian public. Fearing a backlash against himself and his kind, Jack swears off using magic in a bid to better assimilate into human life.

But of course, fitting in was never going to be easy when people tend to get a bit ‘explode-y’ whenever you sneeze…

Some reviews state that Jack moving to Footscray is a reflection of Australia’s immigration laws. Is this true?
True in the same way that a five-year old’s Duplo construction is a reflection of architectural design. Once we had come up with the plot of the series, the parallels to real world immigration issues were obvious – however the intention of the show was basically to make people laugh at cum jokes. I’m not very deep.

What (and/or who) inspired your series?
I guess the frustration I felt whilst watching blockbuster films was one of the core inspirations for the series. Whilst it’s all good fun to have characters quip their way through violent confrontations, I thought it would be really funny to take a step back from that and poke fun at how dumb all those clichés really are. Nick and I have also always found the concept of offsetting supernaturalism with mundanity to be a great source for humour. Tonally, my comedy touchstones were things like Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Monty Python, Futurama, etc.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome making this series?
The challenge was always in the scope of the series. With a relatively small budget, we had to create 90 minutes of Fantasy, VFX based comedy. Featuring over 40 speaking characters (including CGI characters) with all sorts of locations and costumes that had to believably exist in both a Fantasy Realm and in Footscray. Also, our show had approximately 360 VFX shots (to put that in Perspective, Fellowship of the Rings had about 270) and our VFX team was basically made up of myself and one other guy. So it took us 37 weeks just to complete the post – it was a massive undertaking.

How do you finance your series?
Screen Australia’s Multi-Platform Drama Fund funded the production for ‘The Wizards of Aus’. During Post Production SBS 2 approached us about acquiring the show for SBS 2 broadcast and SBS On Demand.

Are there any web series, other than your own that inspire you?
I loved Aunty Donna’s recent 1999, and The Katering Show is about the best thing ever.

Describe the ultimate fan of your series?
My ultimate fan would be my Mum. It’s her indefatigable apathy that keeps me trying to prove my worth as a human being.

From start to finish, how long did it take to complete this project?
We submitted for Screen Australia funding in December 2014, and within 9 days we heard that we had been approved. We had a couple of months of writing and pre-production, and began principal photography in March 2015, shooting for 17 days. From March to early January 2016 Michael Shanks and Chris Hocking were locked away in an edit suite finishing everything off.

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