Production group WTFN celebrated its 20th anniversary last night with an event at Melbourne’s River’s Edge.
Founders Daryl Talbot (pictured right) and Steve Oemcke (pictured left) were joined by founding shareholder Frank Dunphy, COO Wes Crook and staff.
Also in attendance were Wilbur Wilde, Red Symons, Mike Brady, Dylan Lewis, Jane Gazzo, Graham Ross, ITV’s Ben Ulm, Foxtel’s Jim Buchan and Hitmaker Studios director Jon Olb.
The team reflected on its many achievements including The livingroomParamedics, Emergency, Space Invaaders, Mercury’s Menu, Keeping Up with the Joneses, Talk to Animals, Trishna and Krishna, Extravagant and more.
There was a special mention to early support from the late Ian Johnson, who buoyed the company with their first series, Coxy’s Big Break, to David Mott for support Bondi knows and Foxtel General Manager of Factual Jim Buchan for 5 shows at Foxtel.
“It’s been a wild ride,” Talbot mused. “We’ve had our ups and downs, and the baby has needed a lot of attention at times. Starting a business anytime, never mind running a complicated business like a TV production business is really tough. But the great thing about this partnership with the three of us is that whenever we set our sights on something new, the other two guys go and are 150% behind it. …It’s that kind of leadership that allows us to keep going and do crazy things that often feel like mountains to climb.”
Since 2003, WTFN has produced 1,461 hours of original programming, 76 original programs of which 18 have run for three
series or more.
Steve Oemcke noted, “I think that’s 400 million views Bondi knows has reached. In that time we have reached 2.3 billion views on our digital channels. And across all our channels we have six and a half million subscribers.”
“The WTFN was made up of researchers, producers, post-producers, editors, lawyers, accountants, our board, audio people, drivers, runners, presenters, elbows down and occasionally a cameraman made contributions,” said Talbot .
“There was a lot of behind-the-scenes talent and so many people, if you think about it, from the beginning to the end of a TV show, and Steve had about the same amount of time before the thousandth time. We relied on each person taking a WTF project, refining it to the best of their ability, and passing it on to the next person.
Photo: Miranda Stokkel