By Charmaine Gorman – The first of our next interview series about Australian and New Zealand filmmakers in Berlin, we talk to Australian screenwriter, Jasper Marlow, who tells us how he ended up writing for a Berlin web series.
Jasper Marlow trained at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) in Sydney and was 2015 Alumni of ‘Serial Eyes’ writers’ room at DFFB in Berlin. So, it’s fair to say he has crossed over well! Now living in London, and working with a writers group called The Dirty Dozen, production has finished on the new comedy web series Just Push Abuba.
Launched on YouTube on March 16, Just Push Abuba is also screening on German broadcaster ZDF, which is pretty cool seeing as it’s one of the first ever commissioned Australian-written/German comedy series. It’s a show about a group of hopeless friends living in Berlin who illegally rent their spare room (or corner of a room) out to strangers. Lots of people can relate to this quirky show, Berliners, travelers, and ausländers alike. So, Jasper, born in Sydney, Australia, how did you end up being a writer for a comedy web series in Berlin?
Jasper – In Australia, I was writing for “Home and Away” when there was this sudden shift of producers and personnel. The next group had no idea who I was, so that gig disintegrated and I found myself shoveling leaves as a landscape gardener. Luckily, a friend from the industry sent me through an application for “Serial Eyes” (post-graduate European television writing programme in Berlin). I applied for a British passport, got in to “Serial Eyes”, and moved my life to Germany.
Tell us a little more about The Dirty Dozen.
Jasper – We’re a collective of writers and producers who met at Serial Eyes. Coming from Germany, Croatia, Greece, France, and Australia, we’re a pretty diverse bunch who try to work on projects together and help
each other as best we can in this wacky industry called Show.
The series ‘Just Push Abuba’ is a great inside look at a share house in Berlin and the comedic dramas they inevitably create themselves from the adventure that is – living in Berlin. Were you inspired by real events?
Jasper – Yes. I lived in several different share-house in Berlin. One being a militant masochist who whipped herself at night and put on the craigslist ad “NO WHITE PEOPLE WITH DREADLOCKS”. I moved in
How did you secure such an international cast? Are they locals?
Jasper – We have a great producer in Felix Von Boehm who knew the best places to find talent. We also have a few authentic Berliners, including our lead actor Anton Weil who is from Kreuzberg.
You now live in London, how does it compare artistically to what you experienced living in Berlin?
Jasper – I find London a much different city in terms of creativity. People are all crouched together here, trying to survive, because of how tough it is. Share-houses, co-operatives, and collaborations seem more common but there are also more rules and obstructions. I’ll be moving back to Berlin in May so it will be interesting to compare the two capital cities again!
We can see this taking off! Any plans for more seasons?
Jasper – We hope so. It’s been a really great experience and we hope it can find an audience in Germany and abroad.
You can catch episode 1 of “Just push Abuba” now on Youtube, and look out for more to come!
Charmaine Gorman is an Australian actress and writer living in Berlin with her family. As a content writer and editor, she works for many clients around the world, and along with her husband, is the founder and content manager of the online travel guide My Guide Berlin