Iain Canning and Emile Sherman’s See-Saw Films has teamed up with three-time Australian Writers Guild award-winner Samantha Strauss to set up a joint venture production company. Picking Scabs will be based in Australia and develop projects for Strauss to write and produce with See-Saw Films in both Australia and worldwide.
See-Saw and Strauss recently worked together on dark comedy series “The End,” which Strauss created and wrote. The show is a co-production between Sky UK and Foxtel Australia, that is executive produced by Strauss and See-Saw’s Rachel Gardner, Jamie Laurenson, Hakan Kousetta, alongside Sherman and Canning. Starring Harriet Walter (“Succession”) and Frances O’Connor (“The Missing”), it is directed by Jessica M. Thompson and Jonathan Brough and will air in the U.S. on Showtime from 2021.
See-Saw’s producer/executive producer Gardner will work closely with Strauss on the Picking Scabs development slate.
“We want to tell stories that are a bit itchy and a lot addictive; that dig below the scab and broken skin and investigate all sorts of wounds that haven’t healed properly. Let them bleed, weep and breathe,” said Strauss in a statement.
“We’re thrilled to formalize this already great relationship with Sam and have several groundbreaking projects in development. Ironically, ‘The End’ was just the beginning,” said See-Saw’s head of television, Jamie Laurenson.
Strauss co-created the hit Australian teen drama series “Dance Academy,” which screened in over 160 countries and was nominated for two International Emmys, and won the most outstanding children’s series Logie awards in 2012 and 2013. Strauss was the lead writer on all 65 episodes.
Outside of the Picking Scabs venture, Strauss is a writer and executive producer on “Nine Perfect Strangers,” starring Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy, produced by Made Up Stories and Blossom Films, which is currently filming. She is adapting another of Liane Moriarty’s novels as a television series for the same producers.
She recently wrote “The President’s Astrologer” for John Madden to direct, with Damian Jones producing for Fox Searchlight and Film Four. She has a pilot deal with the ABC Network with Tom McCarthy’s production company, Slow Pony.
Her past writing credits include “Dance Academy: The Movie,” “The Wrong Girl”, as script producer and lead writer, and the telemovie “Mary: The Making Of A Princess” (both for Network Ten). Strauss has been individually nominated for six Australian Writer’s Guild Awards and won three times.
“Samantha is a rare talent, one that is able to marry her immense artistic gifts with a keen understanding of the business, and lead projects that are both critical darlings and commercial successes,” said Gardner. “Our sensibilities in both areas are deeply aligned, and I look forward to creating magical television together.”
With offices in London and Sydney, See-Saw has a track record in film that includes “Lion,” “The King’s Speech” and “Widows.” “Ammonite,” by Francis Lee, starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, recently premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. Also on its slate are “Operation Mincemeat” and “The Power of the Dog” are upcoming.
See-Saw’s TV projects in the pipeline include Colin Farrell-starring “The North Water” for BBC Two, Gary Oldman-starring “Slow Horses” for Apple TV Plus, and Keira Knightley-starring “The Essex Serpent,” also for Apple.