Web Series Wednesday: Made For This

Domenic Di Mento, Bonnie Ferguson and Steven Carnuccio in Made For This.

Directed by Aaron Warwick
Written by Domenic Di Mento, Steven Carnuccio and Daniel Pike
Produced by Domenic Di Mento, Steven Carnuccio, Daniel Pike, Waseem Khan and Aaron Warwick
Starring Domenic Di Mento, Steven Carnuccio, Bonnie Ferguson, Maha Wilson, Cramer Cain, Waseem Khan, Erin Connor and Tia Naris

Co-written by Highlight Pictures

The struggle to forge a career in the entertainment industry is one that every creative knows all too well. It requires a strong mindset and constant hustle; setting meetings, attending auditions and pushing as hard as one can to get a moment in the spotlight. For most, this day-to-day effort in reaching for the stars can take its toll, and even be enough to send some running for the hills (and I don’t mean Hollywood). However, for three determined and vivacious men, it is this fight for one’s dream that has fuelled a five part comedy-drama series – Made For This.

The series follows Chase Lombardi, a struggling actor, determined to turn his dream into a reality. Together with his “entourage”; mischievous and quirky best friend, Cole Carlyle, and connected and competent moral compass, Lee Rhodes; the trio navigate the entertainment industry, experiencing its ups and never ending downs, refusing to let the stars in their eyes waver and always remembering that they were Made For This!

Erin Connor in Made For This.

Actor, Domenic Di Mento, first coined the idea after having been rejected from yet another audition. The constant knock-back and lack of opportunity was starting to take effect. So, what did he do? He begun writing a heartfelt comedy that he believed was a story for all of the underdog creatives out there who consistently give it their all and still find themselves locked out of the world they know they are destined to be in.

At the completion of a pilot episode, Di Mento approached a construction colleague, Daniel Pike, whom he had known to have a creative flare about him. Pike promptly expressed his interest in the series and the two began shooting ideas back and forth, eager to perfect the script. A few weeks later, Di Mento attended the premiere of another series that had just been completed; a mockumentary series entitled Academy. Impressed by the series, that later received distribution through California-based streaming platform Revry TV, he immediately set his sights on the Creator/Writer/Producer, Steven Carnuccio. Upon reading what the boys had come up with, Carnuccio was hooked and saw an enormous amount of potential in the series, agreeing to join the team as a Writer and Consultant to push the project forward.

Having written what they believed to be five solid episodes, Carnuccio recommended they get into contact with a director he had worked with the previous year whom he thought to be a gifted director; Aaron Warwick. So, Di Mento sent over the scripts to gage his interest in directing the series. Having read the scripts on a flight back from India, Warwick called the boys as soon as he landed to confirm his involvement, stating that he loved the tragic nature of the story and that he had a rush of vision come to mind.

Domenic Di Mento and Waseem Khan in Made For This.

What followed over the next few months was a hustle to bring some of the industry’s finest talent on board. Kent Marcus, known for his stunning visuals and ability to promptly and effectively get the job done, signed on to DOP the production, along with impressive and diligent up and comer, Stephanie Furdek. The rest of the crew was rounded out by a range of industry professionals; Elliott Falzon (1st AD), Jordan Russell (2nd AD), Odessa Jones (3rd AD), Elena Kan (Key Hair and Makeup Artist), Janelle Stacey, Kim Pham and Leny Cheng (Hair and Makeup Assistants), Simon Allen (Sound Recordist), John Hresc (Sound Mixer), Daniel Pardy (Colourist), Laura Graham and Anastasia Bickley (Still Photographers), Tahsin Rahman (1st AC), Chantal Jack (2nd AC), Kyle Stephens and Chris Kilismanis (Gaffers), Tessa Sobolski (Lighting Assistant), Irma Calabrese (Production Designer), Tiffany Porto (Costume Designer), Roshan Hill (Continuity), Ainsley Halbmeijer, Juan Barrera and Angelo Morton (Production Assistants).

When it came to cast, three lead roles of Chase, Cole and Lee needed to be filled. Warwick expressed interest in Di Mento and Carnuccio to play the two leading males, having known that many of the struggles depicted in the series were drawn from the duo’s personal experiences, and noting that the character personalities suited both of their performance strengths to a tee. He felt that Di Mento truly embodied the character of Chase and would offer the best perspective for the audience to engage and sympathise with. On the other hand, Carnuccio’s comedic abilities were known to the director and it was evident that he would bring a light-heartedness to break from all of the heavy blows in the series as the character of Cole. The female lead needed to go to an actress of great depth, someone who would prove to display independence on screen, while also fitting in to this unlikely trio of friends. After scouring IMDb for performers who might fit the bill, Di Mento discovered an actress by the name of Bonnie Ferguson. After reading the scripts, Ferguson was eager to jump on board and soon confirmed her involvement with Di Mento and Pike. What followed was a string of passionate and gifted talent expressing their desire to join the cast, including some well known Australian names; Maha Wilson, Cramer Cain, Erin Connor, Waseem Khan, Tia Naris, Anne Rzechowics, Stephen Walker, Deirdre Campbell, Anastasios Repousi, Nick Barker-Pendree, Thomas G. Burt, Marybeth Bonnor, Shannon Gibson, Michael Thomson, Joseph Di Mento, Paolo Gatto and Diego Espejel.

Maha Wilson in Made For This.

In addition to a talented cast and crew, the production also garnered some music, the bulk of which was laid down by Triple J Unearthed chart-topper, Hunter 505, and the bubbly pop singer, Alise. Hunter 505 was particularly impressed with the series and production scale, opting to write and put down a theme song for the series intro credits. Both of the performers’ support throughout filming is said to have been limitless, with the two making brief cameos in the series.

Filming took place all around Sydney, primarily in the inner-west. Locations included a breathtaking water-view mansion in Hunter’s Hill, the prestigious Roslyn Packer Theatre, Haberfield Tennis Centre, and popular Italian restaurant, SUD. Footage was also captured around suburban Concord, Earlwood and Mortlake.

Having witnessed Di Mento and Pike’s consistent hard work and drive to make the project a reality, Carnuccio officially committed to Producer status halfway during production, noting that they were two of the most impressive, passionate and humble individuals he had ever had the pleasure of working alongside. Upon completion of filming, the trio were so pleased with their ability to work together and acknowledged that each one of them brought something different to the table. Hence, they have joined forces under the banner of Highlight Pictures, a creative platform dedicated to bringing narratives to life.

Highlight Pictures is excited to share Made For This with audiences, expressing that it is a story for anyone who has a dream and has constantly been told they will never achieve it. The series is sure to touch viewers’ hearts, while keeping them on the edge of their seats with laughter.

Made For This premieres on Friday 19th July at the Actor’s Centre Australia. Tickets are currently on sale.

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