TV, less disposable than before: Zwar

Adam Zwar in LowdownAdam Zwar, creator of the new ABC comedy series Lowdown, says that the way audiences are watching TV on DVD has made television ‘less disposable’ as a medium than it used to be.

“I’ve really enjoyed writing TV over the last few years, and the people that I really like in a comedic sense are doing work on TV,” Zwar told Encore.

Starting tonight at 9pm on ABC1, Zwar will play a tabloid columnist struggling to get the latest celebrity gossip for his ailing newspaper in Lowdown. The project was originally conceived by Zwar and director Amanda Brotchie as a feature film, but the lack of funding made them re-think it as a television series.

“It takes five or more years to get a feature film made in Australia, and by that time a lot of the jokes are a bit tired if it’s a comedy.

“Besides, there’s a trend of earnest filmmaking in Australia as opposed to funny, so many comedy writers have moved to TV because you get paid, whereas in film you wait around for years to get a little bit of money here and there, purely from a scriptwriting perspective,” said Zwar.

Zwar, who can also be seen inthe second series of Wilfred on SBS and the upcoming feature Kin (another project by Lowdown producer Nicole Minchin), enjoys the fact that television characters don’t necessarily have to change or ‘learn’ anything.

“One of the beauties of TV is that not too much should change. In a film the character has to learn something, whereas in TV it’s probably best if they don’t; they go on a journey and they come back and they are in the same situation. You just play around with the formats and take them on great journeys where they don’t learn anything,” he said.

Brotchie, co-creator of Lowdown, adds that comedy is a good genre for creatives to develop, produce and star in their own material.

“It’s like being a singer/songwriter; the voice is more honest and authentic when you have that integrity coming from the creators through to the direction and the performance. But you need to be aware of the risk [of laughing at your own jokes],” she said.


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