Australian prodcos Zapruder’s Other Films and Cordell Jigsaw are merging to form what’s being billed as the first Australian superindie.
The new operation, dubbed Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder (CJZ), will be the biggest privately owned production company in Australia, bringing together the teams behind such Australian hits as entertainment format The Gruen Transfer (produced by Zapruder’s Other Films) and factual entertainment programs Go Back to Where You Came From and Bondi Rescue (originally produced by Cordell Jigsaw).
The combined group currently has 10 shows in production for assorted Australian nets, including the ABC, Foxtel, Nine, SBS and Ten. CJZ’s libraries and formats are to be managed internationally by Cordell Jigsaw Distribution.
“We have long seen ourselves, separately, as local corner shops, up against multinational supermarket chains importing overseas formats by the container-load,” said Andrew Denton, owner of Zapruder’s Other Films. “Combined, we will have greater strength to continue championing lovingly made, original, Australian television. We remain the fresh food-for-thought people… only bigger.”
“This represents a big step for all of us,” commented Cordell Jigsaw co-founder Nick Murray. “The combined teams have great complementary skills. We’re all looking forward to mixing the creative talent from each company. The ultimate goal is to have some fun while delivering the best quality ideas to networks and audiences.”
Perhaps elaborating on the “having fun” theme, Murray’s fellow Cordell Jigsaw co-founder Michael Cordell added, “We’ve spent years trying to poach their staff and they’ve spent years trying to poach ours. The only sensible thing is to jump in to bed together and see how good the sex is.”
Cordell Jigsaw recently established joint ventures with Bondi Rescue creator Ben Davies (Ronde Pty Ltd) and Pemberton Films’ Sonya Pemberton (science specialist Genepool). Zapruder’s Other Films, formed in 2001, recently coproduced its first scripted feature, The Tunnel, with Distracted Media.