Three self-obsessed Gen Y journalists tackle hot topics with limited success but tonnes of laughs in comedy web series DAFUQ? on ABC iview. By Caris Bizzaca.
Actor Amberly Cull was always taught that in order to ‘make it’ she would need to move from Perth to the eastern coast of Australia.
Funny then, that her debut television appearance is in the Perth-based web series DAFUQ?
Fresh out of graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts, 23-year-old Cull landed a role on the ABC iview series DAFUQ? – a satirical six-part mockumentary series that pokes fun at arrogant young reporters.
Cull plays Pandora, who along with fellow ambitious journalists, Lee D and Rift (played by writer/directors Henry Inglis and Matt Lovkis), investigate hot topic issues. But their quest to be edgy and relevant is often marred by the fact that they are more concerned with themselves than the subjects of their stories.
“I could relate to it and how there are people my age who think they are vigilantes and that they’re going to save the world,” she says.
“I saw a lot of people I know who are self-proclaimed martyrs, in Pandora.”
Filmed over 10 days, Cull says the shoot for DAFUQ? was very fluid, with scripts and shots evolving all the time and lots of room for improvisation. So much so, that Cull’s contributions to the script got her an “Additional Material” credit at the end of the process.
“I don’t think had anything was set in concrete, everything was always up for change,” she says.
The DAFUQ? team also had their work cut out when it came to locations, making various parts of Perth look like an Egyptian prison, or a Big Brother-style ‘Tolerance Hothouse’ (so Rift can help his Reclaim Australia-supporting father and Muslim girlfriend get along).
“They could make any place look like a completely different country,” Cull says.
“We went from Syria to Egypt to Australia within the same day.”
Created by Perth-based company Mad Kids, Cull says everyone involved in the production was from Western Australia.
“It’s really cool that it’s a completely Perth-based thing,” Cull says.
“You’re kind of taught that you have to live in Melbourne or Sydney if you’re going to ‘make it’, but then my first job happened to be back in my home town, which I moved away from to ‘make it’.”
DAFUQ? is screening on ABC iview. Watch all six episodes here.