Filming The Courtesy Bus in Bangalow recently were Gabrielle Foti, Mandy Nolan, Brett Stephens, Skeggs' Ben Reed and Beau Alcott.
Filming The Courtesy Bus in Bangalow recently were Gabrielle Foti, Mandy Nolan, Brett Stephens, Skeggs' Ben Reed and Beau Alcott.

Free ride: be part of new series filmed on a courtesy bus

THE conversations on board of a courtesy bus after a night at the pub are normally private. Until now.

A new series called Courtesy Bus had its pilot episode filmed on the Northern Rivers.

Director Brett Stephens, from Six Sixty Productions (Deadlock, Get Grubby TV), said the project is a comedy written as a 30-minute, six-part series.

“Where possible, we’ve used mostly local cast and crew, trying to build a great show,” he said.

“It’s a comedy with heart.

“My wife and I had the idea about seven years ago, sitting at a leagues club and the courtesy bus announcement came on.

“I approached Many Nolan and wanted her to play the lead, she was very interested and we ended up co-writing the pilot.”

Mr Stephens also enlisted the help of local actors such as Nell Schofield (Puberty Blues) and Tony Barry (Australia, Good Bye Pork Pie).

“We invited an indigenous comedian Andy Saunders who just won The Block with his wife, Mandy invited him to get on board and he was great,” he said.

“One of the best moves we made was to use Chris Watson, the actual manager at the Bangalow Bowlo, to play the manager of the bowlo, so everyone at the bowlo have been absolutely wonderful.”

The pilot will be done in about a month, the director said.

“Half the cast will be regular characters, and the other half will be different people paying themselves and telling their stories,” he explained.

“We are seeking people to be on it.

“We just had Benny (Ben Reed, lead guitar) from Byron Bay band Skeggs, and he was a natural, he was great,” he said.

“We also had a local couple from Byron, they have a great story and I knew them personally, Sarah and Jason, she is a performer and he is a builder, and they did a great job.

“Greg “Nashy’ Nash, a well-known Bangalow character, came down and told a great story too.”

Mr Stephens hoped once the pilot is complete, a media company will be interested in supporting it.

“We hope broadcasters and streamers get interested once they see the pilot, and I'm sure they’ll come on board once they see the story, the cast, they will get on board the Courtesy Bus.’



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