Counter Play - Bringing a New Level of Drama to Amazon Prime
From The OC, Gossip Girl, to The Hills and Laguna Beach. There is no doubt that we all love a show that incorporates enough mystery, heartache, and not to mention villains. Since the aforementioned shows have unfortunately ended there is a new contender in the ring to fill the void. Counter Play, now on season 2, which has recently been picked up by Amazon Prime and the NINE network in 2018, is here to stay!
Created by mother-daughter duo Chrys and Mikaela Phillips, Counter Play is a popular Australian TV drama series independently produced by Free Spirit Creative that combines all aspect of drama that will leave you asking for more. Million-dollar coastline, luxury cars and high-end couture is the scenic city of South Point... where wealth and corruption live side by side. Three affluent, powerful families believe their secrets shall never surface however, for the Cornwall’s’, Haynesworth’s and Morgan’s’ life as they know it, is about to be derailed.
Initially the series started as a web-series that quickly captured more than 1.5 million viewers by word-of-mouth with little to no promotion. The people have spoken and luckily for us, a lot of questions will be answered in the latest season.
These talented women are pure trailblazers and have set the record of being the FIRST EVER females of taking a former web series and independently produced and solely self-financed series to not only commercial television networks but also to a major worldwide distributor like AMAZON without any help or assistance from screen guilds, funding etc. We got a second to catch up with the creators on the creating the hit show!
Identify LA: How did Counter Play come to fruition?
Chrys: Returning back to Australia after living in Los Angeles I wanted to create a show that showcased Australians in a different viewpoint than the usual mainstream concepts. The initial web series had an initial cult following of over 1.5million total views and was then transformed and re-filmed into a TV series. It wasn’t as easy as this sounds haha! As a woman in this industry, I had many hurdles and many people advising that a female could not write, direct and produce a show. Counter Play has two seasons and is broadcast around the world and I hope that other women find this empowering in achieving their own screen success.
IDLA: What was it like working with your mother/daughter?
Chrys: Producing a TV series with my daughter Mikaela is a total blast. As a mother watching your child learn, evolve and take responsibility in an empowered and knowledgeable manner is very rewarding, as you feel as a mum you have steered your child in a way that rewards them. Many time we are referred to as the Gilmore Girls as if you know us, we have a very similar and on point relationship to those characters. Mikaela and I have similar production and creative ideas therefore, we create with a very unique chemistry.
Mikaela: An interesting and great experience in many ways! I’ve worked with mum on and off over the years throughout her other businesses and have always grown up seeing her work and learning from her also. However, this has really been one of the first projects - me as an adult- where we’ve completely been able to both share major workloads and responsibilities and create and produce something from inception! It’s a lot of fun working with mum because I definitely did inherit her hard work ethic and drive haha so we’re always at the same pace and on the same page, which combined with both our passion for screen, makes for a great partnership!
IDLA: Anything that you learned from each other?
Chrys: I’ve learnt from Mikaela that I am more suited to the creative aspects, directing and business negotiations as now I have a colleague who is far more apt in organizational skills with a keen eye for production duties and planning.
Mikaela: I guess one of the biggest points I took away and learned from the entire experience thus far is really how resilient mum continues to be. We all experience our own hardships or hurdles... some are easy to move on from and some not as much but continuing to see mum rise above the ones that we encountered while creating and producing Counter Play definitely did solidify what I already admired and knew about her but also pushed me more and opened my eyes to it more too, which is a great thing to know/learn!
IDLA: Tell us, in your own words, about the series. What do you hope viewers get out of watching it?
Chrys: Counter Play takes you on a journey through the lives of three wealthy families as other characters intertwine and reveal dark hidden secrets that turn into blackmail and even murder! As a storyteller from writing my book series to theatre and now screen, you always want your audience to have an adventure! Whether they love or hate a character, I want them to feel the mystery in the town of South Point and possibly if they can solve who’s playing who...
Mikaela: That’s a really great question! When creating a TV show -like Counter Play- you always hope that the viewers can take something away from it, so for me, I hope viewers get an enjoyable time out of watching it! Whether that’s from seeing Australian’s at the forefront of a Drama series, to watching with friends on a night in, to piecing together the mysterious storylines and devious characters or to escaping reality for a little bit from their own lives to watch the twisted and scandalous ones of the residents in Counter Play, I hope viewers truly enjoy watching!
The cast includes: Tyson Martick, Mikaela Phillips, Isabel Dilena, and Michelle Rowley. False identities, blackmail, greed, murder and love triangles ensue in this dangerously handsome and insidious town.
Play or be played in South Point!