Dan Bennett, Steve Pennells and Craig McMahon launch Deadset Pictures

Dan Bennett, Steve Pennells and Craig McMahon.

Script executive Dan Bennett, award-winning journalist Steve Pennells, and producer Craig McMahon have come together to launch Deadset Pictures, a new production house aiming to bring together different genres and mediums for a global audience.

Based in Melbourne’s Albert Park, the new venture will cover drama, documentaries, features, reality television, and scripted comedy, with a focus on international co-productions, as well as providing a platform for diverse new talent on both sides of the camera.

Bennett will serve as head of scripted content, while Pennells is head of documentary and news, and McMahon steps into the role of head of business affairs.

Having worked in a variety of roles across script production and drama development throughout the past 23 years, including as a network script executive on Home and Away, Bennett said the time was right to move into the private production sector.

“I’ve been truly blessed to have had a long and successful run in network TV but as the television and film landscapes continue to evolve, it feels the perfect time to take all I’ve learned and team with like-minded creatives to produce tailor-made content that will sit comfortably on platforms worldwide,” he said.

“The extraordinary pool of Australian writers, crews, and performers also allows us the opportunity to challenge traditional production methodologies, providing the ability to produce more content for less dollars. We can’t wait to reveal what we have up our sleeves.”

Pennells, a five-time Walkley Award winner and Australian Media Hall of Fame inductee, was also excited about the road ahead.

“We’ve got an exciting slate of dramas, documentaries, and reality shows that we can’t wait to unveil over the coming months,” he said.

“After three decades at the forefront of international journalism and long-form storytelling, I’ve never been more excited than I am by what we’ve got planned in this space. Deadset on making a mark, we are here to reshape the landscape of Australian content for the international audience.”

For McMahon, who is CEO of McMahon Entertainment Group and artistic director of Film & Television Studio International, the new business was an opportunity to create “entertaining and thought-provoking content in all genres”.

“Our industry is now, more than ever, changing at a rapid pace,” he said.

“Between the three of us, we’ve made thousands and thousands of hours of top-rating and award-winning television.”

Programming announcements and additional staff appointments for the company will be announced shortly.