Fin Edquist enjoys alternating between the light and dark

Fin Edquist.

Fin Edquist is perhaps best known for animated adventures aimed at children and families – but the screenwriter finds equal satisfaction in creating adult-themed dramas.

Reflecting that diversity, his upcoming slate includes an Alice Springs-set series to be produced by Brindle Films’ Rachel Clements; a feature film spin-off of On the Edge, a planned TV animated children’s series; and a dark thriller/horror.

“My natural inclination is to the darker stuff,” says Edquist, whose writing credits include McLeod’s Daughters and House Husbands; he also co-created The Secret Daughter with Sam Meikle, Justin Monjo and Kristen Dunphy but didn’t get the chance to work on the Screentime/Seven Network show.

“The kids stuff is something I discovered later on in my career. I enjoy them equally and am glad I can work in both. They present different challenges and requirements and different forms of escape.

“I have four children. When I started writing for kids, my elder boys were six and seven so it was gratifying to write something your kids would see on TV or even better on the big screen.”

He will be the co-executive producer with creators and executive producers Sam Meikle, Isaac Elliott and Rachel Clements on Maverix. The 10-part drama is set at a motocross academy in Alice Springs where kids from around Australia prepare to compete for the national title.

The Alice Springs-raised Elliott, who started making films after a 2007 motorcycle accident left him confined to a wheelchair, produced the feature doc Finke: There and Back.

Meikle and Edquist will write the bulk of the episodes. The original plan was to start shooting in July but that is now likely to be pushed back to 2021.

Flying Bark Productions is developing On the Edge, loosely based on the work of the EDGE of Existence, a London-based non-profit foundation dedicated to raising awareness of species that are on the brink of extinction.

Edquist wrote Flying Bark’s feature 100% Wolf directed by Alexs Stadermann and and all three editions of the Maya the Bee animated franchise. The latest, Maya the Bee 3: The Golden Orb, is being produced by Studio B Animation’s Tracy Lenon and directed by Noel Cleary.

Also in production is Mia & Me – The Hero of Centopia, a three-way co-production between Studio B Animation, Studio 100 and Studio 56 in India, directed by Adam Gunn. Flying Bark (whose MD Barbara Stephen is Fin’s spouse) is animating both features.

Based on an original story by Edquist, Tess Meyer and Germany’s Gerhard Hahn, the plot follows Mia, a teenager who, following the death of her parents, is given book which contains a password, which read backwards, allows her to travel to the magical world of Centopia.

(L-R) Sara West, Samara Weaving and Edquist on the ‘Bad Girl’ set.

In 2016 Edquist directed and co-wrote with Steve Kearney Bad Girl, a psychological thriller which followed Amy (Sara West), a juvenile offender who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a seemingly well-meaning local girl Chloe (Samara Weaving).

Keen to return to directing features, he is developing Blood Borne, a dark tale about Felix, a teenage boy who is raised as a vampire by his single father in a compound outside Melbourne, with Neal Kingston’s Thrills & Spills (Black Water: Abyss, Great White).

The twist: Felix is itching to make his first kill but his father says he’s not ready so he breaks out of the compound. After his mission goes awry, Felix, his dad, younger brother and sister flee to the Gold Coast.

After graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts’ directors’ course in 1996 he directed music videos, short films and a few TVCs for several years.

Thanks to fellow VCA graduate Giula Sandler, he was hired as an intern on McLeod’s Daughters, which led to the writing gigs on that show.

He then spent five years directing TVCs until one wise old hand told him: “If you want to write narrative drama don’t stay in advertising because you’ll get stuck here.”