From left are Orla Holland, Jules Fortune, Julia Redwood, Natalie Bell and Freya Brueschke.

Prospero Productions is set to begin a new era under the sole ownership of Julia Redwood, following the departure of former joint managing director Ed Punchard last month.

The move marks the end of their 30-year partnership in the company, which has been responsible for Outback Truckers, Outback Opal Hunters, and Railroad Australia, as well as titles such as SAS: The Search for Warriors, The Man Who Jumped, Change My Race, Paying for the Piper, Heartbreak Science and Death of the Megabeasts.

Redwood paid tribute to Punchard while looking ahead to the next stage for Prospero.

“Ed and I have achieved so much over three decades and I’m beyond enthusiastic about leading Prospero into the next great chapter of its story,” she said.

“The future shines bright for the company and the Australian screen industry.”

Redwood is joined by an all-female management team, which comprises general manager Jules Fortune, head of finance Orla Holland, head of post-production Freya Brueschke, and new head of production Natalie Bell.

Bell has over 20 years of experience in screen production and live performance, including stints at the Spare Parts Puppet Theatre and the WA Screen Academy.

She said she was pleased to be joining a “powerhouse in the factual production space”.

“I’m very much looking forward to getting to work with this stellar team,” she said.

Redwood said she planned to invest in further skills development programs for her employees.

“Our returnable, long-running series such as Outback Truckers and Outback Opal Hunters have been the training ground for many screen practitioners over the years, and moving forward, I want to find ways to make more of those unique opportunities,” she said.

Prospero Productions is one of Western Australia’s largest employer of factual personnel, with 50 staff employed across three series and one feature-length fulldome film, which will culminate in the production of 42 hours of screen content this year alone.

The current development slate includes season 5 of Outback Opal Hunters, which is in production, and season 9 of Outback Truckers, on which post-production is being finalised.

The company has recently celebrated a number of milestones, including the airing of the 100th episode of its long-running series Outback Truckers on 7mate, and Redwood’s nomination as a finalist in the Business category of the 2021 Western Australian of the Year awards.

Redwood said she was “hugely honoured and proud” to be nominated.

“For me, it’s a testament to how the screen industry in WA has grown and developed over the 30 years I been working in it,” she said.

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