Amazon Prime TV has picked-up Seasons 1 and 2 of Counter Play, a popular Australian TV drama series independently produced by Free Spirit Creative. Counter Play quickly captured more than 1.5 million viewers just by ‘word-of-mouth’ messaging when it went to air as a web series earlier in 2017.
Season 1 of Counter Play will be streamed world-wide by Amazon Prime TV and on Australian screens on Channel 9 in mid 2018 Filming of Season 2 of Counter Play is underway now at locations in Melbourne and Victoria.
Counter Play is a glossy, drama/thriller series written and directed by Australian writer Chrys Phillips, and independently co-produced independently by Chrys and her daughter Mikaela Phillips.
Counter Play is set in the fictional town of ‘South Point’ located on a multi-million dollar coastline where wealth and corruption live side by side. Each episode of the series features action and intrigue in luxury life-style settings with glamorous people, high-end fashion, prestige cars and more.
Counter Play is about three very affluent and powerful families whose dirty secrets and scandals are constantly in danger of being revealed. To keep their secrets hidden, each family member is looking out for themselves and no one trusts anyone else. Blackmail, greed, murder and love triangles ensue in this thrilling ‘play or be played’ TV series.
This drama/thriller has appealed to a wide audience of both men and women. The visually attractive settings and luxury lifestyles provide feel-good stimulation for viewers’ imaginations.
Author/Director Chrys Phillips is the creative mind behind Counter Play and its co-producer along with her actress daughter Mikeala Phillips who also plays a lead role as Faith Morgan in the show. Chrys has had worldwide success in writing books in various genres and in producing theatrical productions. She has travelled extensively to direct musical theatre productions and to promote her books. She has received many award-winning accolades.
Chrys Phillips says, “When I was advised Counter Play was too glossy and with no outback heritage content not Aussie enough to succeed I kept on producing the show because I knew the intrigue and devious activities in South Point were what people wanted to watch to escape from their everyday reality. Although Season 1 was launched without any publicity the audience rapidly grew to a million plus viewers due just to people talking about the show, which thoroughly thrilled the cast and crew.”
Chrys spent more than five years in Hollywood collaborating on TV, film and publication projects before returning to Australia in 2015. Since then her creative projects have included Counter Play and her Blood Tattoo Trilogy book series.
Her previous books include the best-selling and award-nominated ‘Magic Wars’ series and ‘Never Say Can’t!’ listed by Ian Somerhalder of the Vampire Diaries Foundation as a youth empowerment, motivational book providing inspiration and helpful how-to advice on overcoming obstacles and achieving your dreams.
We asked Chrys some questions regarding how Counter Play came to life.....
You’re a successful woman in a tough industry – tell me about being the first woman to create
and produce an independently funded TV Series in Australia?
When you write the question for me to read it, I must say it made me stop and read it again...ha! Yes, its true that I am the first woman to accomplish this and if I don’t see it in writing or if I’m not asked I simply forget and go on with my job / projects.
I can honestly say it’s been a tough path, did I say a tough path? Haha...there’s no other way to put it. I was told on many occasions I didn’t know what I was doing, that it wasn’t the norm nor was it how other shows here in Australia where written or filmed it was to much like overseas shows and that I should consider a male to direct it, as I won’t be taken seriously.
The powers that be that give funding advised me to have a popular web series with diverse nationalities and vistas of Melbourne to get considered for funding. I achieved this and went over and above these requirements to then only hear the show wasn’t Australian enough in style nor did I fit into any other categories, which was strange, as I saw many males with not as much success or full produced series get funding. The bottom line is ... I just did not take no for an answer and kept on jumping hurdles and forging a path for the tv show with my own small financial backing and a cast and crew passionate about the show.
I’m really interested to hear about the mother-daughter relationship working as professionals together.
I grew up with no parents to always come home to not a proper family home ever. I think made me more driven and I wanted more for my child. Therefore we packed our bags and I told my then 15 year old daughter we would sell everything we owned including my car to go to America to pursue my writing career. It was a risk and 24/7
I learnt everything I could. We were on location of the USA TV show REVENGE and we learnt very much on production/filming.
I was already a success with my book series Magic Wars overseas and my other series I have for empowering youth, however I wanted to learn more and showed Mikaela if you really want something you must always go vigilantly ahead as no one offers you a free ride to success. Now that she’s 22 we have a great team bond on and off production duties. Many called us the Aussie Gilmore Girls in USA haha!
We’re the closest friends and a duo that’s complements our own individual talents for our company. It’s a blast doing this together!
There’s no doubt you have been a significant role model for Mikaela – tell me about her and her Counter Play character, Faith Morgan
FAITH MORGAN... this character is a strong, kind and fashion savvy young woman who has noble blood. Her mother Lady Sabrina Morgan married Lord Sebastian Morgan and they’re a very powerful family in South Point.
We go on a journey with Faith as she falls deeply in love with the charming yet dark Jake Spector. His secrets and his turbulent past bring many twists and turns for their relationship as FAITH entwines into the locals lives and she begins to build alliances. She’s always planning one decadent event after another, from Masquerade Balls, Gatsby 1920s party, Fashion Gala and an upcoming VIP Winter Wonderland Ball. Faith’s a great role model for young woman!
Season 1 of Counter Play was launched as a web series early last year and without any publicity or promotional support it quickly attracted a large following of more than a million viewers by the end of Season 1. Why do you think Counter Play was so successful.
From the first moment I began Counter Play, people were very interested in an Aussie Gossip Girl / Scandal style TV show. Many have aligned its genre to Dynasty and Pretty Little Liars .... however it’s unique style of showcasing Australians as wealthy, luxury driven individuals with devious secrets and powerful dramatic scenes is why many watched it and told mates to too. Thus creating its own cult following!
Counter Play I believe is what Aussie’s want to watch these days and it’s sinister mystery keeps you guessing ... remember Play or be Played South Point.
So – where and when can we see Season 1?
Season one and two shall air on Channel 9 this year near June / July and on Amazon Prime TV the same. The web has teasers leading up to the channel 9 launch & my instagram has many videos of behind the scenes filming, bloopers and more.