Director, Scripted Development
Debbie Lee is Matchbox Pictures’ Director of Scripted Development. Debbie provides creative leadership to the development of scripted content across a broad range of genres and markets. Debbie joins Matchbox Pictures from ABC Television where her most recent role was as Head of Comedy. Prior to that, Debbie held roles at ABC Television as Commissioning Editor, Entertainment and Comedy and at SBS Television where she was Commissioning Editor, Drama and Comedy for SBS Independent. During her time at ABC Television, Debbie has commissioned such programs as A Moody Christmas, Laid, Lowdown, The Librarians, At Home with Julia and Angry Boys. At the SBS Debbie commissioned Wilfred and John Safran vs. God amongst many others.
Julie Eckersley is a producer at Matchbox Pictures. She specializes in comedy and drama and has also produced online content, games, animation and factual entertainment. Her producing credits include Maximum Choppage, The Real Housewives of Melbourne (AP), Nowhere Boys: The 5th Boy, Anatomy – Series 4, The Turning – Cockleshell, ZuZu & the SuperNuffs, Glitch (AP) and The Family Law.
Julie works across a range of content at Matchbox Pictures and is currently working on new seasons of Glitch and The Family Law.
Penny Chapman is a principal of Matchbox Pictures and a founding partner. Penny is one of Australia’s most experienced television producers. Her recent productions are Devil’s Playground, which debuted on Foxtel on September 9 and Deadline Gallipoli, also for Foxtel and currently in post production. Other productions include The Straits (ABC 2012),The Slap (ABC 2011, executive producer), the children’s drama series My Place (ABC 2010 and 2011), RAN Remote Area Nurse (SBS 2005), The Cooks (Network Ten 2004), Temptation (Network Ten 2003) and The Road From Coorain (ABC 2001). Penny’s documentary productions include Sex An Unnatural History (SBS 2011, executive producer), Leaky Boat (ABC 2011) Darwin’s Lost Paradise (SBS,2009), Rampant: How A City Stopped A Plague (ABC, 2008) and The Track (ABC, 2000). During the 1990s Penny was Head of TV Drama, then Head of Television at the ABC. During this time she executive produced many dramas including the multi-award winning Brides Of Christ, which she devised, The Leaving Of Liverpool and Blue Murder. In 2010 Penny was awarded the inaugural IF Award for Contribution to the Television Industry and in 2013 Penny won the Screen Producers Australia Maura Fay Award for Services to the industry.
Producer / Director
Tony Ayres is an award-winning showrunner, writer and director in television and feature films. He is also one of the founding members of Matchbox Pictures. Tony is the Executive Producer for Glitch. Other recent EP credits include Nowhere Boys Series 2, Old School, Devil’s Playground, The Family Law for SBS, and is EP on the Nowhere Boys feature film. Tony is also the EP on Wanted for Channel 7 starring Rebecca Gibney, and Nowhere Boys Series 2 which won the 2015 International Emmy.
Previously, Tony was the showrunner on Nowhere Boys Series 1, which won an AACTA, Logie, and a Prix Jeunesse International 2014 award. Nowhere Boys Series 1 was also nominated for an International Kids Emmy. He was also the showrunner and director on The Slap, which has been aired around the world, and has won a multitude of awards, including 5 AACTA Awards and nominations for a BAFTA and an International Emmy.
Tony’s other scripted television work includes producing the comedy series Bogan Pride, starring Rebel Wilson; directing the telemovie Saved, starring Claudia Karvan, and Executive Producing the telemovie Underground: The Julian Assange Story, starring Anthony La Paglia and Rachel Griffiths.
Over the last few years he directed Cockleshell as part of The Turning, an anthology of films based on Tim Winton’s book of the same name, and has recently directed his third feature film, Cut Snake which screened at the Melbourne, Toronto, Edinburgh Film Festivals. It recently picked up the Best Dramatic Feature award at the Byron Bay Film Festival. Tony’s second feature film, The Home Song Stories, starring Joan Chen and Joel Lok premiered at the Berlinale in 2007. It screened at numerous international film festivals including Toronto and Edinburgh and won 24 international and Australian awards including 8 AFI Awards, 5 IF Awards, and 2 Golden Horse Awards (the Asian “Oscars”). His first feature film, Walking on Water also had its world premiere at the Berlinale where it won the “Teddy Award”. Walking on Water also screened at numerous international festivals and won five AFI Awards, two AFCC Awards (Best Actress, Best Screenplay), and an IF Award (Best Screenplay).
2016 will see two additional EP credits for Tony in the form of Barracuda and Seven Types of Ambiguity, both for the ABC.
Amanda Higgs, who was Script Editor of Matchbox Pictures/ABC TV acclaimed drama The Slap, joins Matchbox Pictures from the independent sector. Her most recent work includes two series of The Time of Our Lives produced for the ABC. Prior to this, Amanda held senior roles at the ABC, including Acting Head of Drama and Commissioning Editor, and Executive Produced a number of high profile Drama and Comedy series for the ABC. She was also Consultant EP for FOX8 on SLiDE.
Amanda was the co-creator and producer of Network 10’s The Secret Life of Us, which was the most watched Australian Drama in the 16-39 year old demographic, winning the series three Logies for most outstanding drama for three consecutive years. She is currently the Producer of Matchbox’s new Drama series Barracuda which will be seen by Australian audiences in 2016.
Scripted Development Executive
Timothy Hobart is Matchbox’s Development Executive. He moves our projects from concepts and ideas to pitches, treatments and scripts. Timothy joins Matchbox Pictures from FremantleMedia where he co-developed series such as Killing Time (TV1), Mr & Mrs Murder (Channel Ten) and Better Man (SBS). As well as developing shows, he has also worked on them as a script and story editor and recently worked as a screenwriter on several shows, the latest being the critically acclaimed Wentworth series for SoHo.
Scripted Development Executive
Stephen Corvini is Matchbox Picture’s Drama Development Executive. Bringing ideas to reality he joins Matchbox Pictures from Fremantle media where he developed and produced dramas; Devil’s Dust (ABC), Better Man (SBS) and Schapelle (Nine) and developed Mr & Mrs Murder for (Ten). Prior to that, Stephen held roles at Film Victoria and the Film Finance Corporation, was a Drama and Factual Producer and Director for the ABC and worked internationally in Europe, Asia and the UK.
Sophie is a showrunner, producer and award winning writer/director. She specialises in comedy and drama. Sophie was the showrunner on the critically acclaimed six-part comedy series The Family Law for SBS and the six-part comedy series Maximum Choppage for ABC2. As a writer/director her short film Spine won multiple awards including Best Australian Short Film at the 2012 Melbourne International Film Festival. She is currently in development on a second series of The Family Law.
Scripted Development Executive
Warren Clarke is the Development Coordinator at Matchbox Pictures. He is across all the new ideas, pitches, scripts and light-bulb-moments that we come across. Warren is a graduate of the AFTRS Screenwriting program and is always looking for a great story.
Tim Williams is a Development Assistant at Matchbox in Melbourne. As part of the scripted development team, Tim is across pitches and scripts, assisting producers in bringing new concepts to life. Tim is a graduate of both Victorian College of the Arts and RMIT where he completed a Masters of Screenwriting and Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing) respectively.