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Issued: Thursday, 4 February 2016
A year to the day since the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) received an email pitching a reality TV series based on their work, the first episode of Hatch, Match and Dispatch will air on the ABC.
The eight-part series premieres next Thursday, 11 February at 8pm. As the ABC explains, "we'll witness firsthand the funniest, most romantic, emotional and sometimes unhinged moments" that are the day-to-day business of Registry staff.
Before filming began, BDM held a meet-and-greet with the production company and all staff were welcome to audition for the series. A collection of 'on the couch' studio interviews were sent to the ABC and a principal cast was selected. Around 30 more staff agreed to be filmed and appear in the program.
But being in the cast of a television program comes with some conditions. The producers asked the team to not wear clothes with fine stripes or spots, which "tend to send the cameras a bit mad" and can make the footage strobe. And please don't wear white – the camera loves colour! As for drastic hairstyle changes – make them before filming, for continuity's sake!
Filming began in August 2015 at the Registries in Chippendale and Parramatta, and staff at both offices went above and beyond their usual roles to accommodate production. After 18 weeks, filming wrapped in November.
The NSW Registry is the first in Australia to be featured in a documentary and the stories the program tells are sure to resonate with people in NSW and further afield. We all look to the services of Births, Deaths and Marriages at pivotal times in our lives and Hatch, Match and Dispatch will give the Registry's work a very personal face.
The series is narrated by Marta Dusseldorp, an award-winning Australian actress who has plenty of experience making TV featuring the Department of Justice. Ms Dusseldorp starred in the ABC series Crownies and Janet King, both of which were filmed largely at the Parramatta Justice Precinct.
Hatch, Match and Dispatch is a Fredbird Entertainment production for ABC TV. It's supported by Screen Australia and our Department of Justice colleagues at Screen NSW.
BDM would like to thank all staff and security officers at the PJP who accommodated the production crew during filming.
Find out more about the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages at www.bdm.nsw.gov.au.