3 x 6 min comedy mockumentary series
Employees of a fictitious government ‘Hype Unit’ must use all the skills they have in their bureaucratic arsenal to hype the community up to get the jab - all the while working out of the waiting room of a vaccination clinic.
about the series
Episode 1 'The Jab' (click here)
Unable to persuade a single soul to visit their clinic at 429 Community Street, the Hype Unit must resort to the best tactic of persuasion known to modern society - going viral.
Episode 2 'Agony Aunty' (click here)
The Hype Unit lament the failure of their viral video when no one turns up - only for an unexpected Aunty to come to the clinic... with a RAT test.
Episode 3 'The Audit' (click here)
When a bureaucrat arrives at the clinic, the Hype Unit believe they're under audit for their unauthorised activities, leading Priya to sabotage Tom in a bid to prevent her record notes from being discovered.
No Waiting explores the social discourse around COVID-19 through comedy, and through the lens of archetypes whom Victorians became very familiar with over the last two years - government employees and frontline workers.
Aimed at detailing the funnily inconvenient, unexpected and realistic struggles of community members who are limited by bureaucracy in their line of work, the series uses the beloved office-mockumentary format that audiences are familiar with and enjoy.
What sets the series apart is its proud and unabashed embrace of culture, and the community experience through community. By rooting the story through the lens of immigrants and cultural minorities, No Waiting is an exclusively community-based, and yet nationally-appealing and familiar series for all Australians.
Subtitled in six languages (Arabic, Shona, Malayalam, Indonesian, Hindi and Turkish), the series accessible on YouTube. Watch episode 1 of each language below!
hype experimental: bonus episodes
With No Waiting being a product of the Cinespace Training Grounds program, the series is created and led by industry professionals with their departments of entry level trainees. After getting their first on-set experience under mentorship guidance, Cinespace provided an opportunity for them to experience working in key creative roles by producing bonus episodes, to be featured after each series episode.
Introducing the Hype Experimentals! Three bonus episodes were created in which characters from the series filmed informational videos for their 'online fans'. In true experimental fashion, the bonus episodes are entirely lan-guage, including when characters speak to each other.
Subtitled in four languages (Arabic, Malayalam, Shona and Indonesian), check out the bonus episode 1 of each language below!
Bonus Ep 1# - Priya
Excited by the new wave of 'Hype' fans, Priya does an influencer-esque Q&A while doing a tutorial on how to do a RAT test - only to get unexpected results.
Bonus Ep 2# - Maryam
After Priya unexpectedly tests positive on her RAT test, Maryam is pressured into teaching the audience how to report their tests.
Bonus Ep 3# - Tom
Dr Tom celebrates the firing of his workplace nemeses, the Hype Unit... until he realises that the job they've left behind has quite the demand.
MEET THE CAST
QUESTION: What sets the series apart from others for you?
Serious Meerkat: It's really good broad social commentary on the whole pandemic situation of how marginalised communities dealt with everything and what they went through through that time. And beyond that, the idea that the different characters, all had their own respective language and not only got used to that, but interacted with each other like that throughout the series.
Veena Prakash: I've never til today, got to use my mother tongue on camera. I've always had to say another line in Indian language, but not my dialect and there's a lot of different dialects in India. In that way it was very unique for me. We also got to play around with the scripts a little bit because the scripts allowed for that opportunity. It was great to know that whatever suited the character was welcome.
Meriem Tebourbi: Besides the fact that we got to speak in our languages, I felt that also as a person with an accent, [laughs] I don't feel like there's a lot of representation or acceptance in general for actors to perform in their own accents. It was great that there was an acceptance and tolerance of that, and we were actually empowered to use our accents.
QUESTION: What was it like witnessing the mentor-mentee dynamics on set?
Veena Prakash: I think it was very unique, I'd never seen a structure like that. You're usually on sets where everyone's a professional and experienced. You don't see a learning environment on a film set. As actors, I think we were drawn into that dynamic from the beginning just by watching things happen behind the camera.
Meriem Tebourbi: Because it was my first time onscreen, I was very nervous leading up to the day one of the shoot. But then when I got here and I saw that everyone was also learning. It felt like a safe place, for me, and I didn't feel like I should be nervous. Because everyone at the end of the day was learning something. Even the mentors felt that they were learning from us and from the mentees and actors at certain points because they were asking us to express ourselves and asking about our cultures in ways that would inform the series.
QUESTION: How do you think the series will be received by our communities?
Veena Prakash: It's a very current topic that everyone just hates, so it's going to be interesting to put it out there and portray it in a fresh, light-hearted way I think it's going to be very well received and I hope people will enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed creating it.
Serious Meerkat: We talk a lot about the stereotypical types of questions and conversations you have during these last few years. I think maybe every one of us might know someone that completely has these views and it really requires us to ask, well, how do we challenge the community to think about this whole pandemic completely differently so that everyone's safe and we all get through it. It's just such a heavy thing, so it's really fun to do it in a lighthearted way. I know for myself that Shona people are really sort of jocular, and humour is our coping mechanism with crazy, difficult things.
Meriem Tebourbi: I feel like there were certain topics that were addressed very subtly but that would help raise awareness to certain things within our communities like, for example, gender identities and Tee being non-binary. When translating the script, I had to look up what gender neutral pronouns were in Arabic which is not something I have done before. It helped to teach me a lot about the non-binary Arab community.
No Waiting will return next year with an all-new season, cast, and of course - a new waiting room.