Hatch, Match & Dispatch: when a TV crew shows up at work

By Harley Dennett

February 11, 2016

We’re used to seeing cops and nurses on reality TV, but are public servants from an administrative agency ready for their close up?

ABC have taken the gamble that the stories witnessed every day by the personnel at the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages are every bit as challenging, comedic, emotional and unhinged as faced by first responder agencies.

A year to the day since BDM received an email pitching a reality TV series based on their work, the first episode of Hatch, Match & Dispatch will air on the ABC tonight at 8pm.

Breaking new ground means there’s not likely to be procedures or corporate know-how in place, so BDM and the producers from Fredbird Entertainment came up with their own. Here’s how the NSW Department of Justice describes how it went down:

“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 took 18 weeks in all, and staff at the registries in Chippendale and Parramatta went above and beyond their usual roles to accommodate the production, the NSW Department of Justice pointed out.

There was one final message from the staff at BDM:

“BDM would like to thank all staff and security officers at the Parramatta Justice Precinct who accommodated the production crew during filming.”

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