Actor Chloe Bayliss has been on more than her fair share of first dates, and some of them left a lot to be desired, literally.
“I have a lot of horrible dating stories [from] throughout my 20s,” Bayliss told ABC News.
“Because they were so wild and outrageous, I just thought, ‘Oh my God, I have to be the only person [who] He’s never been through these things.”
Bayliss quickly discovered she was not alone.
“When I started talking to all my friends about their experiences online, the stories got worse, wilder or funnier, or more outrageous.
“And so, I thought, ‘I have to do something with this.'”
Amy (Chloe Bayliss) has a date with Cinephile (David Soncin) who likes to expose herself to movies.Provided by: Madeline Bezic)
The result is a new series called Next, in which Bayliss is the lead actor and producer. It is currently being launched exclusively on TikTok.
Bayliss teamed up with director Ruby Challenger, with whom she also worked on MumLife, which screened at the Cannes Film Festival last year.
In Next, Bayliss stars as Amy, the ‘alpha female’ who suddenly finds herself single.
The dates he goes on are legendary and include an ax-throwing one at Maniax, in which his date admits there might be a delay between the first date and the second… because he’s about to go to the prison.
Yes, an ax-throwing date is a thing. But what if your date told you on this date that he’s about to go to jail?(Provided by: Madeline Bezic)
This scenario and many others on Next are inspired by the real-life dating stories Bayliss collected from her friends and the cast and crew behind the show.
The cast also stars Matt Castley as Amy’s “Deadsh*t” ex.
Doctor Doctor fans will know that the two played husband and wife for five seasons on the Nine Network show.
Tasneem Roc (from the original Heartbreak High) is Amy’s boss.
The creative team behind the series chose TikTok as their preferred medium to launch the show because it’s instant and that’s where audiences go.
The following isn’t the only show being posted on social media either.
The Katering Show, picked up by the ABC, started on YouTube.
Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee started as a web series before moving to Netflix.
Chat show Red Table Talk streams exclusively on Facebook and HBO’s Insecure is based on Issa Rae’s YouTube series Awkward Black Girl.
“We just want to work and we want to create,” Bayliss said, saying things slowed down dramatically during the pandemic.
“And we thought TikTok was a really great platform to do that and be able to get our work out there and see it right away instead of waiting a long time to try and get funding.”
In fact, the filmmakers made Next with just $2,000 of their own money, with the cast and crew working for free.
“We did it on a zero budget,” Bayliss said.
“And we’ve been able to create this show with a cast and crew of about 40 people. And those 40 people have come and given their time because they loved the script so much.
“This is, I think, a testament to creatives, and especially after the times of COVID, how much creative people just want to work and want to tell stories and share them with the world.”
Amy (Chloe Bayliss) and Deadsh*t (Matt Castley) were dating for five years before their relationship imploded.
Bayliss said Screen Australia provides funding for people to create content for TikTok, an option for future projects.
“For us, we didn’t go for funding because sometimes it can take a long time and we just wanted to do this first because sometimes it’s better to show them what you’ve done, so you’re a better candidate for funding in the future”.
There will be 20 episodes, ranging from one to three minutes in length, released every other day, after the first three episodes drop today.
Bayliss, who is also a dance teacher and choreographer and author of the memoir En Pointe, has put her bad dating days behind her.
He has to get married this year.
“I don’t want to rule out online dating at all,” Bayliss said.
“I think it’s a very good opportunity to meet people [who] they are outside your circles.
“But it can be exhausting.
“And I’m so happy that I finally found love and I don’t have to go on this train.”
next It is currently being rolled out exclusively on TikTok
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