Susie Youssef is, unsurprisingly, a big rave for her new TV show Making It Australia, but concedes there is one lingering question she hasn’t managed to answer.
If winners of singing shows go on to music careers, and cooking show winners open restaurants -what is the future for the winner of Making It?
“I have genuinely no idea,” she tells TV Tonight.
“I would hazard a guess that it depends on who the winner -which I will not reveal- would be. Some of the people on the show are artists who are making art for art’s sake. Some of them are working, like party planners or architects.
“I don’t know what will happen with any of them but I think that there’s a bit of a movement towards small businesses and large businesses being born from the kind of crafts that you make to impress your family and friends.”
Based on a US format by Amy Poheler & Nick Offerman, the series sees 13 crafters saw, sequin, and sculpt their way through a series of challenges for their shot at the title of Master Maker. Accompanying that is a $100,000 prize.
“Someone like (Scrap Metal Artist) Andrew came to art very late in life. His mates said, ‘These scrap metal sculptures that you’re building are incredible, you should tell the council … maybe you could put something up in the town!’” Youssef continues.
“I don’t think that there is an end game for this”
“He started winning prizes and then he started getting commissions for it. So I wish each of them whatever success they want, but I don’t think that there is an end game for this. I’ll be very curious to see where they go.”
Joining Youssef is comedian Harley Breen and judges Production Designer Deborah Riley and renowned Paper Engineer Benja Harney. Filming took place earlier this year in the ‘Making It Barn’ on a property one hour north of Sydney (and yes the contest took place on site, not in a TV interior).
“It was just stunning”
“They built it from scratch. It was an old barn that they that they renovated into our set. We also had a little house that you’ll see in the first episode where Harley and I hang out and do our crafts and sketches. But it was just stunning. They were very long days, getting up there before the sun came up and filming all day. But what a beautiful property to be visiting every single day,” she recalls.
Competing artisans come from all walks of life: a Sculptor and University lecturer from Perth; a Plumber and Kid’s Entertainer from South Australia; an Animator and Apprentice Electrician from NSWand a Mixed Media Artist from Victoria are in the mix.
Each episode has two challenges, a Faster Craft (usually around 3 hrs) followed by a Master Craft, or possibly a Mega Craft. Youssef is convinced the show will inspire families to flex their own creative muscles.
“We’ve all got a little bit more time on our hands than maybe we would like”
“I really hope that people take away a bit of an escape from it, but also a bit of inspiration to make their own thing. We’ve all got a little bit more time on our hands than maybe we would like, at the moment.
“Different age groups and people all over the country will enjoy it …part of it is really nostalgic and in other parts it’s exciting to watch people create something in such a short period of time.”
While she and Breen comedically dabble in some of the arts across the show, Youssef is adamant her strength is in hosting not in construction.
“I grew up with a very creative mum and dad. My sisters were always very creative. I was kind of the idiot on the sideline making jokes. Now I can do that professionally, which is amazing.
“The great thing about the show is that you’re watching people make things from all different corners of the country, but also with different materials. We were so excited to meet these different artists and see them work with the materials that they work best with… but then to learn how to use other materials and adapt that into their artworks, was for me the most exciting part.
“Harley and I were goofballs”
“Harley and I were goofballs that met each other on the same level. Just total nut bags, who were really excited to make each other laugh and pretty excited to meet people who were creative. Harley is a very creative person and a bit of a super dad.
“I feel like I struck gold by getting to work with someone who made me laugh pretty much the entire time.”
Making It airs 7:30pm Wednesday & Thursday on 10.
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