You might not know married couple Jessie Oldfield and Adam Murfet, but you’ve definitely seen their work on screen. They directed hit Aussie comedy series Why Are You Like This and more recently global Netflix phenomenon Heartbreak High, which returns for a second season on April 11. They’ve also made commercials for Adidas, Kathmandu, L’Oreal and even Broadsheet.

The pair joined us on our podcast Broadsheet: Around Town this week to chat about how they started their production company and got into narrative television (Murfet was a jockey before entering the industry) and their key to working harmoniously on set. Plus, the challenging experience of producing TV shows during Melbourne’s Covid lockdowns, and of course, the low down on Heartbreak High season two.

On getting into narrative television and Why Are You Like This

Oldfield: We're filmmakers, we've both always had the big dream of directing features. But the way our first foray into narrative television happened was quite organic. We were approached by a few friends who are comedians, and they told us about Fresh Blood (an initiative by the ABC looking for young talent). They had this idea that we could collaborate.

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Murfet: Mark from Aunty Donna approached us and said ‘I’ve got this idea. It's called Why Are You Like This? It's about these three, insufferable shitheads who ruin people's lives with their modern day moral codes’ … We’d never done anything like that and it seemed like too big of a jump. [Mark] had this idea about [our] style and sensibilities in an Aussie comedy [because he hadn’t] seen that before … we went away, gave it some thought [and decided to] jump.

How they work together harmoniously

Oldfield: I think that one of the really magical things about us is how different we are. In pre-production, we are very detail oriented. We talk everything through, we listen, we debate, we have different ideas, and we push each other to think about things differently. Over the years, we've become very good at trusting who has that idea that works for that moment. A lot of that happens in our pre-production stage and then when we're on set, a lot has already been hashed out and we're kind of ready for the magic to happen … We do divide and conquer a bit, we're both capable of doing all of the elements but it is one of the beautiful things about being a duo.

On Heartbreak High season two and the show’s success

Oldfield: We got to do the end of season two of Heartbreak High, so the final episode … we obviously can't say anything about it, but we learned a lot. There's a number of new characters in season two and one of them is [played by] Angus Sampson, who's a fantastic actor .. that was great working with a lot more tension in season two.

It’s such a good cast. When we were on set, you could feel that. We had a lot of freedom as well creatively … it was an exciting show that we're very proud of. I think Australians kind of needed it and it sounds like other people were interested in internationally as well. It's exciting for Australia moving forward that a show like this has been successful.