Categories
Latest News Uncategorized

2 for 1 offer for Funny Women’s HERlarious PowerUP event!

2 for 1 offer for Funny Women’s HERlarious PowerUP event!

Thursday 29th April at 12.00PM, and 6.30PM.

Reboot for post lockdown life with Funny Women’s unique blend of workshops, networking, discussion, entertainment and inspiration this Thursday 29th April.  The last few tickets are being offered to our network at an unbeatable ‘two for one’ for you and your funniest colleague or best friend!

Book HERE using the code HER241.

If you’ve already booked, thank you, and there’s an extra ticket with your name on it!  To claim your bonus ticket please email info@funnywomen.com.

Men are very welcome and if you are a first-jobber, intern, returner to the workplace, furloughed, made redundant or simply in need of a change of direction then this comedy fix will boost your confidence.

Take part in two workshops. Choose from: Stand Up to Stand Out, Imposter Syndrome Vaccine Clinic, Working Alone and the Power of Collaboration, 

Body Confidence and Stage Presence

Followed by speed networking and an inspirational headliner.

Full price tickets £15 plus VAT and booking fee

Please note that Funny Women’s original partner offer still stands – £5 off using code ‘Partner_PU’ using booking link here. Bursary places available for students, interns, unemployed and redundancies (ID or proof may be requested).

Funny Women is a not for profit company and generates income from these events to support its community outreach programme aimed at giving all women a voice.

Categories
Latest News Open Opportunities Opportunities Uncategorized

NEW! SHORT FILM COMPETITION FROM FULWELL 73

Fulwell 73 is launching a competition for short form comedy content.

We want funny, original films to showcase brilliant female talent. Stories, characters, sketches – we are open to everything. Over the next twelve months one film per month will be selected to feature on Fulwell’s YouTube channel and the winners will be paid £150 (per film).

Entries can be submitted by individuals or teams and must include a female director and/or writer. The content must be original comedy created for the competition and ideally between 1 and 5 minutes in length. Films should be best possible quality, 16:9 (widescreen) format, and have sound. The max file size is 128GB. Entries filmed on phones are acceptable.


The competition opens from 1st May 2021 and is ongoing for the next 12 months. Submissions should be sent via We Transfer to 5050@fulwell73.com with a short paragraph about yourself.

The winners will be decided by Fulwell 73.

Comedy 50/50 T&C’s

We are thrilled that you have decided to submit an entry to this Comedy 50/50 initiative in conjunction with Fulwell 73.

In submitting your video you are agreeing to the following terms and conditions.

The Legal Bits:

1.         This initiative is organised by Comedy 50:50 and supported by Fulwell 73 Limited. Comedy 50/50 is a non profit organisation which aims to address the gender imbalance in comedy. Fulwell 73 Limited is a company  specialising in production services for the creative industries (both parties referred to as “us” “our” or “we”).

2.         Entry to this competition is open to any female writer or performer who are full time residents of the UK (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man). Entry is only open to those over the age of 18.


3.         Entrants should record a 1 – 5 minute video of their choosing showing their comedic artistic talents. Entry is via e-mail to the following 5050@fulwell73.com You will be asked to provide your name, gender, and verify that you are over 18 years old.  


4.         All recordings should be submitted in English.


5.         Entrants can  enter individually, as a pair or as a team .Only one entry per person/pair or team is permitted and the video must be wholly written or directed by the entrant only. If more than one entry is submitted, only the entrant’s first submission will be considered. Female / male creative partnerships are permitted to enter the competition.


6.         Please do not endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or break any laws when creating any content you wish to submit.

7.         Entries must be an original piece of work or an account of real events. Anecdotes can feature well known public figures from present day or from history or use real-life experiences as a creative springboard so long as the video is original.


8.         Entrants retain the copyright in their entries but you grant us a perpetual non-exclusive royalty-free licence to publish, broadcast (across all media) and post the entry online. This licence will be deemed to include all the necessary rights and permissions to enable such use by us.

9.         You confirm that your contribution is your own original work, is not defamatory or unlawful and does not infringe anyone else’s rights (including privacy rights). You also confirm that your contribution is made in your personal (rather than business) capacity and that such contribution does not unfairly promote or further any business activities and has not been contributed for commercial gain. You also confirm that you have the consent of anyone who is identifiable in your contribution.

10.       Successful entrants will have their video uploaded to the Fulwell 73 Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQKCHTy7BYp5Fik7QoXjz7w  for a period of 12 months, however we reserve the right to remove the content before this period elapses for whatever reason.  All entrants that appear on the website shall receive a fee of £150.  

11.       Should Fulwell 73 decide that the content you submit has the potential for development we reserve the right to have a first option for any proposed treatment. If Fulwell 73 decide in our own capacity to proceed with this, we will request a full treatment for each idea, which of course you can decline to particulate in. Should this occur we will provide you with our standard development agreement to be agreed in good faith.

12.       We may receive other submissions which resemble your entry and that in some cases similar or identical ideas may be generated independently, we accept no responsibility or liability for this and we are free to use these entries in any capacity in any media throughout the world.  

13.       Our entire liability to you under these terms and conditions shall be limited to £150 (save that nothing shall limit or exclude our liability for death or personal injury caused by its negligence or other liability that cannot be excluded or limited under applicable law).

14.       By submitting your contribution you allow us to use the material in your contribution in any way we may reasonably choose on a free-of-charge basis in any media throughout the world. Comedy 50/50 hope  to be able to use your contribution but cannot guarantee to do so.

15.       Any copyright in your contribution will remain with you and this permission is not exclusive, so you can continue to use the material you contribute in any way including allowing others to use it. 

16.       We will ask you to provide some personal information as part of the submission process. Disclosure of this information shall be subject to terms set out in Comedy 50/50’s Privacy Policy which can be found on the website. All personal information held by Comedy 50/50 will be held in accordance with the terms of applicable data protection laws including GDPR.

17.       We reserve the right to amend these terms and conditions at any stage, if deemed necessary in our opinion.

18.       We cannot accept any responsibility whatsoever for any technical failure or malfunction or any other problem with any server, Internet access, system or otherwise which may result in any entry being lost or not properly registered or recorded. Proof of sending is not proof of receipt.

19. These terms and conditions are governed by the laws of England and Wales. 

Categories
Events Latest News Open Opportunities Uncategorized

New Grand Scheme Media Online Training Courses Via Eventbrite

Grand Scheme Media has more low cost Zoom training events coming up which are available to book via Eventbrite:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/grand-scheme-media-7822573372

Sessions include:

CONFESSIONS OF A COMMISSIONER – Mon, Oct 19, 12:00

INTRODUCTION TO TV COMEDY – PART ONE – Wed, Oct 21, 11:00

INTRODUCTION TO TV COMEDY – PART TWO -Wed, Oct 21, 14:00

For more information about Grand Scheme Media please check out their website – www.grandscheme.tv

Categories
Latest News Open Opportunities Uncategorized

Grand Scheme Media & Comedy 50:50 INTRODUCTION TO COMEDY TV – PART 2

We are delighted to confirm that we will be running the online version of the Grand Scheme Media Introduction to Comedy PART 2 for Comedy 50:50. We have two sessions to choose from and these will again start at 11am and last for 90mins over Zoom.

These sessions are kindly sponsored by CPL Productions and Merman.

Spaces are limited.

Please RSVP your preferred date to comedy5050@comedy5050.com by Monday 11th October and we will confirm your place by Tuesday 12th October.

TIME AND DATE:
Friday 16th October OR Tuesday 20th October @ 11am for 90mins.

INTRODUCTION TO COMEDY TV GRAND SCHEME MEDIA TRAINING – A 90’ online Creative Session for Comedy 50:50

1) STRUCTURE
How should you organise your narrative to ensure you win the attention of buyers and audiences

2) SCRIPT EDITING
Getting your script into the best possible shape

3) CONTEXT AND CHARACTER
Deeper discussion regarding characters that connect with audiences and characters to avoid and what situations work

Find out more about Grand Scheme Media:

If you would like to find out more about other courses Grand Scheme Media run please check out their website for more information – www.grandscheme.tv

Categories
Uncategorized

A Note From Our Founder

Saskia Schuster

Founder Comedy 50:50

The seeds of Comedy 50:50 started in February 2018 when I attended ERA 50:50 at BAFTA. ERA stands for Equal Representation for Actresses and their mission statement is:

‘ERA 50:50 wants to see women represented on screen, in television and theatre in equal numbers to men. Currently women are systemically under represented. This does not accurately represent our society. It distorts our view of the real world. Equal representation for Actresses, for Audiences, for All. Equal means 50:50.’

It was an evening of uncomfortable facts and figures highlighting the level of female under-representation across the performing arts. But I think that for me the one speaker who really stood out was Miles Jupp.

Miles described how, when he was asked to host the News Quiz on R4, he made it one of the terms and conditions of his contract that the panels would always be made up of an equal number of male and female guests. At first he was told that ‘it will be too difficult’, ‘it’s unachievable’, ‘the quality of the show will suffer’. But he insisted and every episode ever since has been absolutely 50:50.

I’ll admit I heard that and I thought, ‘oh shit.’  So I went into work the next day and did a bit of an audit of my comedy entertainment shows and was mightily relieved to see that the producers I was working with were way ahead of me, and the results for on screen equal representation were really good. We were on track with 50:50 representation.

Then I looked at the writing teams on comedy entertainment shows and scripted commissions and I felt less good. An awful lot of my comedy entertainment shows are made up of all male writing teams. In scripted commissions there has been a significant lack of shows written by women or with women on the writing teams.

I next took a look at script submissions and the picture was that for every five scripts sent to me written by a man, I’d get one script written by a woman.

It would have been quite easy to say, ‘I can’t commission something I’ve not been pitched’ but that’s a defensive response rather than a pro-active one, and frankly if that were a main character in a script I’d be complaining that they weren’t driving the action. And as the comedy commissioner at ITV, it’s up to me to drive the narrative.

At that point I decided I needed to have better conversations with producers. When setting out my ‘commissioning wish list’ I placed emphasis on seeking female writers, and female led scripts – particularly for ITV2. But this had little effect and to be honest I’ve been doing that since I arrived at ITV five years ago and I haven’t seen results. Which is not to lay the blame with producers. But more on that in a moment.

Then I had a conversation with a female writer which really changed my thinking. She talked passionately about how hard it is for female writers to be commissioned, and how it is down to commissioners to force a change.  So I started to look into why I’m not being pitched more scripts by female writers, why female writers aren’t on writing teams, why there is a block in the development pipeline and what can be done to address it.

I talked to loads and loads of people about it. To writers, producers, agents, performers, to the RTS, to ERA 50:50, to Funny Women, to The Writers’ Guild. There were many responses, many opinions, many personal stories and a lot of anger. Some views were conflicting, some slightly unrealistic, some impractical. But mostly the feedback was thought provoking, and inspiring so I’ve drawn on the most commonly shared observations and tried to create some practical solutions to implement change.

These are some of my findings:

Female writers aren’t being hired onto writing teams because they can’t compete with male writers who commonly have accumulated more writing credits. This reflects the long standing culture of comedy being male dominated.

Female writers find it hard to find producers to work with who ‘get’ their voice and can thereby develop a script to its full potential. This reflects the difficulty of broadening personal networks and producer/writer relationships – partly relating back to the problem of not gaining enough writing credits to even get that first meeting.

Female writers often don’t thrive as the lone female voice in the writing room. Too often the writing room is not sensitively run, it can be aggressive and slightly bullying. There can all too often be a sense of tokenism towards the lone female. Or the dominant perception is that the female is there purely so the production can hit quotas. Many women don’t want to be or don’t enjoy being that lone female.

Producers often don’t know how to expand their circle of female writers with whom they work and many feel frustrated that they know only a small pool of talent upon which to draw.

In response I launched Comedy 50:50 with these actions:

• I changed the terms of the Social Partnership Agreement. When a show is  commissioned or recommissioned, the Social Partnership form is issued with  the production contract. From today, this is an additional term of the  commission:

Writing teams must aim towards 50:50 gender representation. The production will require commissioner sign off on the make up of the writing teams.

In returning scripted commissions the production must demonstrate best endeavours to include female writers in the writing room.

Now that last point could be achieved by commissioning a couple of episodes of a returning series from female writers. It’s not unusual to farm out episodes to hit writing deadlines. A lot of productions hire additional writers for gag passes, or hire writers for additional material. There are many ways of bringing female writers onto a production that are part of the existing production process.

In all honesty I don’t know how to change the culture in writing rooms. Incidentally I know plenty of male writers who want no part of those writing rooms because of the behaviour that is allowed to play out. I think the change has to be producer led. But I hope that drawing attention to it might start producers thinking about how to address it. I know that Merman has an all female writing room, and on productions where writing teams are mixed they have a policy of a minimum of two women on the team.

• We have created an independent database of female writers for producers  to access. This consists of female writers with a minimum of one  professional writing credit, whether from radio, television, theatre, film,  short film or podcast. This database is free for producers to access, it is not  ITV endorsed and it is for use no matter which broadcaster has  commissioned the show that the producers might be hiring writers for.

• Regular, focussed networking events. We hold regular events where there is  enforced networking.  Producers have three ten minute introductory  meetings with writers. This is the first step to broadening contacts.  For  more natural networking at our events, everyone wears a colour coded  name badge (one colour for writers, one for producers, one for agents) so  that at a glance it is possible to have meaningful conversations.

* We will be extending networking opportunities to unrepresented writers and  agents.

• Mentoring. From speaking to some writers and agents, there is a desire to  create more practical mentoring. Many experienced writers have noticed  that the route by which they gained experience and a bit of nurturing is not  happening so readily now. They are keen to continue this tradition.  There  will be more details on this soon.

•  Shadowing placements.  We encourage producers to offer opportunities for  writers to sit in on writing rooms, table reads and notes sessions. 

* Writers’ forums / support groups

* Talks and workshops by industry professionals

I’m aware that there’s a lot more that could be done, we haven’t even mentioned female directors or crew, but to start with I’m keeping the focus small, and the solutions practical, so that we can effect change quickly. But I hope this endeavour will grow.

Going back to Miles Jupp, I spoke to him recently about how it had planned out on the News Quiz in terms of guest bookings. He said that they have never had a problem. If a female guest drops out at the last minute there is never a question of replacing her with a male guest.  This is now the accepted booking culture on the show and it is so natural and so unquestioned, it is simply normal practice.

Our aim is that one day 50:50 will be normal practice.