As we come to the end of the year, we would like to thank all of you for continuing to support Comedy 50:50. Although we’ve had to rethink our plans this year, we are still proud to have been able to offer training, mentoring, awards and writing opportunities. Here’s a recap of the last twelve months:
INTRODUCTION TO COMEDY TV Part 1 & 2
After the huge success of the concentrated 90 minute version of this course, Mark and Graham kindly added more dates as well as the Introduction to Comedy TV Part 2 course which was hugely popular and covered everything from structure, script editing, character and context.
In total we ran 11 courses with over 330 writers taking part. We would like to thank the following production companies who each sponsored a session and to Graham and Mark from Grand Scheme Media who delivered such insightful courses. Our thanks goes to: Channel 4 Comedy Commissioning, Phil McIntyre Entertainments, CPL Productions, Merman, Tiger Aspect, UKTV, ITV, Open Mike Productions, DLT, So Television and Red Production Company.
If you would like to find out more about other courses Grand Scheme Media have to offer please take a look at their website www.grandscheme.tv
THE FUNNY WOMEN BEST COMEDY WRITER AWARD WITH COMEDY 50:50
Congratulations to Christine Rose who won The Funny Women Best Comedy Writer Award with Comedy 50:50, a new industry award created to recognise the female writers of unscripted comedy.
Presented by head judge Rachel Parris at the Funny Women Awards, judges comments included –
“Christine gets the tone of productions well and is able to submit material in a variety of comic voices. She also happens to be very funny.”
“Christine did an incredible job developing and honing the host’s voice, working tirelessly on lines that did them proud. The way they were developed over the series owed everything to Christine’s incredible efforts.”
A huge well done also goes to our runners up – Madeleine Brettingham and Catherine Brinkworth. And a big thank you to all the producers and broadcasters who voted and to Lynne Parker and Becky Singh who staged a brilliant online version of The Funny Women Awards this year.
ERA5050, supported by ScreenSkills using National Lottery funds awarded by the BFI as part of the Future Film Skills programme, and in partnership with Comedy 50:50 launched TellHerVision – an all women writers’ room pilot led by a professional comedy mentor. 237 writers applied to take part with the final 8 writers getting invaluable experience, receiving mentoring from Joanna Scanlan (actor, writer, producer), Juliet Morrish (writer and producer), Michaela Hennessy-Vass (executive producer and former commissioning editor) and Polly Kemp (actress and co-founder ERA 50:50) with guest speakers throughout. By the end of their month together they produced a treatment for a fantastic original comedy and whilst the project is essentially over, the writers are still working together on the pilot script.
The final writers were: Sinitta Monero, Georgia Mackenzie & Charlotte Sones, Bas Rahman, Christine Entwistle, Sarah & Lizzie Daykin and Rhiannon Needs.
A huge thank you to everyone involved that made this such a huge success.
TellHerVision are now looking for further partners to fund another roll out of the project. They would very much like to continue to focus on diverse female writing talent to meet the current demand within the industry for new voices. It would give a first look opportunity to any partner wanting to create content to a specific brief whilst helping to develop a sustainable pipeline of talent for a diverse group of women with ability but without equal access to paid work. Please get in touch with us if you would like to discuss further.
Our pilot mentoring scheme has now finished. This ran slightly longer than expected due to the interruption of Covid-19 and we would like to thank our mentees and mentors for adapting to working together in new ways and keeping the mentoring sessions going.
Our mentors were Georgia Pritchett, Victoria Pile, Abigail Wilson, Ben Worsfield, Danielle Ward and Gemma Arrowsmith. The mentees were Lou Conran, Juliet Meyers, Rosie Turner, Christiana Brockbank and Prue Hay.
A big thank you to Screen Skills and Jane Saunders for helping us create the Comedy 50:50 Mentoring Scheme.
We are hoping to launch our second Mentoring Scheme in Spring 2021 and will let you know when applications are open.
CREATIVE COALITION FESTIVAL
In November Comedy 50:50 was represented on the panel “Getting The Better of Bullying” chaired by Lucy Tallon of the Film and TV Charity. The panel discussed the various forms of abuse of power in our industry, and best practices for avoiding the situation as well as how to deal with abuse if you are the victim of it.
CODE OF CONDUCT
In addition we have been working with the Film and TV Charity, WGGB, The Edinburgh TV Foundation and LSA to come up with a Code of Conduct for our members. This can now be found on our website, as well as useful contacts that provide confidential advice and counselling for those who are the victims of abuse of power in its many different forms.
As productions start up again, we would love to hear from producers that have any opportunities for paid work or shadowing on any scripted comedy, comedy drama, drama or comedy entertainment shows. We have had great success with writers working on The Jonathan Ross Show, Hypothetical, Plebs and The Late Late Late Show with James Corden and would like to continue this in 2021. Please get in touch with us on email@example.com.
We would like to thank ITV for their continued support throughout 2020 and into 2021.
We have lots in the pipeline for next year so please do keep a lookout on our website comedy5050.com and twitter account @50comedy50 for all the latest news and opportunities and please keep in touch via our new email address firstname.lastname@example.org (please note the old email inbox is no longer monitored).
We wish you all a very happy and healthy Christmas and we look forward to the time when we can see you all again.
Saskia and Emma