Comedians Veronica Milsom and Steen Rasko are working on a pilot for iView in joint Screen Australia-ABC initiative, Fresh Blood.
Their sketches, called The Record, were some of more than 70 short sketches created last year for Fresh Blood. Now in round two, they’re one of five teams who will develop a pilot. Round three will see one of the pilots commissioned for a complete series.
In round one, The Record dealt with ambitious world record holders and their stepbrothers/costume designers/coaches. Veronica talks to us about round two.
Screen Australia: How did you come up with the concept for your pilot?
Veronica Milsom: The concept for The Record was born from my fascination with differing notions of what it means to be successful, to be remembered and leave a legacy. The Guinness World Records has always occurred to me as an interesting framework that allows people to strive for bizarre ways to be the best in the world at something, whether it be growing eight metre fingernails or balancing the most amount of spoons on your face. They’re bizarre scenarios that these people take 100 percent seriously, and I think that’s funny and endearing.
I also love comedy that focuses primarily on character and relationships rather than purely pushing narrative or gags.
The Record felt like it could combine those two ideas nicely.
SA: Was it something new that you had developed specifically for Fresh Blood, or had you been thinking about the idea for a while?
VM: I’d been contemplating how to develop the concept into a live comedy show. Initially I wrote it up as a play to be performed by two actors depicting five different characters each in completely unrelated story lines.
SA: How far into creating your pilot are you?
VM: After a number of rewrites, we’re currently in pre-production and begin shooting in a few weeks. We’re excited to work with Porchlight Films for phase two of Fresh Blood, and thankfully they’ve raised our level of professionalism. We’re crewed up, locations are sorted, casting is mostly complete, so we’re getting there!
SA: What’s the main point of difference you’ve found between creating a sketch and a TV pilot?
VM: The sheer scale of writing a 26 minute production compared to a five minute one has been challenging. I was careful to ensure the jokes would sustain. I think I’ve achieved that by unpacking the characters a lot more, how they relate to each other and what they want individually as well as pursing the record as couples.
SA: If you could make a feature film, what would its one line synopsis be?
VM: Whatever divides us, there’ll always be one thing that unites us, our need for recognition
Pilots will air soon. Until then, watch a sketch from Fresh Blood phase one: