From web series to TV: BedHead pilot under development

A group of friends created web series BedHead, about awkward sexual encounters, straight out of film school. Now Jon Dalgaard, Tom Keele, Benjamin Mathews and Claire Phillips are turning BedHead into a half-hour pilot for iView in a joint Screen Australia-ABC initiative, Fresh Blood.

Last year, 24 teams created more than 70 short sketches for Fresh Blood round one. Of the 24, five teams are now developing a pilot in round two. In round three, one pilot becomes a complete series.

We caught up with Jon, Tom, Benjamin and Claire to talk about their pilot.

Screen Australia: How did you come up with the concept for your pilot?

Jon Dalgaard, Tom Keele, Benjamin Mathews and Claire Phillips: We made a web series when we were at film school about what people think about when they’re having sex. As you can imagine it was incredibly hard to come up with ideas for the series, as none of us have ever had any embarrassing sexual experiences… that we were legally allowed to talk about. Somehow we managed to cobble a few things together from stories we’d been told by other people. Friends of friends mainly. Also, we were told that you can get a lot of research done for this kind of concept by typing “sex” into Google. So that helped a lot.

When the Fresh Blood opportunity came along we took the concept of the web series and adapted it. It was actually really hard, mainly because the format is a lot longer and so we had to write more. Also Tom Keele got a little bit caught up in doing research for the pilot, and so he was out of action for a while with one bad case of repetitive strain syndrome. But, we wouldn’t have been able to write the pilot without his many, many hilariously embarrassing stories. So thank you, Tom and get well soon.

SA: How far into creating your pilot are you?

JD, TK, BM & CP: We’re almost finished. Unless the ABC want to give us a deadline extension and some more money, in which case we’re just beginning.

SA: What’s the main point of difference you’ve found between creating a sketch and a TV pilot?

JD, TK, BM & CP: The big difference for us was writing one episode together rather than one each. It meant we had to talk about our sex lives. In detail. A lot. Whilst in the same room. Together. All the time. The room was tiny. You get it, right? The one good thing about that though is that we now have some great material if we ever want to blackmail each other.

SA: If you could make a feature film, what would its one line synopsis be?

JD, TK, BM & CP: In a world where men and women live equally, side by side, one man has an idea that could change not only his marriage, but the entire world… SEXISM, a male-dominated blockbuster event movie. Coming soon to a theatre near you.

Keep up with BedHead on Facebook and Twitter.

Pilots will air on iView soon, but in the meantime here’s a BedHead sketch from Fresh Blood phase one: