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FreshBlood

Up-and-comers make new TV: Fancy Boy pilot in development for iview

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Mark Conway and Mike Nayna’s Fancy Boy is one of five groups of short sketches, from more than 70 created last year, that will be developed into a half-hour pilot in a joint Screen Australia-ABC initiative, Fresh Blood.

In the third and final stage of Fresh Blood, one of the five pilots will be commissioned for a series that will air on iView.

Mark chats to us about developing the pilot for round two.

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

Mark Conway: We’d been kicking around the idea since the first run of Fresh Blood. We wanted a format similar to sketch comedy just so we could work with a whole bunch of our comedian mates, but with a narrative arc to it. We want to expand on that arc for a series.

SA: How far into creating your pilot are you?

MC: We wrapped filming about three weeks ago, which was a beautiful moment of unadulterated joy (many hugs and kisses were shared between previous strangers). We’re now about a week away from our first cut of the pilot and sitting down with ABC to show them.

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

MC: The workload. We wanted to bite off a lot more than the first run of Fresh Blood, so [we] raised the bar on ourselves as much as we could. Writing was considered a lot more and the amount of producing needed to pull it all together was a lot, lot bigger. The catering was also much better.

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

MC: You’ve seen Point Break. Now see the musical.

Stay up to date with Fancy Boy on Facebook and Twitter.

Pilots will air on iView soon, but until then here’s a Fancy Boy sketch from Fresh Blood phase one:

From web series to TV: BedHead pilot under development

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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:

Skit Box flips gender roles in new TV pilot

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Adele Vuko, Greta Lee Jackson and Sarah Bishop are Skit Box: an all-girl comedy troupe that flip gender roles with hilarious results, and they’re developing a TV pilot for iView.

Having made it to round two of joint Screen Australia-ABC initiative, Fresh Blood – which saw 24 creative teams and more than 70 sketches from last year whittled down to five teams that will develop half-hour pilots – Skit Box are in the midst of creating a pilot. In Fresh Blood round three, one pilot will be commissioned for a series.

We chat to Adele, Greta Lee and Sarah about their pilot.

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

Greta Lee Jackson, Adele Vuko and Sarah Bishop: Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am is a compilation of ideas we’ve had from the genesis of Skit Box online in 2012, as well as development with the ABC.

The show explores themes of gender roles in film and TV, from the common female victim archetype in horror films, dating in the Victorian era, and what would a junkie crack den be like if set in a sitcom… So covering all the basics!

We came up with the concept with the ABC, who wanted to see us take our original three Fresh Blood sketches, In A Woman’s World, which aired on iView in 2014, to another level where we explore a variety of topics, genres and concepts from our unique, and sometimes twisted, all female perspective.

SA: Was it something new that you had developed specifically for Fresh Blood, or had you been thinking about the idea for a while?

GLJ, AV & SB: A bit of both actually! Our Fresh Blood sketches from last year had three scenarios based in a world where women have always been the dominant sex. Asking the question, would a world run by women be any better? And we answer with a resounding and ironic, not really.

[The pilot] is an evolution of this concept, where we have included elements of this in some of our sketches, but have also incorporated other ideas from different angles.

We have always wanted to do a sketch variety show where we’re free to explore ideas and genres from a uniquely female perspective. Most of our humour has been based on flipping social or gender norms, and recently we’ve also started playing with other mediums, like animation, and different genres. Turning them on their heads and giving a fresh perspective on entertainment that we’re all familiar with.

SA: How far into creating your pilot are you?

GLJ, AV & SB: We are currently in the final stages of post-production, so grading and final sound design elements.

It’s been a crazy time of year for all of us. Sarah was also playing the female lead in Bedhead, (another Fresh Blood pilot), Greta has been touring her live stand up show Murdernerd at the Adelaide Fringe and Melbourne Comedy Fest, and Adele just gave birth to a baby boy, three weeks after shooting the pilot!

But it has been so much fun so far, and we are dying to get it finished so we can show people!

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

GLJ, AV & SB: You need a bigger team! The three of us have previously worn many hats in order to make one-off or a series of short sketches. We would share the producing, writing, managing production, directing, assistant directing, coffee running hats to keep within our small budgets. With this funding from Screen Australia for the pilot, we were able to get our amazing producer Michelle Hardy on board and she pulled together an incredibly creative, innovative and all round awesome production team.

With this team, we achieved so much in the pilot that we can all share and be proud of.

It’s an incredible feeling, seeing a group of people hungry to make something great, standing around a half-erected junkie slum apartment set, wondering how to make convincing vomit and where to find a crack pipe quickly… Really rewarding!

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

GLJ, AV & SB: In a perfect world where money rains down upon us from Hollywood, we would make a coming of age comedy: Set in space, with definite time travel, some romance and a 70s Lost in Space-type feel, we’d call it FOUND in space… maybe.

Keep up with Skit Box on Facebook and Twitter.

Pilots will debut on iView soon. In the meantime, here’s a Skit Box sketch from Fresh Blood phase one: