Make It newsletter: Get your sketches on TV; stand-up competitions; & more tips and insight

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'Make It' Newsletter
Thursday 10th September 2015
This is our newsletter for those interested in creating comedy. We've some great insights and opportunities to share with you this month.
Features
Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran talk comedy
This Sunday, experienced comedy writers Laurence Marks & Maurice Gran (Birds Of A Feather, Goodnight Sweatheart, The New Statesman) will be speaking about their career and offering tips at a British Comedy Society event marking 35 years of their writing partnership. Details
MADE TV is looking for sketches to broadcast
The MADE Television network (which operates in Leeds, Tyne and Wear, Bristol and Newcastle) is looking for video sketches which it can broadcast on its new TV show, The Purple Pigeon. Read
Sitcom Geeks podcast
This new podcast series sees top writers James Cary and Dave Cohen talking about sitcom writing. Lots of insight and tips to ingest. The latest two episodes feature Black Books writers Kevin Cecil and Andy Riley as guests. Listen
Gag writer? If so, get on Howler
Howler is a fun new joke-based website and app. Basically, someone posts a 'setup' and then the community suggest punchlines. The public then vote on the best lines. Have a go at writing a gag, it's free: Howler
Newsjack
Hopefully everyone is aware of this great opportunity by now, but just to check: Newsjack is the Radio 4 Extra topical sketch show that anyone can write for. The new series is now on air, so get submitting. BBC Writersroom
Writing 'Boy Meets Girl'
Elliott Kerrigan talks about his experiences of making new BBC Two sitcom Boy Meets Girl and the people he's met along the way. BBC Writersroom
Julie Bower talks about creating sitcom So Awkward
Julie Bower, the creator of CBBC sitcom So Awkward (which recently finished its run, but will return for a second series), talks about how the show was developed. Read
Filming 'Phillip Human'
One for those interested in directing: The creators behind web series Phillip Human (which is aiming for a vlogging style look) explain how they tried to disguise they were using an expensive Sony F5 camera. YouTube
Netflix is busy
A sobering fact for those hoping that Netflix is going to be an outlet for their work: "Netflix receives around 500 TV proposals a day from US and UK producers."
How to make it in TV publicity
Want to enter the world of TV PR? UKTV's Kerry Parker has some advice in this video filmed by RTS: YouTube
Byte Stories
This new website has been set up to allow people to share short stories. There's a 250 word limit. They're looking for more comic submissions from the UK. It's free to join, so if you fancy penning a tale: bytestories.com
Fishbowl: Why a great creative team is important
Andrew Mettam, the writer behind BBC sitcom pilot Fishbowl, explains how creating a good TV comedy show involves a team effort - you may have a good script, but you need all the various production departments working with you too. Read
Comedy International Conference
One for those who work on the business side of live comedy: The sixth Comedy International Conference will take place at the Pleasance Theatre in London on Thursday 8th October 2015. Details
BBC Screenplay First Award
The BBC is looking for original ideas from UK writers with previous credits in theatre, TV or radio but who have yet to have a feature film produced. BBC Writersroom
Raindance Web Pilot competition
Raindance Web Fest are hosting a web series pilot competition to find future talent. The winning pilot will win a £2500 award. You need to act really quick to enter, the deadline is tomorrow. Raindance
BAFTA Rocliffe Film Script Showcase
Another tight deadline: The entry window for The BAFTA Rocliffe Film Script Showcase closes on Monday 14th September. BAFTA
Behind the Scenes on 'A League of Their Own'
Interested in working on a studio-based entertainment show? If so, this 11 minute behind-the-scenes video on the set of Sky's panel show A League Of Their Own is packed with insight and advice from people in various roles. YouTube
P.G. Wodehouse award
To tie in with a book launch, the website Chortle is running a writing competition. They're after a 500-1,000 word comic short story or extract, and the prize is a place on a writing course. Chortle
Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival
Want to perform at Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival in February? If so, you have 21 days to get your application in. You can find full details on how to take part in the festival on the dedicated website for performers: Details
London Comedy Film Festival 2016
The LOCO London Comedy Film Festival will be back for its fifth year at BFI Southbank next year, with new dates and a new programming strategy. The festival is looking for comedy films with 'brains, heart and courage'. The deadline is 30th November. Details: locofilmfestival.com
NATYS 2016
The New Acts Of The Year competition (which has been running since 1982, previously under the title of the Hackney Empire New Act Of The Year) is now open for entries into its 2016 contest: Entry form
The Comedian's Comedian Podcast
Stuart Goldsmith continues to delve into the world of comedy via his in-depth podcast interviews. John Lloyd, Katherine Ryan and Justin Moorhouse are amongst those to offer insight recently. Listen
An article on 'making it' in comedy
We included this in a previous newsletter, but it's worth repeating: Stand-up comedian and live comedy promoter Barry Ferns writes on the topic of what it means to 'make it' in comedy. Think carefully about your end goals. Read
Message Board Posts...
Here's a taste of some of the discussions found on our writing and performing related forums...
"I was hoping somebody could give me some advice on writing a character that is obviously racist... yet not actually writing racist things in a script." Jodan in Writing a racist
"Hi! I am a London based actor/film maker planning to create one of those new online webseries with sketches. I am looking for London based comedy writers who would like to take part in the writing process." Lukas in Let's Create Sketches!
"Pin Drop Comedy Open mic nights offer aspiring stand ups of all standards an encouraging environment to perform their material. There are 5 minute and 10 minute slots available so the performer can choose what they are comfortable with." James Ross in Open Mic Performers wanted - Winchester and Beyond
"I know there's probably a few professional Radio and TV writers on here, but is anyone earning a living as a comedy writer in other ways? If so, what kind of stuff do you do?" DavidE81 in Writing 'funny' stuff for a living
"Anybody tried them? They seem to be quite pricey, not sure if they are worth the money or I will just be taught things I already know." BenC on Udemy Courses
Spotlight
In each 'Make It' newsletter we shine a spotlight on a project posted to our showcase forum...
The Age of Enlightenment
AOEComedy posted in our Showcase forum to introduce their new web series: a diverse collection of sketches that each uses a different style of comedy. Featuring a distinct visual style, and shot with a good camera in well lit locations (something that is so important nowadays, but most people overlook), we instantly picked up some of these videos to go in our main weekly newsletters: View
Thanks for Reading
We hope you found something of use above. If you did, please tell your other creative friends about this newsletter and get them to subscribe as well.
We'll be back in your inbox next month with more opportunities and insight. In the meantime, don't forget our main Weekly Newsletter for general news and feature updates.
Love,
The British Comedy Guide
     
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