In 2008, Birds Eye View launched a whole new project to continue our support for women filmmakers beyond our annual festival. As our first BEV Lab, we have set out to discover and equip the next generation of female comedy film-writing talent, with our amazing production partner Warp X, with funding from Skillset.
Word went out around the UK, and over 150 experienced comedy writers working in standup, TV, radio and theatre applied to get the chance to learn the ropes of feature films and pitch to Warp X. Only 15 lucky ladies got through – and 13 came on the residential weekend which kicked the project off. Head of Development at Warp X and Birds Eye View board member Caroline Cooper Charles tells us more :
“It sounds slightly ridiculous but being in a room with thirteen funny women is quite an intimidating prospect. But it’s a bit late to worry about that as I pitch up one Friday evening at the gloriously decadent Whatley Manor in the wilds of Wiltshire. Here I’m to spend a whole weekend with some of the UK’s hottest female comedy talents as part of the Warp X and Bird’s Eye View ‘Last Laugh’ residential.
The focus, to quote the press release, is on ‘creating new comedy alliances and the birth of exciting comedy film ideas’. It’s an important gig for all of us, we’ve found some fantastic talent but their ideas aren’t making it into the cinema. I’m hoping this weekend might be the first step in a small revolution for the big screen.
Three days later we’ve heard from some brilliant speakers, debated comic structure, played Butt Plug Golf over late night drinks and run around each other’s rooms ooing and aahing at the flash décor and posh toiletries.
But more importantly everybody seems to have genuinely enjoyed the process; ideas are being brainstormed over breakfast, contact details are being exchanged and those comedy alliances are quietly taking shape. There’s a sense the revolution has begun.”
For more photos of the weekend, visit our Flickr photostream.