Last Laugh’s first “Creative Residential” weekend

Last Laugh’s first “Creative Residential” weekend

Last Laugh participants gather for a cheesy group pic

Last Laugh participants gather for a cheesy group pic

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.

Jane Bussman and Sally Phillips at Last Laugh Creative Residential Weekend

Jane Bussman (South Park) and Sally Phillips (Smack The Pony, Love Actually) at Last Laugh Creative Residential Weekend

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.

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