Outside of work, I spend most of my time working towards The DreamTM – to run a production company specialising in narrative comedy.
Admittedly, my progress has been slightly slowed down by a pesky little virus who shall not be named – so here's what I'm working on while I'm in lockdown:
Diletttante Film School
Ideally, I'd be great at screenwriting and filmmaking right now, without having to put in any extra effort. Unfortunately, this is definitely not the case – so I've made a curriculum for myself to hone my craft and up my game. I'm starting with writing characters, which you can read about here.
I first read Show Your Work by Austin Kleon several years ago. Although I loved it and strongly nodded along with everything, I (of course) didn't put any of it into practice. But then I re-read it recently, and stumbled upon this very apt sentence:
"The best way to get started on the path to sharing your work is to think about what you want to learn, and then make a committment to sharing it in front of others."
So here I am, committing to sharing everything I learn about filmmaking!
Asha & Hugo
A comedy webseries about a mixed-race couple. The pitch: Hugo's about to propose to Asha, when she gets a phone call from her estranged dad: he's visiting the UK, and he wants to stay at her flat. There's just one problem: he doesn't know that Hugo exists. Or that they're living together. Or that he's not Sri Lankan.
I started writing a series of 5 x 15" episodes, and submitted the first two to the BBC Writersroom Comedy Room in April. It's currently paused, because the push to meet that deadline highlighted the gaps in my skillset, which is what inspired the filmmaking course above. I don't want to spend too long away from it though – I'm aiming to get it finished by the end of the year at the latest.
I was also working on a series of sketches/shorts, to get comfortable with pointing a camera people and telling them to do stuff. I managed to film two of these before lockdown, which I'm editing at the moment. Once they're done, I'll use the time until we can start filming again to get really comfortable with all the settings on my equipment. (I managed to screw up the first sketch by accidentally not recording half of the sound, so there's still plenty for me to learn... 😅)
v1.1 – last updated: 11th May 2020
Are you working on anything similar? If so, get in touch! I'm usually too shy to say hello, but I love to chat to people about this kind of stuff.1
1 Full disclosure: I'm the kind of person who, when presented with an instruction to get in touch, absolutely would not get in touch, because I'd think that e.g. they couldn't possibly mean someone like me. But I really do mean you! Even if you just type "hello" in the box. This is one of those scenarios where I'm more scared of you than you are of me.