Since winning The Sitcom Mission in 2013 with GIRLBAND (yay!), we have been busily developing new projects, one of which is a dark comedy called Ivy View. The main protagonist is described in both the script and treatment as:
58, wheelchair-bound, highly-sexed ex Army Major. Self-appointed proprietor of Ivy View, following the mysterious disappearance of its owner (his wife) last year. Neglectful father of MICHAEL, 8, hopelessly under the lustful spell of VIVIAN. Paranoid, his supposed paralysis is an excuse to remain housebound.
There are numerous other references in the script, both in dialogue and screen directions, to the fact that the character is in a wheelchair. Yet, following a recent competition entry, we received the following feedback:
It’s not clear that Austin is posing as crippled, if this is meant to be a big reveal.
Of course, it could well be the case that we haven’t been clear enough – feedback is really important, and we’ll ensure that we go through the script carefully to make sure our ‘big reveal’ is just that. But there’s also a few other things to consider:
1.How far have you successfully recreated on the page what you see in your imagination?
It’s all very well you knowing exactly what your characters look and sound like, but how do you get that across to your reader?
2.How carefully is your reader reading your script?
Have they got one eye on their phone/the latest episode of ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’? Are they skim-reading important details?
We have some control over the answer to the first question, but none at all over the second. (We’re really big fans of ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’ too)
So how do we help readers and potential commissioners to see what we see?
Inspiration came from an interview with Ricky Gervais, where he said the following about The Office:
“If we’d just sent off the script for the first episode, it would still be in a drawer somewhere in the BBC. I guarantee it. I mean, how do you describe David Brent in writing? “A man does a bad joke, touches his tie and looks at the camera.” Brilliant [laughs]. It doesn’t exactly jump off the page, does it? So, instead, we showed them what was essentially the first episode. And they were hooked.”
And so we got to thinking…
In GIRLBAND, we have a sitcom we really think has legs. After winning the competition back in 2013, we had some interest from production companies, but after the initial excitement everything stalled. So we waited.
But we don’t want to wait any more. A publicly-funded British television company that doesn’t show adverts could really do with GIRLBAND in their programming – it’s fresh, it’s fun and it’s written by three women. We don’t think there’s anything on the TV like it at the moment, and the British public deserve a bit of light relief and characters they can really fall in love with.
All we want is three series, a Christmas special and a movie. Is that too much to ask?!
So, we’re taking matters into our own hands, and making the pilot ourselves. We think it will be an indispensable tool to bring our script to life and convince potential commissioners at that publicly-funded British television company that doesn’t show adverts that our sitcom really is a winner.
And this is where you come in…
We’re halfway through a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money we need to make the best pilot we possibly can. The scary thing about Kickstarter is that if we fail to meet our funding target after 30 days, no money is taken from those who have kindly pledged, and we get nothing at all. No target = no pilot.
Please click on the link below, read what we have to say, and if you like what you see, please share with your friends, or maybe even make a pledge to help us on our way.
Carly, Lucy, Susie (Those Three Girls) x