We had some fantastic entries for this year’s Funny Women Comedy Shorts Awards, but one stood out and that was Defrosted by this year’s winner Rachel Marwood. We caught up with Rachel for a chat about her win, her film and her pug…
Funny Women: How does it feel to win the Funny Women Comedy Shorts Award?
Rachel Marwood: I’m still kind of in shock to have won with my writing début! It’s such an honour to be grouped with the other brilliant women in this competition. Desiree was truly hilarious, the final was a very inspiring evening of female empowerment and creativity!
FW: What inspired you to enter the Awards?
RM: I’d wanted to write a series of Alternative Disney shorts but didn’t really know where to start. A friend sent me a link to the competition and I was immediately excited. I’ve followed the Funny Women stand up competition for years but hadn’t heard of the new comedy shorts category. It gave me a deadline and guideline for length and content which helped me sit down and get cracking!
FW: What process did you go through to get Defrosted made?
RM: After I’d written a few drafts, I sent it to a couple of mates, Adam and Dan Hipkin, who are film makers to see if they’d fancy shooting it for me. They loved it, thankfully, so I called in a few favours from some friends to play the other parts as well as borrow costumes and wigs! We shot it in one evening and it was a giggle from start to finish.
FW: Please tell us about the break out star of Defrosted, Pablo the pug.
RM: Pablo is my little diva pug – and my husband directed the film too, so this really is a family affair! ‘Defrosted’ is actually Pablo’s second film role! He features in mockumentary, ‘Always A Bride’ where he wears a tux… and yes, it can be found on youtube! He’s a bit of a scene stealer if I’m honest and is currently in talks with an agent!
FW: What’s next for you?
RM: I’ve just finished writing the next in the Alternative Disney series and this one features Cinderella, so watch this space! And of course, my main job is as an actor so I have a few bits and bobs coming up in the next month or so. Other than that, I’ll be auditioning and looking out for the next exciting project to catch my eye!
FW: Who are your favourite funny women?
RM: There are some really strong women working in comedy at the moment. From Tina Fey, Amy Pohler, Kristen Wiig and Lily Tomlin in the US, to Jessica Hynes, Sharon Horgan and Olivia Coleman over here. There were a lot less women working in comedy when I was growing up, French and Saunders, Julie Walters and Victoria Wood’s gang were my inspiration, but now hopefully opportunities are growing for women in this industry, so kids today have a much bigger pool of funny ladies to relate to and look up to.
FW: Any advice for people thinking about entering next year?
RM: I was full of self doubt with writing. I made the film quite simply to be creative with my friends and put something out into the world. I didn’t expect anything to come from entering it into the Funny Women Awards. But I’m so glad I did! So my advice to people for next year would be to think less, be brave and tell any negative voices to pipe down ’cause you’ve got a film to make! Just sit down in front of that scary blank page and start.
Here is Rachel’s winning film Defrosted!