WFTV Comedy Session with C4’s Comedy Commissioning Team: a collaborative event between WFTV (UK) and Funny Women
Funny Women’s Lynne Parker met Channel 4 comedy commissioners, Fiona McDermott and Laura Risearm
Here are our top 10 tips for getting your work in front of commissioners:
- Watch other people’s work – You need to know the current entertainment climate, check out what commissioners are looking for and what their target audiences like. We recommend watching C4 Blaps: http://comedyblaps.channel4.com
- Don’t think! Just write – A lot of people get put off by the thought of writing; blank page panic is an actual affliction! So pull your finger out and get your idea on paper. It’s no good keeping it in your head.
- Make contact – write or call production companies and tell them that you like what they do and ask them questions about their commissioning process.
- Practise what you preach – If you think that your script or sit com is worth making, then why not make it yourself? Watching a short scene or clip of your idea takes a lot less time and will be truer to your creative vision because you have been involved in the creative process.
- Back it up – When you send in your submission, back it up with evidence that you know what you’re talking about whether it be work you’ve done in the past, a list of your past experience or a short clip of something you’ve created.
- STAND OUT – Commissioners receive 100’s of pitches everyday. Make yours stand out and grab the commissioner’s attention. We work in media – send your media in and tell commissioners what sets you apart from other people.
- Get your foot in the door – It helps if you work or have previous experience working for established production companies. Or…start your own! Not only does this show initiative it also shows determination and that you are serious about what you do.
- Enter everything! – Now that you’ve written your script or produced a short film, enter it into as many competitions as possible. This will not only give you an idea of how entertaining your project is, but it will also increase your profile. Funny Women is still accepting submissions for their Comedy Writing competition!
- Don’t give up – keep sending in submissions for programme ideas, sit coms, etc and eventually something will hit. Or if not at least you’ll be on their radar.
- Network – Joining groups like WFTV will put you in the same room as people already active in the commissioning process so try to get to as many networking evenings as you can and make contact.