Having watched 100s of films for the 2019 Funny Women Comedy Shorts Award, the judges picked writing team Teresa Burns and Samantha Lyden’s film Neil’s Yard as this year’s winner! We caught up with the pair to talk about their creative process, builders and the #MeToo movement…
Funny Women: How does it feel to win the Funny Women Comedy Shorts Award?
Teresa Burns & Samantha Lyden: We feel like we’re famous! Our phones have been like hotline bling since the word got out and we’re trying not to let it change us… But seriously, it’s been incredible and we’re humbled to be selected amongst such talented and funny women. It’s an amazing event and prestigious platform to showcase our work to the industry. It’s only been a few days and we’re already feeling the influence of the award on our careers.
FW: Tell us about your Comedy Short Neil’s Yard.
TB & SL: The idea for the short came from both our Dad’s being builders, as well as the #MeToo movement. To be clear our Dads are complete gents, but we’ve both witnessed first hand ‘site culture’ and how unwittingly the banter often edges into misogyny. We thought it would be fun to explore the idea of a woke builder chairing a support group for men who no longer want to objectify women.
FW: How do you two collaborate on your projects?
TB & SL: Basically our process entails meeting up at Soho Theatre Bar once a week, chatting shit together and catching up for the first hour (three hours!) and then work through our ideas, madly rushing to get something written by 6pm. We always act everything out as scripts are obviously written to be spoken aloud and also we like the sound of our own voices. People must walk past and think we’re doing an immersive site-specific play but it really helps us hear whether something is funny or hitting that beat.
FW: Any advice for budding filmmakers out there?
TB & SL: Invest in yourselves, our view on it is if you can spend money on a holiday etc you can spend it on a film that could get your work out there. Surround yourself with likeminded people that you rate and respect – basically find your tribe! We treat it like a job – even though no-ones paying us! Fake it till you make it baby!
FW: Who are your favourite funny women?
TB & SL: Kathy Burke, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Catherine Tate, French & Saunders, Victoria Wood, Caroline Aherne… Gemma Collins!