British Comedy Guide

The Sitcom Mission 2015

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simon wright

  • Thursday 2nd April 2015, 1:44pm [Edited]
  • London, England
  • 444 posts

This year's year's Sitcom Mission competition is now open and we'll be accepting scripts right up to the deadline of midnight June 30th.

For details of how to enter click here: https://www.comedy.co.uk/sitcom_mission/info/ While you're there, have a look the archived blogs on the Blogs page. There's some really good advice there from industry insiders.

Our thanks as always to the fabulous Mark for his continued support and hard work.

Simon and Declan
The Sitcom Mission

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Feeoree

  • Sunday 12th April 2015, 1:08pm
  • Basildon, England
  • 599 posts

Nice!

There's a sitcom I've had that I've wanted to submit the last 2 times but never did. Been a work in progress for AGES and had an overhaul and finally have confidence in it.

The one (completely different sitcom) I did submit to sitcom mission a few years ago was so half-baked it must have really shown Laughing out loud

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Mikey Jackson

  • Sunday 12th April 2015, 3:45pm
  • Worthing, West Sussex, England
  • 2,807 posts

Hi Simon.
Is it still the "rehearsed readthrough" format as opposed to the "stage play" format of previous years?

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simon wright

  • Monday 13th April 2015, 11:41pm [Edited]
  • London, England
  • 444 posts
Quote: Mikey Jackson @ 12th April 2015, 3:45 PM BST

Hi Simon.
Is it still the "rehearsed readthrough" format as opposed to the "stage play" format of previous years?

Hi Mikey,

Good to hear from you.

Yes, we'll be doing rehearsed readthroughs as we did last year. The reason we're sticking with this format is that in the past we've assigned scripts to various directors (it's too much work for just one) and found that whereas some directors cast brilliantly and rehearse thoroughly, others don't. Which means that the playing field for our writers is far from level.

Using a rep company of actors means that every writer gets exactly the same chance.

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Declan

  • Thursday 16th April 2015, 11:05am [Edited]
  • England
  • 753 posts

We'd like to congratulate one of last year's Sitcom Mission finalists, Joanne Lau, for reaching the final three of this year's Bafta Rocliffe TV drama forum with her script The Moment.

A ten-minute extract of Joanne's script will be read out at the highly prestigious showcase and networking forum on April 21. You can find out more about it here http://www.bafta.org/whats-on/bafta-rocliffe-new-writing-forum-with-dennis-kelly-and-jane-featherstone

Radio producer Katie Tyrrell once said that a writer's most important trait is tenacity. Congratulations Joanne!

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Kirsty G

  • Thursday 23rd April 2015, 7:35pm
  • England
  • 1 posts

Hello!

I was wondering: Does the entry have to be a pilot episode? Would you recommend that it is?

Thanks,

Kirsty

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simon wright

  • Saturday 25th April 2015, 1:25am
  • London, England
  • 444 posts
Quote: Kirsty G @ 23rd April 2015, 7:35 PM BST

Hello!

I was wondering: Does the entry have to be a pilot episode? Would you recommend that it is?

Thanks,

Kirsty

What commissioners want to see is an episode that is typical of the series. If your pilot is a 'meet the gang' episode then it's obviously not going to be typical. There'll be one episode in which we meet everybody, and five more in which we've already met them.

Exposition-heavy episodes also tend to be the least funny. Beginning writers especially, spend so long setting up the situation that they forget that we'd rather be laughing than learning.

When Linehan and Matthews wrote Father Ted, they didn't write an exposition-heavy pilot. They weren't sure, in fact, which of the episodes they'd written should be aired first.They could have led with any episode and we'd still have got the premise immediately.

So give us an episode from your series as if it was already up and running. If your sitcom got made, there would be people watching episode two who missed last week's episode. Write for them.

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simon wright

  • Monday 27th April 2015, 9:42pm [Edited]
  • London, England
  • 444 posts

In the past, getting to the final of the Sitcom Mission has always been incredibly valuable to our writers. They've seen their work performed by professional actors in front of the comedy commissioners, literary agents and production companies like Baby Cow, Tiger Aspect and Hat Trick. If we just offered the same again this year, it would still be well worth entering.

Except that we don't want to offer the same as last year. We want to be even better.

Our friends at City Academy have arranged a really generous support package for this year's winner, so as well as all the benefits that previous winners have enjoyed, this year they'll also benefit from the following:

City Academy have agreed to

Shoot a Taster-Tape (15 Minutes max) based on the Sitcom Mission winners' sitcom script
Provide Actors to play all parts
Provide camera operators and equipment
Offer professional editing services
Provide City Academy staff to lead the edit and invite the writer to sit in on the editing session(s)
Give writer(s) final say on editorial decisions
Offer writer(s) the raw footage from the shoot

PR Assistance
Provide total of 12 hours press & media work, circulating the footage to the industry
This will break down as 1 round of emails - and 2 rounds of press & media follow-ups
Have the video featured via City Academy social media accounts.

City Academy have broadcast quality cameras, lighting and sound so you'll leave with something that really stands out.

We can't wait to read your entries.

Simon and Declan
The Sitcom Mission

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garyd

  • Friday 15th May 2015, 11:40pm
  • England
  • 782 posts

Hi,

Sorry to ask what may be a very basic quetion.
There are 3 main/regular characters plus 4 peripherals in our likely entry.
Do we put 3 or 7 on the entry form?

Thanks.

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simon wright

  • Saturday 16th May 2015, 3:55pm [Edited]
  • London, England
  • 444 posts
Quote: garyd @ 15th May 2015, 11:40 PM BST

Hi,

Sorry to ask what may be a very basic quetion.
There are 3 main/regular characters plus 4 peripherals in our likely entry.
Do we put 3 or 7 on the entry form?

Thanks.

A perfectly reasonable question. Just put your regular characters. We don't need to know about the guest ones.

Making your characters stand out in the reader's mind is important, but you'd be amazed how many people don't bother giving any details about them whatsoever. Have a look at our blog about it

https://www.comedy.co.uk/sitcom_mission/blog/

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Chappers

  • Saturday 16th May 2015, 9:16pm
  • Surreyish., England
  • 30,942 posts

Excuse my (possible) stupidity but it seems that you want a straight 15 minutes - not the cliff-hanger after 10 or so and then there's a vote to see the conclusion as in previous competitions. Am I correct?

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Declan

  • Sunday 17th May 2015, 10:29pm
  • England
  • 753 posts
Quote: Chappers @ 16th May 2015, 9:16 PM BST

Excuse my (possible) stupidity but it seems that you want a straight 15 minutes - not the cliff-hanger after 10 or so and then there's a vote to see the conclusion as in previous competitions. Am I correct?

Hi Chappers

You may be confusing us with The Sitcom Trials. Here's their website www.sitcomtrials.co.uk

We're looking for a self-contained, 15-minute episode with a beginning, middle and end. Oh, and funny, with memorable characters and a page-turner of a story, as we've always done.

Hope that helps

Cheers, Declan

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Chappers

  • Sunday 17th May 2015, 11:34pm
  • Surreyish., England
  • 30,942 posts

Yes - I was but I'm getting old and you were involved at one point.