British Comedy Guide

Claire - My Sitcom taster that I filmed...

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Pineapplesky

  • Tuesday 19th December 2017, 11:21pm
  • England
  • 55 posts

https://vimeo.com/247781294

'Claire' is a sitcom about a 23 year old uni-grad entering a quarter life crisis. She lies, deflects and shirks as she desperately tries to avoid the responsibilities and reality of being a grown up. 'Claire' was written and created by myself, Luke Gray. Rather than simply writing a script, I wanted to 'make the script'. So I compiled a team of underpaid friends and strangers to help me record my own little pilot.

Hope you like it, would appreciate some feedback from fellow writers like yourselves :) Thanks

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Carlos Manwelly

  • Sunday 24th December 2017, 2:47pm
  • Wales
  • 1,223 posts

I enjoyed that very much, it was well executed and funny. I thought Claire was a likeable character would like to see more.

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Kapow

  • Monday 25th December 2017, 3:50am
  • Almirante Brown, Argentina
  • 168 posts

It was pretty good but the blind man was a really bad actor and there were not enough jokes.

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beaky

  • Monday 25th December 2017, 12:46pm [Edited]
  • Malaga and Brighton, United Kingdom
  • 2,735 posts

Congratulations on getting this done! Great initiative. Claire herself is an excellent character and the actor is perfect. Good use of inserts of cod eighties videos, etc. I'm not sure about the use of a narrator, though - although this works initially, in the long run it severely limits your style and slows it down. Try cutting a lot of the linking narrative, see how it works without it. Be careful not to make it too similar to Fleabag, which it resembles - the scene of her masturbating in bed with a laptop is a case in point.
I'd have thought production companies would find this most promising. Good luck!

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Lazzard

  • Thursday 28th December 2017, 4:45pm
  • Ludlow, England
  • 4,776 posts

100% agree with Beaky.
Narration OK for trailer - very not OK for the sitcom itself.
The trouble is, it makes the sitcom about you, not Claire & it puts distance between the audience and the action, which stops us getting into the character.
Lose them all, then see what does and doesn't make sense - re-write action/dialogue accordingly.
Check out 'Fleabag' and put a bit of clear blue water between yours and theirs.

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Crindy

  • Thursday 28th December 2017, 4:51pm
  • England
  • 116 posts

I actually quite liked the narrator playing off the action, reminded me of Arrested Development. Maybe it's being overused, though, especially given the shorter episode length.

Still though, it's funny and looks great. Well done on getting it made! :)

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playfull

  • Friday 29th December 2017, 1:01am
  • Nottingham, England
  • 1,858 posts

Very good. Claire in particular was well cast. Liked the inserts and thought there were some good well delivered jokes.
Didn't really like the voice of the voice over. Would be interested in hearing Claire do the narration.
As others have said well done.

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Pineapplesky

  • Monday 1st January 2018, 2:52am
  • England
  • 55 posts

In a little defence of the piece...there wasn't as much narration originally in the script. A lot more was added in the edit to hide problems created in production. Annoyingly the paid camera crew had not read the script, so they kind of just did their own thing...which created havoc in the edit. Extra cutaways and even extra scenes were included to try and hide bad shots, characters talking out of frame and camera's following characters which were not included in the next shot.

I still stand by the use of the narration, but i can understand that in certain parts it can potentially break up scenes rather than allowing them to flow...in particular between scenes with her and her flat mate...but again, they were there to hide problems. Also, i do believe the narration helped in the sense that in 12 minutes i'm trying to provide exposition for the character and the situation she's in...it is an easy way out, in a way...but also a great tool to skip the boring bits.

Regarding the Fleabag comparisons, i think this was always going to happen simply because there's probably not enough female comedy leads which have made any impact to the viewing public. People see white 20-ish (although I'd argue Fleabag is more 30-ish) girl who's a manic and doesn't play the straight character - and they will compare it to Fleabag. But i think both are quite different. The pace of this is a lot quicker, and there's no looking at camera. This has a narrator and the other doesn't, plus the tone is also a fair bit different. I think there can be more than one female masturbating on our tv screens :P

And to the person who said there wasn't enough jokes...I'd argue there's 121 jokes in this piece. Which excluding ending credits runs at 12:35, which roughly results in a joke every 6.2 seconds. The jokes range from verbal, to visual, to callbacks, to reveals and to freeze frame....and a lot of them are subtle, and most probably naively inserted believing people would spot them on repeat viewings...but then i realised most people don't repeat watch or freeze frame random people's videos on the internet like it's Westworld :p

Thanks for the taking the time to watch it and air your thoughts. I appreciate that all too often, somebody asks for feedback...and then argues that the feedback is wrong simply because it's not 100% positive. I'm not arguing the feedback is wrong (well, the joke count one i am)...i'm just continuing the discussion :)

Cheers

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beaky

  • Monday 1st January 2018, 10:28am [Edited]
  • Malaga and Brighton, United Kingdom
  • 2,735 posts

In other words what was lacking was a director in firm control - the film crew should never have been allowed to do what they wanted, without even reading the script! Like trying to fly a plane without the pilot. No wonder it went wrong.

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Pineapplesky

  • Monday 1st January 2018, 11:44am
  • England
  • 55 posts

Well, yeah - it was difficult and something i thought i could handle but i had only ever worked in group projects where everybody was going in the same direction. This was a solo project, something to showcase my writing - which at some point evolved into something that resembled a sitcom pilot. But because it was a solo project, it meant i had to put in £3,000 to fund myself and find people from networking events to participate - as I hadn't done any filming since moving to London and therefore didn't know anybody. We had 3 days to shoot it all over the hottest weekend in the summer, in Flat located on top of the Jubilee line...filming had to be halted every 50 seconds :P There were a few obstacles to say the least.

I'm still very proud of it, and wouldn't say 'it went wrong'...but I can look back and look at things i'd do differently. But i've just seen the christmas skit Matt Berry was involved in about a band writing a christmas song....that's something i couldn't be proud of.

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Lazzard

  • Monday 1st January 2018, 12:33pm
  • Ludlow, England
  • 4,776 posts

How about re-cutting, so it is just an extended trailer?
The V/O is entirely acceptable in that format.
I would worry that if you put it out there as is, the presumption would be that the narration is part of the idea, rather than a quick-fix for poor direction.
As such it dominates the piece and would, I think, not be an accurate representation of your original vision.
And, "No voice-overs!" is just as much a knee-jerk reaction with producers as it is with comedy-forum posters.
Cutting it down would also allow you to choose the very best bits( plenty of good material there) and make a much more striking selling tool to the 'time-poor' producers out there.
Good luck with it, whatever you end up doing!

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beaky

  • Monday 1st January 2018, 12:56pm
  • Malaga and Brighton, United Kingdom
  • 2,735 posts

Sensible advice there from Lazzard. It's still good, and you're to be congratulated, and right to be proud.