LOCO has selected three emerging comedy filmmaker teams to participate in a year-long mentoring programme with Sky’s comedy commissioning team and supported by Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund, which is funded by the National Lottery via the BFI and through the Skills Investment Fund.
The programme, which begins in July 2013, will give the filmmaker teams close access to industry experts working in comedy to help them further their careers and develop a short comedy film. Each selected team contains a writer, director and producer:
- Staten Cousins-Roe and Poppy Roe, FLO
- Kate Herron, Genia Sophie Krassnig and Monica Heisney, Rest Stop
- Carl Rock and Christine Cheung, The Truthful Phone
LOCO will support each team by facilitating three development sessions with Sky’s comedy commissioning team and five tailor-made meetings with additional industry experts. The short films developed during the programme will have the opportunity of being screened at the next LOCO London Comedy Film Festival, which takes place 23 – 26 January 2014.
Applications to the mentoring programme were open to participants of LOCO’s two day industry training event Kickstart Your Comedy in 2012 and 2013. The selected teams were chosen by LOCO, Sky’s Saskia Schuster and independent script consultant & screenwriter Hannah Patterson. Carl Rock won the pitching session hosted by PleaseFund.Us during Kickstart Your Comedy Career 2013, which automatically secured him a place.
LOCO aims to help comedy filmmakers here in the UK develop the skills, relationships and original ideas that will launch them onto a lifelong career. Sky has commissioned some of the most exciting new comedies of the past few years, so we’re delighted to be teaming up with them and our partners at Creative Skillset to deliver this year-long industry mentoring programme. Whether it’s Monty Python, Wright and Pegg, French and Saunders, The Day Today or This is Jinsy, comedy thrives on collaboration, so we’re excited to be developing three such diverse and distinctive teams of comedy filmmakers, and looking forward to sharing their work at the third LOCO London Comedy Film Festival in January next year.
Dan Simmons, Head of Film at Creative Skillset said, “Creative Skillset supported LOCO’s training during the festival in January, where participants had invaluable access to a large number of industry professionals. The fantastic mentoring opportunities now available are rare, taking the most promising comedy talent and their projects to the next level of their careers.
Saskia Schuster, Commissioning Editor, Comedy at Sky, said “I am thrilled to be on board with LOCO for this exciting programme. It can be tricky and sometimes daunting for emerging comedy writers to go from an initial idea to a first draft script and eventually to the first day of filming. I hope that alongside the other mentors, we can make the process a little easier and have some fun along the way.”
Meet the LOCO mentoring programme filmmakers and their projects:
Synopsis: A black comedy about a pregnant hit woman and her quirky accomplice who have to carry out one final job before she can take maternity leave.
Staten’s first film as writer & director, This Way Out, has been nominated for Best International Short Film at Huesca film festival and is currently screening at numerous international film festivals, including Palm Springs and Mill Valley, California. Staten previously produced feature film Drawn and short film This Love. He trained at the NFTS and has attended script development courses including The Script Factory’s Wrestling the Redraft. As an actor Staten has appeared in Channel 4 series Totally Frank and on stage in The Father, which he recently recorded for BBC Radio 3. Staten is currently writing horror comedy I Do or Die with LA based screenwriter Craig Coyne, while developing T.V. comedy Black Knighty.
Poppy has appeared as an actor in a range of film, T.V. and theatre. She has just completed the critically acclaimed national tour of Sebastian Faulks’ Birdsong. She produced and script edited award nominated black comedy This Way Out, in which she plays the lead role of Minnie – the psychopathic owner of a euthanasia centre. Poppy co-produced short film This Love and co wrote short comedy The Leisure Class for the US. Poppy trained at Rose Bruford College, London. She is currently developing T.V. comedy Black Knighty.
“We are thrilled to have been selected for the Loco Mentoring scheme. Loco is such a young, vibrant organisation and is doing so much to champion up-and-coming talent. As we know, writing and producing your own work has many challenges – it will be extremely beneficial to have the expert advice and support this scheme provides. We are very excited to meet the excellent industry professionals who will be mentoring us in the coming year!” – Staten Cousins-Roe and Poppy Roe
Synopsis: A self-obsessed young Canadian backpacker finds herself cajoled into believing that an older handsome British man in a Roadside Cafe is her Guardian Angel.
Kate Herron is a screenwriter and director specialising in comedy and drama. Her films have been screened at festivals worldwide including premieres at LOCO London and Raindance Film Festival, and have been featured by Shooting People and Empire Movie Magazine. Her last short Kill List – The Musical was a finalist in the Film4 Scene Stealers competition. She is currently finishing her latest short, which she made with the comedy troupe Birthday Girls and is writing her debut feature with comedian, Briony Redman (Finalist in both the BAFTA Rodcliffe TV Writing Competition 2012 and Red Planet competition 2010).
Genia Sophie Krassnig is a freelance Producer and Production Manager. Starting in the film industry in Vienna with artist Mara Mattuschka, Genia relocated to London and worked for City Slang records, ESPN, BFI among others. In 2011, her short Dogme Stride premiered at the BAFTA Shortfuse 5 event. Genia has worked with an array of award-winning filmmakers, including BIFA-winning Rob Savage. She is currently in post on her last short, directed by Kate Herron and starring the comedy troupe Birthday Girls. Genia is in pre-production on her debut feature as a Producer, Memoria, which shoots later this year.
Monica Heisey is a writer and comedian from Toronto, Canada. She has performed improv, sketch and stand up at venues across North America and Europe including the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre in New York, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and the Old Vic Tunnels. Her sketch show Ladies & Gentlemen at last year’s Edinburgh fringe enjoyed a sold out run and was listed as one of the 10 best free shows at the festival by the Scotsman. Monica’s written work has appeared in numerous web and print publications including VICE, the Huffington Post, and Reader’s Digest.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have SKY and LOCO behind our next short comedy film project. Having an industry mentor to support us over the next year in our careers will also help us in making the jump from shorts to features, which we will be doing in 2014.” – Kate Herron, Genia Sophie Krassnig and Monica Heisey.
The Truthful Phone
Synopsis: Today in the quaint, quiet community of Ram’s Bottom absolute uproar is about to be unleashed… After all nobody really wants the truth, especially in this village. Based upon a Terry Jones short story.
Carl Rock is a London based writer/Director born and raised in the steel-working town – Port Talbot, South Wales. Carl’s first short film “No Playground for Little Cowboys” picked up The Best Comedy Award at the 2012 Smalls Film Festival and won the UK Category in the AMD Visionary Young Directors Award being selected among the top five in Europe. Through these achievements Carl was then chosen to take part in the prestigious Think-Shoot-Distribute Programme (2012) delivered in conjunction with the BFI Times London Film Festival.
Christine started her career at the BBC and in 2006 co-founded Tread Softly Films. Her first feature film LOVELORN, with writer/director Becky Preston won 29 international awards and was released through FilmWorks Entertainment. Christine has participated on Think Shoot Distribute, EIFF’s Talent Lab and Edinburgh Network where she is developing a slate of features including FALLING LEAVES with Alex Barrett, comedy MONTE CARLA by writer Katie Boyles, Becky Preston’s second feature SELKIE BAY being developed under the BFI funded FilmWorks scheme, and BY THE FIRE, by LA based writer/director Justin Calen Chenn. Christine has also added ANNA MAY WONG to the slate, a biopic film about Hollywood’s first Chinese silent movie star set in 1920’s Hollywood. Christine continues to work with emerging talent and build on co-production opportunities with international filmmakers.
“It’s such a tremendous opportunity to be accepted on the mentoring scheme. Having the likes of Loco and the senior development executives at Sky to critically evaluate our work and develop our short is a truly fantastic prospect. We can’t think of a better platform to launch both our careers. We would also like to take this opportunity to personally thank LOCO, Creative Skillset and Sky for providing this avenue for emerging filmmaking talent in the UK today.” – Carl Rock and Christine Cheung.
Supported by Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund, which is funded by the National Lottery via the BFI and through the Skills Investment Fund.