Dream a Little Dream

News time!

Stan and Film Victoria today launched a comedy fund designed to help Victorian writers and producers develop Australian comedy with world-class scope and scale.

The joint initiative initially will provide up to $30,000 each for up to four Victorian writers or writer/producer teams to deliver a 30-minute pilot script and series outline.

(taken from here)

So a max of $120,000 a year to develop four comedy series: wonder which single solitary utterly useless executive got fired to fund this? Don’t worry, they’re still got plenty left.

Mind you, it doesn’t take long for the flaw in the system to be revealed:

“We want stories that respond to Stan’s creative brief and feature relatable characters with unique dilemmas fueling the comedy for a multi-season run,” Film Victoria said.

Stan’s brief, which references such shows as Catastrophe, Fleabag, Younger, The Moodys and Broad City, calls for serialised comedy, romcoms and comedy-dramas, but not sitcoms, stand-up or sketch comedy.

Hang on a second – this is a comedy fund that specifically excludes sitcoms and sketch comedy? What the hell did they think The Moodys – good job casually shoehorning that forgotten turd into a list of otherwise world-class shows by the way – was?

Why didn’t they just come out and say what they mean: “we’re looking for the next Josh Thomas”. You know, a story where some upper middle class type finds themselves – through the fault of some currently trendy issue – cast down into a wacky world of “regular” (loser) folk. Also, someone should die.

It’s 2020: if you thought comedy meant jokes and funny situations, wake up to yourself. Today, “comedy” means drama, only the characters occasionally say something that might get a chuckle at one of the producer’s dinner parties.

Stan’s chief content officer Nick Forward said: “We had an outstanding response to the Stan and Film Victoria Development Fund for premium drama projects last year and are thrilled to continue our partnership with Film Victoria in 2020.

“Our focus is always firmly set on finding the next must-watch Stan Original Series and we’re expecting big things from Victoria’s world renowned comedy community. My advice to creatives submitting their pitches this year: Go big. Be bold. And hold nothing back.”

(except for any jokes you might have in mind, you won’t be needing those)

Film Victoria CEO Caroline Pitcher added: ““We’re excited to have partnered with Stan to find irresistible comedy ideas that have an essence that is unmistakably Australian and which will resonate with audiences around the world.”

And there you have it: please come up with something unmistakably Australian yet at the same time make sure we can get some overseas sales. We’re guessing by “essence” they mean “location”, while the “resonate” part really means “seem familiar to”.

But at least it’ll be a valuable foot in the door right? An important stepping stone on your way to a real career?

The fund is open to up-and-coming creative talent as well as established players.

So good news! Even if you become an “established player”, this is the kind of bullshit you’ll be dealing with your entire career.

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