London Screenwriters' Festival


Posted on: March 11th, 2011 by Anton No Comments
By Matthew Ogborn

Why do I love comedy so much?

When one of your earliest memories is delighting in Harold Lloyd on TV, his black-and-white madcap hijinks leaving me breathless with laughter and excitement each week, the die is cast from the outset.

I am lucky in one respect that I have grown up with an immediate family and extended family always looking to get one over on each other with a funny gag, amusing story or droll aside.

God knows there have been hard times for all of us down the years, but humour wins out time and again.

This is why people around the world escape into sitcoms, sketch formats, panel shows, films, plays and stand-up. Laughter acts as a salve for all our worries, deep seated or shallow.

If I didn’t have CheersHome to Roost, The Two Ronnies, Chevy Chase, M*A*S*HPorridgeThe Morecambe and Wise Show, Bill Murray or Jane Lynch and the Christopher Guest troupe to fall back on over the years, I don’t where I would be right now.

Consequently, the prospect of spending two days alongside the cream of British comedy talent represents a great chance to pick the brains of a select group of mirth makers who have split my sides down the years.

When you consider how much it costs these days for an evening out, you would be hard pressed to find better bang for your buck than two WHOLE days and an eclectic line-up of over 50 sessions revelling in the wisdom of speakers like top liner Griff Rhys Jones, Borat’s Dan Mazer, Spaced alumni Jessica Hynes or Friday Night Dinner creator Robert Popper.

Past and present are going out of their way to give YOU, the future of comedy, a golden chance to cut through the crap and make a name for yourself.

Times are tough, I get that. I’m not exactly wallowing in clover myself of late. However for around £150, even less if you get on board one of our affiliate discount offers, you can listen to these talented creatives and commissioners then ask questions into the bargain.

Not only that, you get to hang out with fellow delegates who might be on the same page when it comes to taste or ambition. Maybe you can form a group on the back of it that creates the next blockbuster comedy film, hilarious sitcom or award-winning sketch show.

I cannot underline enough what a phenomenal chance this is for you to take your comedy career seriously. I am not holding a comedy gun to your head, I am just asking you to take this amazing opportunity with both hands and run with it while you still have the chance.

We locked in new speakers yesterday in the guise of Red Dwarf’s Rob Grant, The IT Crowd wordsmith Andrew Ellard, producer/director David Tyler (Armando Iannucci’s Charm Offensive) plus hot new talent in the form of David Simpson and Martin Gooch.

We have also arranged a few teaser Tuesday sessions, which are FREE for delegates, at Ealing Film Studios with the Misery Bear creators on March 15th, Rob Grant on March 22nd and our creative director Paul Bassett Davies on March 29th.

One month to go now, folks, and the clock is ticking down. It’s been a long, old week I am sure for everyone; therefore I will leave it there. The ball is in your court now.

Have a fun weekend one and all, Matt

Matt is a professional film screenwriter and journalist, who has developed comedy scripts with European production companies and directors over the last 11 years. Check out his Ogmosis blog for more or hang out on Twitter @mattogborn


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