BEV Labs are unique, targeted training programmes designed to untap outstanding female potential and hothouse new talent for the benefit of the film industry and the global cinema audience.
Last Laugh is the first BEV Lab, a new comedy feature film development initiative from Warp X and Birds Eye View, supported by Skillset. We have created a groundbreaking programme to champion brilliant female comedy talent in the UK and bring female-led comedy feature films to the screen
Drawing from diverse talent across different disciplines: radio, television, comedy theatre and stand-up, we selected 15 outstanding British funny women to hothouse and connect with the contacts and creative support they need to create high quality, fresh, funny feature films.
The comedy writing talents involved in the scheme are:
Sally Phillips, Lucy Porter, Jane Bussman, Olivia Poulet, Fay Rusling, Orianne Messina, Francesca Martinez, Alice Lowe, Julia Davis, Catherine Shepherd, Kate Hardie, Pippa Evans, Kay Stonham, Jill Parker and Joanna Neary.
These funny ladies joined us and the Warp X team for a three-day residential retreat in October 2008, generating ideas, playing with fresh collaborations and learning from industry experts including Gurinder Chadha (Bend it Like Beckham; Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging), Paul Fraser (Somerstown) and Debbie Isitt (Confetti) in a relaxed, creative environment.
Caroline Cooper Charles (Head of Development at Warp X and Birds Eye View board member) wrote about what fun was had on the Last Laugh weekend for the BEV blog. Read it here.
On 4th February 2009, Last Laugh participants pitched 23 ideas to Warp X.
Four projects have been selected for development. These are:
Are You Ready? by Kate Hardie and Catherine Shepherd
Cecily Soames - Touch My Fire by Julia Davis
Queen of Comedy by Oriane Messina, Lucy Porter and Faye Rusling
and for Warp Films, Fag Mountain by Sally Phillips
So, we are absolutely thrilled that our aim of bringing together new writing partnerships and collaborations has succeeded, and are very excited to that Warp X are investing in four such innovative (and hilarious) ideas. We will be tracking progress of these projects and new collaborations from time to time on our blog.
Screen International wrote about the scheme, in an article highlighting opportunities for the underrepresented in the film industry, and includes an interview with Kate Hardy and Catherine Shephard. Have a read of the article, available to download on our press coverage page.