Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and government lockdown guidelines, we are necessarily delaying our (June) filming dates until later in the year.
In the midst of the global crisis, our main concern is of course that everyone stays safe and well. Our producer is carefully navigating us through the change and we'll announce new filming dates when we have them. It may also mean that our cast or crew changes along the way because of other filming schedules, but we hope to keep everyone on board if possible.
In the meantime, me and Ed are cooking up community funtimes to virtually hug our lovely fans and funders. We'll be doing a daily episodic read-through online during the week we would have been filming and we'll be holding some romcom Netflix Parties too. Keep an eye on @sidelinersseries on Instagram and our Facebook pages /katyschutteimproviser and Edmund Fargher for news.
Here's a quick update from HQ.
We're thrilled that we have a Director: Tai Campbell, Producer: Janet Awe and the character of Lindsay: Elly Burke firmly on board. We've decided on shooting dates which will be the last week of June/first week of July 2020. We're scouting locations and - very much like a heist movie - continuing to put the team together.
We've had a bit more private funding since the IndieGoGo campaign, so it looks very much like we can shoot not just the first, but the first and second episodes.
Ed has found the swimming pool that I get to fall into in Episode Two, so that's excellent news. I have no idea whether it's heated or not...
If you've contacted us and offered your help, Janet has your details and she'll get in touch.
We woke up this morning to find that our IndieGoGo had finished at £9,000.00 which is incredible news. That means we can definitely film our pilot. We are absolutely thrilled.
We have been toiling away in the background to find all the right people and places and advice and now we get to relax on the funding front and move all our hard work to getting it done.
We didn't manage to post every single thank you and pie video on this site as we went along, but here's a pie supercut as a thank you for all your help with the IndieGoGo.
We're thrilled to have sold out two of our perks. That's all the pies in faces and both our private improv shows.
I'm up at 1am because my brain won't stop and I'm enjoying the irony of that happening on World Mental Health Day.
For our equally kind and sadistic followers, here is the fourth pie instalment, with more being filmed on Monday.
Well, it's turning around a little. We have some big donations in the bank and a lot of promised interest that we're gradually making real.
We have a new script supervisor who volunteered to help, which is amazing because that's a luxury crew member that we couldn't afford to hire!
In celebration of things looking positive, here's Ed getting pied in the face AGAIN. Oh, happy day.
Whenever I read about funding, I always come across the awkward middle slump; the bit half way through the month when you've picked up all the early adopters but you haven't got to the last-minute people yet. It's happening right here.
I'm plugging away at social media and people are helping out like legends, but we have been down on our targets for the last few days.
Funding takes ages and it's like pushing a full time job into all the cracks where your other full time jobs breathe.
Delightfully, my students were talking about it in the pub last night. It's still on everyone's radar, we just have to make a few adjustments to perks, clear up some filmmaking jargon and double-down.
Most importantly, though, it's Ed's turn to get custard-pied.
As you may already have read, one of our first shows together (I'm sure it was our first duo) was a late night, ten minute bit show where one of us got pied when an alarm went off. The joke was to try and keep playing a regular improv scene without acknowledging it.
As a bit of misguided nostalgia, we've added a 'pie one of us in the face' perk to our IndieGoGo. At the time of writing, six people have already taken us up on it.
Now we are releasing one video a day of the ongoing battle. It's like a hostage situation for our faces.
We did it! Despite the horror of putting an ask into the world, we published our crowdfunder yesterday. It's been less than 24 hours and we're at 5%.
You can contribute here.
Today we're at the Hoopla Improv Marathon where we perform for the third year running in a custard-pie grudge-match bit show. It's a pretty good reminder that this is all for a comedy show.
We were more than prepared for a challenge, but I don't think either of us expected it to come this soon.
I came home late from a show and was excited to check out the footage of our crowdfunding video. Ed had made a rough cut. I watched it and suddenly felt a bit weird. It was... disappointing. Some of the visual gags didn't quite work, the camera moved too much in the tracking shot, the lighting was off in the first part and the mic we used on Ed was for shit.
I sat there in the dark worrying. All these friends had come to help us and we'd had a great time shooting it. "It's just the IndieGoGo," I thought, "so that's fine, right?"
I went to bed feeling strange about how dissatisfied I was. It didn't sit right. I woke up the next day and got in touch with Ed to check if I was being paranoid. It was sub-par, right? We had looked at the footage on site, but only on the camera itself. We couldn't see the shakiness, we only checked the mics were working, not the quality of our back-up mic (we were missing a lead). We were both kind of sad. We gave it another thinking day, then agreed - let's face it - in order to ask people for help and funding we were going to have to put some more work in.
It didn't have to be amazing. The whole point is that we are looking for support to make something professional-looking and we can't do that without money. But we knew we could do this better.
We rescheduled. Some of our kind cast of extras couldn't free themselves from normal human jobs at the only time we had free. We struggled to get people. We pulled the second attempt at a shoot as we didn't have a cast in time. We desperately wanted Elly because she'll be playing Lindsay (the lead to our Sideliners) in the series and she's damn funny. We changed the script a little and shot the bits with her alone. Two of our industry chums got in touch. They wondered why we weren't calling in their offers for help just yet. We felt embarrassed. There are so many talented and willing people. Amanda Palmer's Art of Asking was singing in our ears.
Time was running out and we were both due to teach and perform at the Maydays Improv Retreat in Dorset the following week. How on earth were we going to get this done any time soon? There. Shoot it there. Borrow some students and friends on a lunch break and kindly ask Rob to shoot it.
Boom. Now it's clean, it's funny and the sound is much better. It's not perfect, it's still a scrappy freebie and a collection of favours, but we like it and we hope it will inspire our friends to help us make the pilot. And those two friends; one is going to take a look at our IGG edit and the other is our new Director.
Watch this space.
We are both damn excited, but also the anxiety is hitting us gently like a coffee in a tea-drinker. We're only taping a tiny IndieGoGo video, but corralling a cast of ten and a crew of one is still a job that needs to be done well. We both over-thank everyone on set because these kind friends have gone out of their way to help us. They keep thanking us too. We forget sometimes that it is just delightful to be in a stupid video for an hour or two, despite having a super jolly time ourselves.