Celine Haddad in Film & TV

12/04/2016

Interview: ‘Here Boy’ Filmmakers on iShorts Funny Girls and Writing Comedy Shorts

Think you have a special relationship with your precious pooch? 

It’s nothing like the one featured in ‘Here Boy’, the quirky comedy short produced and developed through Creative England’s iShorts ‘Funny Girls’ scheme. Helmed by director Molly Manners, written by screenwriting talent Alex Worrall and Produced by fellow filmmaker Selena Cunningham, this colourful short features a love triangle you won’t forget in a hurry. 

To find out more about the project, we asked Selena, Molly and Alex to share their collective thoughts on the ‘Funny Girls’ programme, working with animals and the future of ‘Hear Boy’ following its premier at LOCO Film Festival 2016. Read the full Q&A below…

Here Boy’ has a great premise - What inspired the story?  

Writer Alex Worrall has a great imagination, never more so than a brief chapter in his childhood when he became convinced he was in a relationship with a springer spaniel named Chloe. This unusual scenario proved to be a perfect springboard to exploring the notion of unconditional love.

Did Alex Worrall write the lead parts specifically for Lydia Rose Bewley and Ed Eales-White? If not - how did they get involved with the project?

They weren’t written for them but fortunately they were both drawn to the characters and the chemistry of their casting proved to be a no brainer. Lydia grew up in a home with six Jack Russell dogs so did identify on some level with Claudia!

What is your team’s advice for writing a successful comedy short? Is there a formula worth sticking to?

I don’t think there’s a formula but it’s essential to make your short film distinctive and memorable to stand out from the crowd. Take risks in the themes and execution.

What did the funding you received from iShorts ‘Funny Girls’ allow you to achieve?

The funding gave our director a wonderful mentoring opportunity and the production had the credibility of being backed by a prestigious government agency. This opened many more doors in the casting and crewing process.  Funding enabled us to cast and train a talented (and very sexy) poodle through industry experts StuntDogs.

How useful did you find the development support? Did it impact the finished film?

The development offered through the workshops and the team of Celine and Peter at Creative England was of a very high calibre. The script evolved considerably as a result.

How important do you feel schemes like iShorts ‘Funny Girls’ are in enabling people to take their first steps on screen?

Schemes like this are essential – the proof is in the pudding.

What did you learn during your iShorts Funny Girls experience that you’ll take forward into your next project? 

You can get the perfect animal eyeline with an extendable fork and a bag of chopped frankfurter.

What do you have planned for ‘Here Boy’ in 2016?

The launch at LOCO in April is the perfect platform to showcase the film and beyond that we’ll be working on bringing it to as wide an audience as possible through screenings and festivals.

‘Here Boy’ will screen at LOCO Film Festival 2016 on April 26th. Head here to book tickets.

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