Blaps To Reality
Check out Andrew Ellard's new comedy shorts.
29 July, 2016
Ah, we feel such a sense of pride when one of our team strikes out into the comedy world on their own. And congratulations are in order to Andrew Ellard - once of this web parish, and now script editor extraordinaire on Red Dwarf XI and XII - for his debut sitcom writing production, courtesy of Channel 4.
C4's Comedy Blaps - and no, we'd never heard the phrase before, either - are short, concentrated bursts of sitcom goodness, blasted out across the internet. Among a new series of Blaps - the second so far - is Outsiders, written by Andrew alongside its talented cast. The series is three five-minute-long episodes of a fish-out-of-water comedy about five flatmates, four of whom hail from outside the UK, adjusting to life in a cramped space in London. It stars Sofie Hagen, Mae Martin, Pierre Novellie, Yasmine Akram and Jamali Maddix, and was conceived by Bethan Gorman.
"I really didn't want to just showcase jokes and characters, I wanted to make episodes", Andrew told Chortle in an interview. "I'm adamant that you can tell a good story in any amount of time - commercials do it all the time, music videos too. Red Dwarf, among others, made me value character difference, creating a balance that feeds the comedy and stories. You put a chilled slob next to an uptight neat-freak, a guilt-ridden robot next to selfish animal, you have a great engine right away."
Andrew also explained how the writing process worked. "I wrote stories, maybe five or six, and we picked the most exciting three. Then we had an improve workshop day, working each story through scene by scene. At the end of the day I went home with reams of verbatim dialogue. Then it got written, properly. And after some stress-testing, that's what went to the floor for shooting. The cast had scripts that we could be sure were 'in their voice' because in most cases it's literally what they'd said. It's an improvised show, with a proper script."
The three episodes are available to watch now, on YouTube and the Comedy Blaps website. Just be warned that some scenes contain strong language and adult themes! As well as some extremely funny jokes, of course. Hopefully we'll see more of the gang in the not too distant future...
You can also keep up with Andrew's latest happenings on Twitter!