Thanks to all our incredible backers, In Other News series one has the green light!
What is In Other News?
In Other News is a comedy documentary (or mockumentary) about a local TV channel and the journalists, techies and misfits that work there. Think 'The Office' meets 'Anchorman'. You've got the egotistical journalists that sensationalise the simplest stories, the unenthusiastic techie that would rather be elsewhere and the volunteer presenters that just want a slice of fame.
We're a group of filmmakers from Oxfordshire and for the past few months, creating the pilot episode has been our main focus. Now that we've completed it, we want to produce a further five episodes to complete a first series.
Watch the Pilot episode:
In this pilot episode we meet the employees of South UK TV Oxford, a fictitious local news channel. After only one week on air things are already falling apart and a fly-on-the-wall documentary crew are there to capture it all!
Local news stories that range from excruciatingly dull to utterly ridiculous, technical glitches and journalistic in-fighting all combine to make a day from hell for Alice the newsreader and her team.
The pilot should give you a flavour of things to come- the rest of the series is already written and we’d love to bring it to life!
No pilot episode is perfect and it took a lot of hard work to make it in the first place, but we believe it gives a good flavour as to what the rest of the show could look like. We've had such a laugh writing the characters and seeing them come to life, only you can help them grow over a complete series!
Why do we want to make a full series?
In Other News is a show created and produced by Ross Arrowsmith and Scott Morgan. They both worked in local television together during 2016, and found there were so many humorous experiences that could be documented into a TV show.
Not only do we want to challenge ourselves and our filmmaking abilities, we want to make you laugh by creating a funny show that you've never seen before.
Many projects on Kickstarter begin with asking to fund a pilot episode. We want to fund a full series because we are fortunate enough to have free access to professional film equipment, a great base of local contacts and locations, as well as a wonderful cast who are mostly local. All we need is the money to bring it all together for five more episodes!
This is an opportunity for everyone involved to grow and develop. The cast's experience varies, from some people who have been extras in major motion pictures, to acting on the stage at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival all the way to having never stepped foot in front of a camera.
For those of us behind the scenes, we've made all kinds of short films and documentary projects, but now we want to focus our efforts into a larger project.
Where is the money going?
We're fortunate enough to have our own professional film equipment (since Ross is a freelance cameraman!) and the wonderful Oxford Office Furniture who provided the studio space for the pilot.
Most of the money is going to pay the cast and crew of the show for their time, along with the usual necessities of any campaign like food, drink, transport, kickstarter fees and reward production.
Alice Johnson is the news anchor and news editor of the fictitious local television channel 'South UK TV Oxford'. She makes all the decisions on the output, presents the news and occasionally gets herself to on location shoots. She's desperate to be at the top of the news industry and with that reality a long way off, she'll have to be a big fish in a small pond at 'South UK TV Oxford'.
Sally Beaumont is an actress and voice over artist who’s played a drug addict and an aristocrat on the BBC, The Devil and a female Hamlet on stage and specialises in comic characters for video games. She once spent a fortnight sleeping in a French loft to learn Commedia dell Arte and sold a hairdryer to Chewbacca in a TV commercial. www.sallybeaumont.com
Connor Fielding is the enthusiastic sports journalist for 'South UK TV Oxford', taking great pride in reporting local sports stories. With a degree in sports journalism, working in local TV might be a slight step down from his salary expectations, but nothing can dampen the spirits of Connor as he makes the best of the situation and gets to bringing as much great sports news as he can to the locals of Oxfordshire.
Andrew is a newcomer to the acting world. After joining a the Kennington amateur dramatics society last year, Andrew discovered a love for performance and has since gone on to appear in a number of short films and other projects in Oxfordshire and the surrounding areas.
Henry Goodall wants to be directing TV shows like Sherlock and Game of Thrones, but it looks like he'll have to settle for directing the local news on 'South UK TV Oxford' for now. Henry is faced with daily technical difficulties and has to put up with the egos of the journalists regularly. One things for sure, the station certainly couldn't operate without him.
Kieron Tufft from Oxfordshire is an experienced actor both on stage and in film.
Kerry Haval is the enthusiastic and peppy assistant news editor, second in command of 'South UK TV Oxford'. With a degree in media and a degree in journalism, this is the first stepping stone on Kerry's journey to one day become an established news presenter and producer. Her only obstacle are her colleagues that don't really want to be there.
"In other News is my first venture into the world of acting and it's been a fantastic project to work on! When I'm not learning lines or filming, you'll find me delivering marketing and events projects, keeping fit, cooking and catching up with friends!"
Will Carter is another of the team that isn't sure how he's ended up in local television. Coming from running his own business, Will can't help but concern himself with the fundamental problems of the channel rather than his day to day job at the station. He'd be much happier if he were put in charge and could put out some 'proper' programmes.
Josh Bream is another new face in the acting world, having only dabbled on stage previously.
Tom Duggan is lucky to have landed a job at the station, after years of working in retail. Whilst doing work experience there at a time of staff shortage, he is the 'part timer' of the channel. Despite this, Tom really couldn't give a hoot about the local news and would be much happier if a Hollywood production company would commission the movie he's been writing.
Howard Grater has been acting for several years in various film projects and on stage, as well as at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Robert Shillingford is a retired, eccentric foodie with a love for everything wine. He is the first volunteer presenter to have his own talk show all about food and drink, hoping to make something successful of his retirement. Despite his clumsiness, Robert is a man difficult not to get on with.
A versatile actor and voiceover artist, Paul loves the challenge of taking on roles as wide ranging as White Rabbit in “Alice in Wonderland” to Judge Brack in “Hedda Gabler” - whether it be on stage, in front of camera, role playing, or laying down an audio track. When not acting he can be found digging at the allotment, or digging for family history, or digging out his ball from an unplayable lie on the golf course!
Ross Arrowsmith has been passionate about filmmaking from a young age, having studied Creative Media at college. He now runs video production company Arrow Productions, and with Scott and a number of other friends has written, filmed, produced and edited a number of short films, documentaries and corporate videos. His favourite comedy show is the Office (US) which is what inspired this style of comedy.
Scott Morgan has always been interested in all things media, film and TV, having studied them at college and since worked on various YouTube channels and film projects. Scott met Ross working in local TV and together they came up with In Other News. Scott is a fan of a wide range of comedy shows which has allowed the writing style to stay varied.
What are the next episodes about?
We won't give away anything major, but since you're the potential funders it's important you know the gist of what lies ahead in the story.
Episode Two: The Food and Drink Show
If you've seen the pilot episode you'll know that Robert Shillingford is due to start his food and drink talk show on the channel. Robert is an extremely fun character played by the talented Paul Barrand, and this episode is set all around him - starting his talk show and bringing on some local food and drink producers - need we say any more?
Episode Three: What the Papers Say
It wouldn't be a news TV channel if nobody discussed what the newspapers were saying - particularly the local newspapers. In this episode, our journalists are out and about trying to collect voxpops with less than cooperative local residents, before crashing and burning live on telly trying to discuss local news stories without upsetting anyone.
Episode Four: The Sports Show
Once again you'll know from the pilot episode that sports journalist Connor Fielding, played by the hilarious Andrew Phelan is a character you can't help but fall in love with. In this episode, Connor presents his first sports show with some interesting guests and has a lot of difficulty putting together on location pieces for the show.
Episode Five: The Alchester Carnival
With the TV channel based at a college campus, it's only right that students can get involved via work experience. Since students haven't shown any interest, the 'South UK TV' team are dispatched to have a stand at the local Alchester carnival where Alice must compere the event and the team must find volunteers for talk shows.
Episode Six: The Pantomime
Connor is moving on from 'South UK TV Oxford' to start a new job elsewhere, whilst the team are trying to figure out some new equipment. They say farewell to Connor and watch him appear in a local pantomime, simultaneously covering it as a news story. This may not be the end for Connor however - his new job may not be all he signed up for!
Our main aim is to reach our initial target. Any funds raised over the target will allow us to improve the quality of the episodes further, with more money we can put into set design, guest cast, props, equipment and publicity.
Once the Campaign Ends
Once the funding comes in we will begin work on preproduction immediately. We will spend December, January and February completing the scripts for the next five episodes, securing locations and begin casting for the multitude of minor roles that will become available.
In March we will hold auditions for supporting parts, collect the main cast's availability and begin booking shoot dates for April. We aim to complete and release each episode in the following time frame.
- Episode 2 - April 2018
- Episode 3 - June 2018
- Episode 4 - August 2018
- Episode 5 - October 2018
- Episode 6 - December 2018
These dates give us plenty of leeway if any one episode were to fall behind schedule during production.
We have up to five series worth of ideas, and we will be completing the BBC and Channel 4 submission process, as well as sending it off to production companies that produce comedies.
If we don't reach our target of £6,500 we don't get a penny, but anything over we can keep. We will announce stretch goals if and when the time comes.
We've put all of the hard work in for the pilot - it's up to you to help us make a full first series come to life!
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk we face is the potential of falling behind on schedule. Five twenty(ish) minute episodes is quite a task and we are aware that there may be days when cast schedules clash, locations become unavailable or the weather is just downright rubbish.
We managed to shoot the pilot episode in four days, hence we think two months per episode is plenty of time to spread those four days out and allow us to shoot all scenes with everyone effectively.
- (30 days)