By Johnny Boom
The University of Manchester (UoM)’s student TV station, Fuse TV, is entering the new academic year with an exciting line-up of original scripted series, sketches, and short films. As part of creating opportunities for young talent behind-the-camera to develop their skills, all projects go through stages of development, production, and release. They provide students with a taster of what it’s like to work in the industry.
Third-year Drama and English Literature student Alfie Clark is on board for a short film adaptation of his acclaimed short play Rota – a black comedy about student life and survival – which is set to start production in November. He plans to develop a scripted comedy series for the station. Rota was showcased earlier this year as part of the University of Manchester Drama Society’s annual season of short plays and was a hit with audiences. Alfie was also a producer on Lauren Ellis-Stretch’s play Her which was taken to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this past summer.
Music and Drama student Phoebe Lynch plans to write and produce her mini-series Blessed Earth (working title). Her previous play, We Have Sinned won a Manchester In-Fringe Theatre Award, and was nominated for seven MIFTA awards in total last April by the UoM Drama Society. Blessed Earth is a drama with comedic elements, focusing on topical issues including politics and the environment. It sees three goddesses of creation – Luna, Sola, and Mother – deciding the fate of the planet. They integrate themselves on earth by becoming university students and, whilst they try to fit in with those around them, they are also trying to decide whether it is time to terminate the Earth.
Lara Biller – whose script Rich Girl was selected for production with the University of Manchester Filmmaking Society earlier this year – already has a short film in development and plans on adding more. It is described as an LGBTQ+ romantic comedy set against the backdrop of student life.
Fresh off her MIFTA award win for Most Promising Writer for her play Swish Swish – which took home 4 additional awards – third-year drama student Ellie Klouda is set to write and produce projects for the TV station.
Overseeing the development, production, and release of all scripted projects at Fuse TV is Matt Johnston. After internships at NBC, Universal and Creative Artists Agency, Matt joined the television station as the new Head of Drama. He wants to focus on building a slate of original female-driven, LGBTQ+ stories that resonate with a student audience.
Fuse TV’s previous scripted projects include Continuity and Flint, both of which ran in 2018/19.
If you’re interested in a career in TV and would like to get involved in these projects, contact Fuse TV through their Facebook page to find out more about how you can get involved.
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