This year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe welcomes the first time run for Chris Aitkens‘ Short Com. Woopy Doo I hear many of you cry, but please mark my words, this will be a show unlike any other. Whilst showcasing some of the UK’s best talent when it comes fo comedy film making, the project hopes to raise a target of £1000 for the mental health charity CALM.
We asked Chris exactly how the idea came to fruition? He explained:
“Initially, Short Com was nothing more than a brain fart. I had a short comedy film that wasn’t really festivally but would just get lost on the Internet amongst cats river-dancing and Kanye West preaching from the book of fairness. Thus I thought wouldn’t it be great if there was a purpose built ‘festival screening programme’ for short comedy films.”
So is this going to be just another Fringe idea that will fade into the very back of festival goers memories come September? We certainyl think not! Chris painstakingly reviews each and every submission so as to decide which ones deserve screening at each event.
“I won’t pretend for a second that running Short Com isn’t hard. The organising, constant emails, dealing with some people who believe I owe them something or can’t accept I don’t find their film suitable. But there are rewards, especially when I get to screen the selected films and people laugh, then I know I’ve made a good call. That and I get to see a lot of underexposed talent from both the film and comedy worlds.”
It is this chance at building an actual legacy that provides the driving force behind Chris’ efforts for this project:
“I’ve long felt that there’s a lot of comedy on TV that’s just not funny anymore, either bad scripts are getting picked or as I’ve so often heard that autonomy and creative freedom is a bit of a faux pas in the industry. So when I see that these people are making films for nothing, a lot of them consistently contributing to Short Com, I know there are plenty of geniuses out there who can make great content outside the realm of broadcasters commissioning them. Nevertheless, I think the path for most of these people is to get a series commission or film option in the future. And I hope Short Com can be a bit of a launch platform for some of these people by proving they can consistently make people laugh and deserve to climb that ladder.”
As the Fringe faces more than the odd accusation deeming it just another corporate behemoth Short Com could just be that injection of fresh air that is so sorely needed; showcasing the best in comedy and film making talent whilst raiseing funds and awareness for a more than worthy cause. You’ll also have your work cut out finding another show that boasts such a strong focus on nurturing talent and creating an existing legacy.
You can attend Short Com at the Edinburgh Fringe this year 1pm at Sportsters (City nightclub) on the following dates:
August 4th-9th, 11th-16th and 19th-23rd
Each daily show will be presented by top guests from the best of both comedy and film worlds.
For any further details visit the official site: www.shortcom.co.uk
To see why Short Com decided to raise money for CALM, click here.