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Actors/Actresses

Miranda Hart’s long journey to create funny telly

Ever wonder just what it takes to create a sitcom series? Think it’s as easy as just putting words on paper and getting actors to ‘read them funny’? How about one that has been wildly successful for two seasons and, as with the case of Miranda, you learn that your series that you both write and star in has been commissioned for a third series to air on BBC One, no less. No pressure there, right?
 

 
In the case of Miranda, the process started for series creator Miranda Hart over a year prior to her knowledge of a series 3 broadcast premiere date of Boxing Day 2012.

Armed with an endless supply of blank post-it notes, Hart has detailed her journey from that fateful day at her kitchen table staring at a blank notebook to the blank laptop screen some 10 months out from broadcast, to rehearsal and, ultimately, taping before a live studio audience in October.

Some quick bits and bobs in Miranda’s own words chronicling her journey from BBC Two to BBC One this Boxing Day….

  • Each episode needs two or three story ideas and at least three or four big set-piece scenes, so that’s where I start…
  • I might take about a month or two to think of enough situations for my character, where I hope she might be funny. This involves me pacing about my house, a park, a street, anything to find an idea…
  • Once I gather some vaguely acceptable ideas, I get together with my wonderfully supportive and clever writing team: Richard Hurst, James Cary and Georgia Pritchett. Together we spend about a month, maybe more, turning the ideas into coherent stories…
  • Nine months out, I have a scene-by-scene breakdown of all six episodes of the series and I can finally start actually writing them….
  • Six months out, I always have a sleepless night before the big read-through: the day the cast come together to read all the scripts for the first time…
  • Three months out, I’m doing the bit I love the best: rehearsing the show for a live studio audience, and then…
  • …it’s Sunday, the day of the recording. We start at 9am rehearsing on camera – it’s the first time we and the cameramen work together to get our positions, movements and looks spot on. At 4.30pm we do a dress rehearsal and at 7pm the audience come in and we do the show 7.30 to 10.30pm…

For a full lights-out chronicle from Miranda Hart of her blow-by-blow efforts to make funny telly, this is a great read that will help you fully appreciate comedy brilliance when you sit down on Boxing Day this year and watch Miranda on BBC One.
 

  • http://www.facebook.com/rose.mcsquirrelington Angela Brown

    I LOVE Miranda!! Thanks so much for posting! Can’t wait to catch up here in the U.S.!

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