From the second we read the pitch for 'Ted and Johnny' it was clear that it belonged in the 'SBS Comedy Runway'. Taking an odd couple pairing and putting them in science fiction/apocalyptic scenarios put an original and satirical spin on tired sitcom formulas. We see it as an example of the great new places that innovative comedy writers can go. So it was really just a matter of helping them take their wonderfully cute and hilarious Pilot script from the page to the screen. Thanks to the help of the South Australian Film Corporation who along with SBS provided the funding for the project allowing us to help get these amazing comedy creators off the ground.
As winners of the SBS Comedy Runway 'Ted and Johnny' received $20,000 to make their idea a reality, one of 12 winning teams who have collectively received $240,000 in funding.
We talked to Zane Roach the creator, writer and director of Ted and Johnny about the project and his plans for the future.
Who are Ted and Johnny?
Ted is an awkward introvert who is always being taken advantage of. Johnny is his housemate, who has the maturity and optimism of a very upbeat ten year old. Neither could survive alone, but together things work out.
Could you give a brief history of the project?
Brief? No. But I can say that it all began many years ago when I made a short film featuring the characters Ted and Johnny who were played by the wonderful Alan Grace and Kieran McNamara. I decided to bring the characters back pretty much just as an excuse to work with Alan and Kieran again, because, like I said, they are wonderful.
It took a while to work out what a series with the characters would actually be like, but when I cracked it I got pretty excited. Then I started showing scripts to other people and, strangely enough, they got excited too. I thought, “Wow, I might finally be getting good at this.”
Then the SBS Comedy Runway came along. Now we are here.
How was the shoot?
Like a fever dream, I don’t remember much, but the crew was lovely. I should take this moment to give a shout out to our producer Adam Lemmey who put it all together, and to our cinematographer David Gregan. Working with Dave could only have been more pleasurable had we removed our clothes, but that would have been inappropriate on set.
So what does the future hold for Ted and Johnny?
Well, this first episode is only a pilot and the future is uncertain, but, given the opportunity… Episode 2, sexy aliens! Then there will be time travel, an evil coffee machine and, budget permitting, an ice-skating lion. Seriously, that is the plan. There are more characters to meet, more songs to hear and Neil has more limbs to lose.
With this first one we’ve really only been able to scratch the surface of what the series will be. Let’s call it a teaser. And even though every episode will be its own thing, we’re definitely playing a longer game here. The world of Ted and Johnny has literally been designed to keep them in their place and the more they fight to change things, the more everything will fight back. There are some dark episodes and some big challenges planned, but Ted and Johnny will only become more defiant, and I think that’s going to be a beautiful thing to watch.
Check out all the wonderful people that made this amazing pilot possible: Credits