Comedy group Skit Box have come a long way since introducing themselves to the world via the Internet.
They had lift-off in 2012 after putting a sketch online and they credit Melbourne WebFest for existing as a platform for content creators who dream big.
In 2015 their web series 'In A Woman's World' was part of the official selection at Melbourne WebFest and two years later Greta Lee Jackson (1/3 of the group) is back to host the festival's Awards Night Gala.
Here, Skit Box pen an open letter about the importance of events like Melbourne WebFest and reflect on their humble beginnings.
“Skit Box here, or Sarah, Adele and Greta as you may know us, or ‘those activewear chicks’. We met five years ago, at a party, watching a bunch of dudes muck around and get all the laughs. Why are we just sitting here, we thought collectively. Why can’t we share in some of those laughs? And so out of a combination of jealously, frustration and desperate need for attention, we formed Skit Box and have been sharing those laughs with each other and those that are willing to watch us. Our first sketch was about women yelling out propositions for relationships and commitment to wary construction workers. We used a 5D and a zoom and our microphone cords were put in backwards. Turns out microphones don’t work quite as well this way.
In 2015 we were fortunate enough to see our web series ‘In A Woman’s World’ as part of the official selection at Melbourne WebFest. It was about gender reversal and our attempt to answer the question 'what if men and women’s roles in society were flipped?', and how that could play out in a comedic fashion.
Original stuff, huh? (Hey, come on now, it was original at the time). We’d worked hard on it, with the support of the ABC and cast and crew. It was a great moment, there, up on the big screen (the first time anything of ours had ever been on a big screen) was our web series we’d made.
Now about ten years ago, the phrase ‘a web series we’ve made’ was often met with an eye-roll or a sneer. Web series? That’s not real filmmaking. That’s not a real project. There’s no television network behind it, no production company, no film executive. That won’t get seen anywhere.
But what people didn’t realise then and are slowly coming to realise now, is that web series are how many people get their start in filmmaking. Because, it very much is real. You write it, you cast it, you shoot it, you cut it. And you put it out there. Where it has the potential to be seen by everyone.
With a web series, you have the largest potential audience out of any of the traditional mediums. More than film, more than television. It takes a certain cocktail of ambition, creativity and relentlessness-to-the-point-of-delusion to complete a web series. And it’s events like Melbourne WebFest that bring all of these inspiring visionaries together to do what they do best – tell their stories to the world through filmmaking. As cliche as it sounds, that’s why we’re all here. That’s why we’re all in this together. Sure, you make mistakes, but the abundance and accessibility of web series means you can jump right on the next project and exercise what you’ve learned. And then do it again. Because you have to start somewhere, but who knows where you’ll end up.
In 2012 we filmed ourselves as we sat on a street corner and yelling at construction workers. And just over four years later, in December of 2016, we released our own six-part sketch series on ABC, with the help of Screen Australia and Seeso in the US. We hope it’s not the last thing we do together. And we owe it all to creating a web series (and learning how to record sound properly).”
– Greta, Sarah and Adele (Skit Box).
Melbourne WebFest takes place from 29 June-2 July.