"Leicester has one of the best creative communities in the UK - we just need to shout a bit louder about it"
What do you do?
We are FlipYou Comedy and we make comedy sketches in collaboration with fantastic filmmakers based in the Leicestershire film community. FlipYou Comedy is Mike Yeoman (creator & Director) and Laura Wilkinson (Producer), who have a collaborative ethos where we engage with local talent to bring comedy to the masses. We are lucky enough to have picked up a few awards for our comedy at film festivals, but mainly we just want to put a smile on peoples faces!
How did you get to where you are?
Mike: I always loved writing, but up until my mid 30’s I was too anxious to show people what I wrote. I joined 7/5 film-makers (now sadly defunct) and met some immensely talented people. Helped out on a lot of sets, made a few very short films on my own (they were terrible), learnt a lot from that and from the people around me. Met Laura, she agreed to help me in my foolish quest to make comedy sketches and the rest sort of came from there.
Laura: I have been passionate about filmmaking all my adult life, but after having my children young it was put aside for many years. I went to university to study Film and Photography and whilst there joined a local film group 7/5. I started helping out local filmmakers on set and this led to producing independent short films. I met Mike in 2014 at 7/5 and loved the idea of getting involved in comedy. We also actually became a couple when we met. This has its challenges when working on FlipYou now we live together… but basically all it means is we get to go to the pub for our work meetings (well we used too before lockdown)!
Why do you love what you do?
Mike: Why do I love comedy? Making people laugh is great, obviously. But I think it’s just how my mind is wired, since I was young I’ve always looked at things askew. And film-making, I love working with people. There is something magical about the energy of a film set. There’s something great about watching a film a bunch of passionate people made with sticky back plastic and graft (hello budget film-making!) and seeing that shown on the big screen.
Laura: As a producer I just love to be able to help writers/directors get their vision onto the screen, it’s exciting to go from an idea in someone's head, to a script, to a storyboard, to being onset making the film, to an edit and finally a finished film, and if you are lucky to get selected to a festival, seeing it on a big screen is incredible. I love collaborating and sharing ideas with all different creatives from all walks of life. My job is to inspire everybody to make the best film possible with the resources we have, I am always blown away by the dedication and commitment of all cast & crew.
Why are you based in Leicester?
Laura: I grew up in Leicestershire and have always been proud of our wonderful city, I love the diversity and friendliness Leicester has. Leicester is unique because it is not huge, a lot of people within the creative industries know each other, this makes finding local talent easier because someone you know will know of someone that can get help. I feel that people from Leicester route for each other, rather than feel they are in competition with each other.
Mike: I’m a London lad originally and came to Leicester because London is soooo bloody expensive. I love Leicester now and wouldn’t dream of moving. Some of the things that I think make Leicester special? Everyone we’ve ever asked for help from (and we’re film-makers, we ask for help a lot) has been really amazingly helpful. And I do think Leicester has one of the best creative communities in the UK - we just need to shout a bit louder about it.
Mike: My afternoon nap. It’s become a thing since coronavirus started.
Laura: Your napping started way before coronavirus, darling!!! Stopping Mike from napping, the lazy bugger. Getting season 2 of FlipYou out and starting pre-production of Season 3. We actually made a film during lockdown called Influenza, it has been doing great on the festival circuit, it would be lovely if in the future we can see Influenza at a film festival. We have really missed collaborating and meeting with other creatives so I am looking forward to that once it is safe to do so.
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