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Big Stories On The Small Screen

Tutors: John Yorke Michael Hirst

Date: Saturday, November 28th, 2015

Duration: Big Stories comprises two distinct modules and spans a twelve month period. November 2015 - November 2016

Venue: Radisson Blu, Golden Lane, Dublin 8.

Cost: €0

Course Profile:

Big Stories on the Small Screen is funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and Screen Training Ireland. The initiative is supported by Irish broadcasters TV3 and TG4, as well as by professional industry bodies Screen Producers Ireland, the Screen Directors’ Guild of Ireland and The Irish Playwrights’ and Screenwriters’ Guild.

Big Stories will support Irish-resident screenwriters, producers and directors who want to develop the essential skills necessary to craft a successful drama series for the international market.

It brings together some of the most eminent screen storytellers from across the world to work with Irish screen professionals. The initiative fosters the creative collaboration essential to successful long-form drama; participants learn skills in collaborative storytelling alongside skills in story analysis and script development.

Big Stories comprises two distinct modules and spans a twelve month period.

Module One
The first module involves a major, one-day conference in Dublin on the subject of Successful Drama Series. This event will take place in Dublin on Saturday 28th November 2015. The conference will hear from a range of top international industry professionals discussing their experience with an audience of up to one hundred writers, producers and directors.

Speakers at the event include:
John Yorke – author of Into the Woods: A Five Act Journey into Story; former Controller of BBC Drama Production; former MD of Company Pictures;

Michael Hirst – BAFTA-nominated screenwriter of long-form dramas THE TUDORS, CAMELOT and VIKINGS as well as numerous feature films including ELIZABETH, ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE and the upcoming MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS;

The day will include two TV panels.

Panel 1: The team behind LOVE/HATE discuss their creative collaboration. Panellists include James Flynn (Executive Producer), Suzanne McAuley (Producer), Stuart Carolan (Writer) and David Caffrey (Director).

Panel 2: The team behind THE TUDORS and VIKINGS discuss their creative collaboration. Panellists include Morgan O’Sullivan (Executive Producer), Michael Hirst (Writer) and Ciaran Donnelly (Director).

Module one is free to attend.

Attendance at the event is limited and interested applicants can apply for a place via the Screen Training Website www.screentrainingireland.ie by 16th October 2015. Attendees at this event can consider applying to take part in the second module.

How to Apply for Module 2

Monday May 30th 2016 – Friday June 3rd 2016

• Applications for Module 2 will be accepted from Monday 30th November 2015.

• The deadline for applications to attend this module is Friday January 15th 2016.

• It is necessary to attend Module 1 in order to be eligible for Module 2.

To apply, submit an online proposal in the form of a ten-page treatment for a long-form drama serial or series, whose duration is a minimum of 3 x 1hrs and a maximum of 13 x 1hrs. Writers, directors and producers are invited to submit projects individually or as a team.

This module begins with a five-day project-based workshop in May/June 2016, with a follow-up pitching session in November 2016.
Ten selected projects will be hothoused in a writers’ room format event led by international professionals David Isaacs, credits include MAD MEN, FRAZIER, THE SIMPSONS and Tom Abrams (Oscar-nominee, Professor of Screenwriting at USC).

Subsequent to the workshop, participants continue to develop their projects in consultation with their tutors and collaborators via a secure online portal. In November 2016, participants pitch their packaged long-form drama to invited Irish TV genre heads,
production companies and digital distributors.

Module two: €300

Closing date for Applications to attend Module One is October 16th, 2015.

Closing date for Applications to Module Two is January 2016.  Applicants must have taken part in Module One.

Participant Profile:

Irish-resident Screenwriters, Creative Producers and Directors are invited to apply to Big Stories on the Small Screen. Teams or individuals may apply.

Screenwriters must have experience in scripted drama, with a writing credit on at least one produced script, which has been staged theatrically or screened on television or in cinema. Novelists with one or more published works are also eligible.

Directors must have experience in scripted drama, with a directing credit on at least one production of minimum 30 minutes’ duration, which has been screened on television or theatrically.

Creative Producers must have a minimum of three years producing experience with a credit on at least one scripted production for film or television.

Application Procedure:

Attendance at the event is limited and interested applicants can apply for a place via the Screen Training Website (www.screentrainingireland.ie) by 12pm Friday 16th October 2015.

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