Screen Training Ireland: Action Workplan 2016

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Screen Training Ireland’s action workplan for 2016 will focus on skills needs in three core areas, Creativity and Creative Collaboration, Production & Technical Skills and Business & Enterprise. In addition we will develop our links with key international training providers through the bursary scheme and through our support of programmes such as Guiding Lights, Inside Pictures, EAVE and ACE.

Creativity and Collaboration

There will be four key areas of focus for 2016 in the creative area which will include the following:

  • Story and Script – At intermediary and advanced level. Both approaches being project-based.
  • Nurturing the Creative Triangle – Writer, Producer & Director (or Script editor/Development Exec).
  • The Script Gatekeepers – training the Script Editors and Development Execs.
  • Mentoring/Developing Female Talent – Directors, Writers, Producers.

There are two general, but measurable, aims:

  1. Significantly improving the quality of industry scripts we are seeing in both development and production. Extended the shared usage of professional cinema language.
  2. Continuity of training and a holistic approach. This is particularly the case with script editor training, where a large number of joined-up courses will be offered over the year. Continuity also means canvassing the right participants and projects for each course.

The Key Programmes for 2016:

  • ‘A Dramatic Improvement’ – Intermediary Script/Project Development (Film) for teams – February. Tutors – Rachel and Mary Kate O’Flanagan. Eight projects/teams. Four days of lectures/workshops followed by 10 weeks of Mentoring. Specific result – detailed step outlines and 25 pages of film script. Or an entire script.
  • Advanced Cinematic Development, Project-Based, mid-to-late summer. Central tutor, Beth Serlin. Eight  projects to be hot-housed. Other tutors, TBC.
  • Adaptation. 1 week, with Beth Serlin. Other events and guest speakers will be built in around this week – i.e. inviting some of our greatest novelists to talk to the screenwriters.
  • Big Stories On The Small Screen – January-June. Once the selection process is underway, this culminates in a week-long project-based workshop with Tom Abrams and David Isaacs. Ending with pitching to domestic and international Drama Commissioners.
  • Script Editing – Intermediary and Advanced

Script Editing training will tie in with every script course we run. We will hold two places on each course for ‘trainee’ script editors (or those already working in the industry who need greater experience). The 12 month programme starts with – The Art Of The Reader Report – two day intensive workshop with Eimear Markey and Dearbhla Regan.

Script Editing for Film – three days, with mentoring tutored by Kate Leyes.  There will be two guest tutors who specialise in Genre (most likely comedy and Horror/Thriller).

Script Editing for TV – May. Two days with tutor Phillip Shelley.

Continuity: There will be two script editors on A Dramatic Improvement, one on Adaptation, two on Advanced Cinematic Development, and two on Big Stories.

Mentoring/Training Supports for Female Talent – ongoing throughout the year.

Shadow Directing on Red Rock. Four female shadow directors will work with mentoring directors, starting in February.

Guiding Lights: One director and most likely One writer to be mentored through this programme.

We have also built up a strong and very credible list of willing mentors, who will mentor if and when called upon. Other initiatives to also be considered.

Production and Technical

STI’s plans for Production and Technical training in 2016 will focus heavily on

  • the development of industry traineeships
  • the expansion of work-based learning models
  • the provision of recognised training at all levels
  • the establishment of standards and pathways.

Set craft and Art Department traineeships are critical priorities, and STI is collaborating with stakeholders in Wicklow and Limerick to meet the needs of expanding production activity in a proactive manner.  It is also imperative that STI provides conversion training for craft professionals and apprentices whose skills may be of benefit to the film industry.  Health and Safety is central to this, and STI is re-developing its H&S training in order to offer a multi-faceted H&S training approach that will be accredited and embedded in the industry.

As a precursor to these initiatives, STI is developing a comprehensive occupational standards resource that may be accessed through its website.  This resource will identify all departments and roles across digital and physical production, as well as providing an overview of the knowledge, skills and competencies associated with all industry occupational areas.

In digital production, career progression and key talent development have both been identified as critical issues.   STI has, in consultation with the VFX and Animation sectors, identified key specialisms such as VFX Producing that should be addressed through existing training initiatives such as VFX: Script to Screen.  The development of key talent in these sectors should be prioritised (through the Business and Enterprise training strand) in order to identify key talent in digital production that can, in turn, mentor and develop junior staff to fill much needed positions at mid-level in these sectors.  New entrant training initiatives will explore flexible and scalable learning solutions designed to offer digital production companies the means by which to upskill new talent in-house.

Recruitment and new talent development initiatives remain key, and programmes such as the VFX and Animation Traineeship will continue to be a cornerstone of STI’s digital production training.

Enhancing the skills of educators, particularly in digital production disciples, is also an initiative that STI plans to explore.

Business and Enterprise

In the Business and Enterprise area there will be an ongoing focus on leadership development, innovation and entrepreneurial skills, update business skills, financial knowledge, strategic development and tie these areas into the development of producers, key creatives and ultimately production companies.  In 2016 key areas of focus in Business and Enterprise will be:

  • Building Entrepreneurial skills across the Industry and Creative Leadership
  • Building Sustainable Businesses
  • New Business Model Development and Innovation
  • Marketing and Distribution Industry development
  • Middle Management Skills Development in VFX & Animation
  • Producers Mentorship
  • Regional Business Development
  • Business Matters – Target training interventions in key skill gaps such as legal, funding models, financial, new company law etc.

Creative Leadership and Building a Sustainable Business will be addressed through two key training interventions; our series of Creative Leadership Seminars, this series of seminars will be aimed at company leaders focused on scaling their business, and Screen Leaders our Strategic Company Development Programme aimed at SME’s across the value chain.  The Creative Leadership Seminars will focus on topics such as Corporate Governance, Managing Your Board and Building Company Value.

Business Model Innovation will be addressed through the Business Model Innovation Workshop, this workshop is based on the Strategizer business model canvas.  Distribution and Marketing will be addressed through our Distribution Focused Mentorship programme with We Are the Tonic (UK).  This programme is project focused and the participants have the opportunity to apply the learning to a live project.

The Middle Management Skills development for programme fir VFX & Animation has a two-fold aim; to develop the management skills and strategic focus of the middle management in VFX companies and to provide structured training intervention for the development and mentorship of junior staff to fill Mid-level roles in VFX & Animation Companies.

A development need has been identified to develop emerging producers and provide them with structure mentorship to address career progression.  A key relationship opportunity with Creative England would provide an opportunity for Irish/UK producer development and also would provide an emerging producer network in both territories.

In 2015 we commenced our Regional Business Road Show through running our Pitching programmes in Cork and Mayo.  In 2016 the aim is to increase our training intervention regionally and to broaden the topics to include management skills, business development etc.  We will run a Producers Development Seminar in association with Film in Cork as part of this strand.

Through our Business Matters Series of Seminars we will address skill gaps in the legal area, new company law, film finance etc.  Finally in the Factual TV/Format area we plan to run a seminar on format development and TV Production Management Programme to address a significant skill gap in the TV Marketplace.

International Training

Screen Training Ireland will continue to assist Irish Industry professionals to enhance their career through international training opportunities.  The purpose of this support is to expose Irish industry practitioners to the best training expertise, work situations and mentoring internationally.

In 2016 STI will remain focused on developing closer links with key International training providers such as EAVE, ACE, GUIDING LIGHTS and Inside Pictures.  STI will also explore other key European training programmes which would be beneficial to Irish industry professionals.  Information on the leading European training programmes is available under international training opportunities on the STI website.

Other key international training supported through the Screen Training Ireland Bursary Award Scheme includes, The European Drama Lab at the Eric Pommer Institute, Sources 2, The Pixel Lab, ESoDOc, and The Media Business School.