Eilish Kent: Tips for Writing Short Films

Over her career, producer, script editor and story consultant Eilish Kent has commissioned (for RTÉ & BBC) over 100 live action and animated short films. She also ran clinics for Filmbase on short films and has sat on many selection panels for County Councils around the country. Eilish teaches screenwriting in the National Film School and assesses Film for the Arts Council. She can be hired as a story consultant and script editor through her website.

Eilish will hold a writing workshop to write/rewrite or polish your short film on Saturday, 15th June in Dublin.

Here Eilish gives her top tips for how to write a short film:

Small stories that turn on a single event work best.

Know what makes your central character interesting on screen, work out how to show this.

Change needs to happen but it can be very small.

Spend as little screen time as possible setting up the story.

Identify a key visual image that encapsulates the tone and feel of the world of the story.

Make sure you have a proper ending – this is the last impression you make on audience.

Consider sound and how it can carry story.

Know what makes your film stand apart from other short films.

Write the film without dialogue first.

Consider the location of each scene and how the choice of location tells the story. Try to vary the location from interior to exterior, etc. (if set in a single location look for distinctive areas within the location to create different atmospheres: intimate, anonymous, etc.)

Consider who, or what, should be in each scene to put the central character under pressure.

Don’t repeat a beat, every scene must move the story forward and/or reveal character.

When you have the story working without dialogue, write the dialogue to create conflict and reveal attitude/character.

Use themes as subject-matter of dialogue.

 

Join Eilish on a writing workshop to write/rewrite or polish your short film Saturday, 15th June, Dublin city centre.

https://www.eilishkent.com/events/write-a-short-film

 

 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/eilish-kent-producer/

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Top Tips for Your Slate Funding Application

Creative Europe Desk Ireland have given a list of tips for filmmakers applying for slate funding from their first seminar of 2019 in Irish Film Institute on MEDIA Slate Funding.

 

  • A Slate Funding application must contain a slate of at least 3 and a maximum of 5 projects. The total amount of support that can be allocated under Slate Funding is between €70,000 and €200,000.
  • Short Film (max 20 mins) providing support to emerging talent can be included in the Slate as an additional project – ie a Slate of 3-5 projects plus one short film.
  • Eligibility: independent European production companies with an international track record who have recently produced an internationally distributed project.
  • Projects can include Feature filmsanimation and creative documentaries (min. length of 60 mins)
 intended for theatrical release; TV / digital platform series or one-off; Drama (min. length 90 mins)
; Animation (min. length 24 mins); Creative documentaries (min. length 50 mins).

PRACTICAL TIPS ON WRITING YOUR APPLICATION | ORLA CLANCY AND EIBHLÍN NÍ MHUNGHAILE, CEDI MEDIA.

  • Give yourself lots of time to prepare and write your applications.
  • Read it over several times and get someone else to read it too.
  • Be positive when describing your company and your projects – sell your company, team talents, awards, achievements!
  • Write clearly. Be consistent. Spellcheck!
  • Be specific when describing your projects.
  • Be consistent with your budget.
  • Show that you have alternative plans for your financial and distribution strategies.

COMPANY PRESENTATION & BUSINESS STRATEGIES | BERNIE CULLINANE, PRAGMA ADVISORY AND SCREEN LEADERS.

  • Have a clear vision of your company in terms of goals and what you want to achieve.
  • Spend time with your team writing a clear, concise company description.
  • If you don’t have one, develop a 5 year company strategy.
  • Identify the scope of the company – e.g. We are / we are not; we want to be known for…
  • Make sure you hire the best talent!
  • Identify the key tasks that need to be done to achieve your goals.
  • Sign up to the MEDIA supported Screen Leaders company development programme!

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT & EMERGING TALENT | GARETH LEE, SCREEN SKILLS IRELAND 

  • Show how your company fosters talent whether it be via training, mentoring, or career progression.
  • Try to include a short film in your slate application to demonstrate how you plan to develop new talent.
  • If you can’t include a short film then show how you plan to foster talent via your company and projects.
  • Screen Skills Ireland offer Bursary Training Awards for EU and international training for your team.
  • You can apply for funding to attend full time courses and workshops abroad or to participate in a structured work programme within international companies.
  • Screen Skills Ireland also offer work-based learning such as traineeships, apprenticeships, shadowing and mentoring.

MARKETING & DISTRIBUTION | PATRICK O’NEILL, WILDCARD DISTRIBUTION

  • Do online research about other projects similar to yours to find the right distributor or sales agents for your projects.
  • Make sure to show your distribution strategy in your application
  • Mention sales agents, distributors and any new distribution platforms you might target.
  • What is your distribution strategy for countries you are co-producing with?
  • Marketing: show your strategy is European and international. Do you have a marketing content plan?
  • What marketing tools will you use to pitch at markets and film festivals.
  • Subscribe to Cinando to keep up with EU film industry news.
  • Cinando offers film industry contacts, profiles, films for sale, projects in development, screening schedules during the major film markets.

The deadline for Slate Development applications is 11am Wednesday 20th February, 2019. Keep an eye out in 2019 for a series of briefing sessions with European Sales Agents.

 

Keep an eye on upcoming funding deadlines at 

http://filmireland.net/2019/01/02/festivals-funding-schemes-deadlines-2015/

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Tips: Getting Started as an Actor

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Ahead of her Intro to Acting for TV & Film course at Filmbase,  Sarah Hone gives us her 7 tips for getting started as an actor.

1 – Don’t be a jerk!!!!

Sounds obvious but if you respond to rejection or “constructive” feedback negatively you will be remembered as someone with a chip on their shoulder and therefore not considered when roles are being handed out. Pick your battles wisely – no-one wants to work with someone with a bad attitude.

2 – Be proactive.

No one is going to come knocking on your door offering you an Oscar. Nor is someone going to “discover” you when you’re waiting for your flight at the airport (unless you’re actually Kate Moss in 1988). If you can’t get a good agent who is going to find work for you (very difficult to get even if you’ve been acting professionally for years) then you need to find work yourself. Sign up to Fishpond and StarNow and get into the habit of browsing online audition notices every day.

3 – Do your homework.

When it comes to castings or securing a place in an acting school, find out who is going to be auditioning you and have a general idea of what they have worked on before. If you have taken the time to get to know their body of work it will show that you are eager to impress and are truly interested in the business.

4 – Don’t be afraid to take low paid (or unpaid ) work when you are first starting out.

Join an improv group or co-op theatre company and get experience and exposure in the industry. That way you’ll meet like-minded souls who will inspire and encourage you, as well as allowing potential future employers see your work. If you are performing in something you will be able to network and create connections which will hopefully lead to more better paid work.

5 – Be 100% professional in auditions.

If you are applying for a place in an acting school and part of the audition is a warm-up or improvisation exercise, don’t forget that this is still part of the audition where you will be watched like a hawk and judged on your behaviour! The facilitators will be looking for someone who listens to instructions, takes direction well and is able to focus.

6 – Follow your gut instinct.

If something seems sleazy or unprofessional then it probably is.

7 – Don’t get disillusioned!

We all have moments where we want to give up and take on a cosy 9-5 with a guaranteed pay cheque and a spinning office chair. If you truly know that acting is your calling and the only path to career happiness then you need to find some way to make it work. Breathe, reboot and rage against the dying of the light…

 

Sarah Hone is an industry professional with over fifteen years experience working in the theatre and film world. She has a BA in Theatre and Performance and an MA in Dramatherapy, and has worked as a professional actress in Ireland, USA, Australia and Japan.

 

Intro to Acting for TV & Film – Sarah Hone

sarah hone b&w headshot 22nd May – 17th July, 8 Mon Eves (no class 5th June)

€275 Members / €295 Non-Members

 

This rigorous film-acting course is aimed at aspiring and beginners level actors, as well as theatrically trained actors, wanting to make the transition from stage to screen.

 

Visit Filmbase for further info.

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Ross Whitaker: What I Learned Making ‘Between Land and Sea’

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Photo by Kevin Smith

 

Between Land and Sea, which chronicles a year in the life of the big wave surf community in Lahinch, Co. Clare, has been touring Ireland for the last two months. The surprise hit has been critically acclaimed as well as attracting sold out audiences around the country. As it prepares for its last few screenings (at the Mermaid, Bray on May 15th and IFI, Dublin on May 16th) in Ireland and for its international market bow at the Cannes Film Festival next week, Ross reflects on the experience of making a surf film from the perspective of a complete outsider. (Screening info via BetweenLandAndSea.com)

 

When I was approached to direct Between Land and Sea by the producers at Motive Films, I was excited but very scared. Excited because it was something completely new with a blank page to work from (after about six years working on my previous film!) and because I knew that I would be filming in a spectacular place. And scared because I knew nothing about surfing and because I knew I’d be working from a low budget in a genre where films are rarely less than spectacular. Indeed, hadn’t there already been a brilliant surf film made just a few years ago, Wave Riders? And the director of that film, Joel Conroy, was a surfer himself who knew the world inside out.  Still, I figured it was too great an opportunity to dismiss and decided I’d just have to learn how to make the film as I made the film.

 

Here are some of the things I learned making the film.

 

1. Know what you do and don’t know – one of the most daunting but ultimately helpful aspects of starting this documentary was realising that I had very much a blank page in front of me. I knew very little about surfing, so I tried to turn that into a positive in two ways. Firstly, by making sure I played to my strengths, chiefly to try to make my characters comfortable enough to be themselves on camera. And secondly, I kept an open mind to everything and everyone in Lahinch, who could educate me about surfing, and tried to use that information to portray the surfing world as they saw it.

 

2. Find someone who knows the world you’re in – as I started the film, the producers (Anne McLoughlin and Jamie D’Alton) said to me, “it would be great if you could find a local person who could work with you on the ground.” Thankfully, this happened and I was very lucky to meet Kevin Smith, a brilliant young filmmaker living in the area who was happy to collaborate on the film. I had to overcome my instinct to want to make the on-the-ground creative decisions myself and open myself up to the expertise, knowledge and connections of a locally based person. The rewards, in terms of what we were able to capture with a small but dedicated team, were massive.

 

3. Adapt your style to what’s in front of you – while Between Land and Sea maintains many elements of my previous films (I hope it has a sense of character intimacy and is interested in some of the same themes), I wanted it to also be specific to its environment. After a little time there, it struck me how different and special the light is in the west of Ireland and I wanted to get this across at all times, so I decided that everything should be naturally lit and that we would use no lights in the making of the film. I hope this gives the film a more natural light and reflects to some degree what it feels like to be there. Another thing that struck me in Clare was how it sounds very different to the east coast, so in the edit we tried to bring that to the film too. The pace of the film also tried to reflect the pace of life in the town. While a lot of surf films attempt to be high octane, the day-to-day life of coastal towns really isn’t like that, so that’s another thing we tried to reflect.

 

4. Explain what you plan to do and then do that – the people who I filmed in Lahinch were hugely generous with their time and energy and increasingly so as filming went on. I came to understand that people in surfing communities are well used to outsiders coming along and filming them but that they have also grown a little tired of this, particularly when people make promises that they don’t keep. So, from quite early on, I tried to be clear about my intentions and how I thought things would pan out. I think as people saw that I was serious about what I was trying to do, that a mutual respect developed and this was key to being able to capture people naturally.

 

5. Work with an editor who gets it – the editor of the film is Andrew Hearne and I really wanted him to cut the film, not just because he’s a wonderful editor but because he also grew up in a seaside surf town. Andrew grew up in Tramore, a great surf town in Waterford, so when he was cutting the film, he really understood the rhythms of life and the motivations of the characters. He contributed a huge amount to getting the feel of the film right because he had lived in a similar place.

 

6. Don’t underestimate the potential reach of the film – despite being a low-budget, obscure film and not in position to get distribution (with broadcasts coming soon and without Irish Film Board support, we were not an attractive proposition for distributors!), the film has surprised us in how it has managed to find an audience. I must remind myself in future that audiences do want to see honestly made films about other human beings and throw in some lovely landscapes and surfing and you might be amazed at what a film can achieve. Facebook has been key for us in getting the word out and a good trailer can spread the word fast about a film. Since my last film, Unbreakable, was distributed two years ago the media landscape has shifted and social media has become even more important. In addition, there are more media outlets than ever and if you cater to their needs, a film can get a lot of exposure even without a publicity budget. Finally, I’ve learned that a good local story can have international resonance and we’ve been delighted by the response of international sales agents who really seem to get the universal themes of the film.

 

The film will screen at the March du Film at Cannes Film Festival and we’ll soon find out just how far this little film might travel!

 

 
Mermaid Wicklow Arts Centre, Bray (with Q&A)

Monday, May 15th @ 20:00 (Buy Tickets)

Dublin: IFI Cinema (with Q&A)

May 16th @ 18:30 (Buy Tickets)

Ennis: glór

June 1st plus BBQ @ 18:30 (Buy Tickets)

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Tips: Comedy Sketch Writing

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Ahead of his Comedy Writing Weekend at Filmbase (8 – 9 April), award-winning comedy writer Stephen Shields gives us his top ten tips for Comedy Sketch Writing. 

 

  • BE OBSERVANT AND KEEP NOTES

The world in day to day life can be full of comedy gold. Most hilarity comes from noticing the obtuse in what is normal to others. Comedy has always had an anchor in what people see and take for granted being presented to them in an alternate light. Always be observant into what you find funny in the world and note it down. Even if you do not know why you think it’s funny at that moment, it’s always best to have a written reminder that you can call upon later on a future piece of work.

 

  • READ AND WATCH AS MUCH AS YOU CAN ABOUT CURRENT EVENTS

The news from at home and around the world can be a great source of content for a comedy piece. With so much happening in the world from politics, sport, celebrity news etc. It’s hard not to absorb something funny from either current events or current pop culture trends and incorporating them into a sketch or a joke.

 

  • DON’T BE AFRAID TO TRY A JOKE

The word “taboo” is the name of Tom Hardy’s TV show on the BBC that I only watched the first episode of and thought it was just okay. In day to day usage it means “restricted” or “prohibited”. But in comedy, no one will know what works until you try it and it’s been evaluated either by a producer, executive or the audience. But above all else, be respectful. But try a joke, if it works, it works. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t and try again.

 

  • WATCH AS MUCH COMEDY AS YOU CAN (PAST AND PRESENT)

There have been funny people before you and there will be funny people after you. If you don’t know where you’ve been how can you know where you’re going? Watch comedy. Past and present. Absorb comedy like a vitamin you sponge through your eyes. Anything and everything, from Monty Python to SNL. From The Fast Show to Seinfeld. Watch stuff. Study it. What makes it funny? And how can you learn from it.

 

FIND WHAT YOU’RE SUITED FOR

Some people find their humour from the crazy world of politics, home and abroad (Donald Trump). Others find humour in the day to day lives of ordinary people. Others think that cats are funny. Cats think humans are funny. It’s a win win situation.  Find out what you’re interested in talking about and make it funny. You may even surprise yourself.


  • TRY BE DIFFERENT

A lot subjects have been touched by the comedy greats gone before us. Always look for the new and improved hook. Has this been done before? If not, why? And how can I make it my own comedy gem? Most comedy works when people think outside of the box or rip the box up completely. Do your thing. Make it your own and stand out from the pack.

 

  • WRITE, WRITE, WRITE

 
Comedy writing is a tool and like all tools, it should be locked in the shed and forgot about until the moment a few years down the road when you think “I have a tool for that job”. Sorry I mean, it needs to be sharpened. Try write something every day. A thought, a line of funny dialogue, a whole sketch, a sitcom, a three hour art film about paint drying on a wall somewhere in eastern Europe. Anything. Just write.
 

 

 

  • MAKE SOMETHING AND GET IT OUT THERE

YouTube. We have cameras on our phones. You think you’re funny. Make something and put it online. Think how lucky we are that we now have the means to broadcast for free. YouTube is a great training ground and means to get your comedy out to the masses. And if you’re lucky and the right person sees it you could go on to bigger and better platforms. If you don’t swing the bat, you won’t hit the ball.  If you don’t try, you’ll never know. If you feed rice to pigeons they will explode. Sorry, I ran out of positive messages you read on Facebook set in a nice font with the background picture almost always a sunset at twilight hour.
 

 

 

  • 3 ACT STRUCTURE

Basic story telling rules. Beginning, middle and end. Setup, confrontation, resolution. Not all sketches apply to this format but these are still good rules to follow. I will explain more during the comedy weekend, when you attend *COUGHS* plugs comedy weekend that he’s teaching. Check details on Fimbase here
 

 

 

  • ABOVE ALL ELSE, BE FUNNY

“Some people are born funny, some have funny thrust upon them and some people are just not funny, let’s face facts, they think they are but really, they’re not. There are funny people though, really funny people”

  • William Shakespeare. (May not be original quote)

If you think you’re funny, give it a go. But above all else be funny.
 

 

 

Stephen is an award-winning comedy writer who has worked on some of the most popular comedy series broadcast on national TV, with some of the funniest comic talent the country has to offer. Since winning RTE Storyland 2010 with his web series Zombie Bashers he has gone on to work on numerous comedy shows on RTE including Callan’s Kicks, Foul Play, This is Ireland with Des Bishop and is the longest serving sketch writer on RTE’s The Republic of Telly.

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Tips: Producing A Short Film: In Three Simple, Difficult Steps

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Barry’s Bespoke Bakery (produced by Ben Keenan)

 

Ahead of his weekend course at Filmbase (18th & 19th June 2016), producer Ben Keenan shares three things you need to get right when producing a short film. 

Making a short film is hard, but going through all of that work without getting these things right would be a real shame…

 

1. The Right Script

The right script is better than the best script – choose something that suits your abilities, resources and sensibilities. Find out what kind of film you want to make and choose something fully do-able. A small victory is even better than a genuinely noble failure since it can show you parts of the process only available to filmmakers who finish films. When making a documentary, there should still be a script or vision for the finished film.

 

 

2. The Right Director

A functional and productive director-producer relationship is an expensive investment, so you should choose someone you can work with again. Often the script and the director come as a package, so make the decision based on both, with one eye on the proposed project and another on what you think it would be like to work with them again.

 

 

3. The Right Budget

Perhaps a little controversially, sometimes this is zero. Dollar-signed bags of other people’s money come with perfectly reasonable strings attached. If you are trying something experimental or trying to learn the craft, you are likely better off making something with little to no money. More freedom, lower cost on your mistakes, less visibility. You can also get a protracted shooting schedule which teaches discipline in continuity and allows you to review and digest footage as you proceed. As long as it’s a valuable learning experience for everyone on the crew and they know what they’re signing up for, it’ll be a fair proposition.

 

Producing a Short Film – With Ben Keenan
18th & 19th June, 1 weekend

Filmbase, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

€175 Members / €200 Non-Members

Do you want to know what it takes to produce a short film? This course is designed for anyone setting out to make their first short film.

Intro:

Do you want to know what it takes to produce a short film? Producing a Short returns to Filmbase with experienced Producer, Ben Keenan (Barry’s Bespoke Bakery, The Chronoscope). Using successful short films as case studies, this course is theory based with some practical exercises. It is the ideal course for first-time filmmakers.

 

Course Content:

  • Relationship between Producer and Director
  • What a Director looks for in a Producer
  • Production Department – Who’s who?
  • Pre-production meetings
  • Short Films – Award Schemes
  • Legal Issues for Short Films
  • Script breakdown
  • Scheduling
  • Casting
  • Post-Production
  • Film Festivals

 

Ben Keenan

In 2009 Ben Keenan directed his first feature film, a comedy titled The rise of the Bricks, starring Emmett Scanlan, Eoin Macken, Ciaran McNamee, Cillian Scott and Cathal Sheahan. Since then he has gone on to work as a Development Executive for Fastnet Films and a Digital Content Producer in BK Media. He also produced and developed online comedy as Half a Giraffe.

Short films Ben has produced, including Barry’s Bespoke Bakery (Irish Film Board), The Chronoscope and This is Not A Conspiracy Theory (RTÉ), have screened at festivals around the world, including The Galway Film Fleadh, Eat My Shorts, The Underground Film Festival London, The Capital Irish Film Festival Washington, The International Film Festival Molodist in the Ukraine, The Charlie Chaplin Film Festival in Kerry and the Darklight festival.

 

Dates:

  • 18th & 19th June, 1 weekend

Class times:

  • Sat 10.30 – 5.00 & Sun 11.00 – 5.30

Pricing:

  • €175 Members / €200 Non-Members
  • €100 Deposit

Location:

  • Filmbase, Temple Bar, Curved street

 

To book your place, contact Filmbase Reception on 01 679 6716 and dial 0. For more information, email our training department at training@filmbase.ie. Please read our Terms & Conditions before booking a course.

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Tips: On Set Etiquette

Patrick Murphy (1)

Actor Patrick Murphy gives us some advice on how to mind your p and qs on set ahead of his 4-day Acting for Camera Showreel Course at Filmbase (4th – 7th August 2016).

1. Always be Early

….and let an AD know your whereabouts at all times if you go wandering. Film sets don’t have time to send out search parties.

 

2. Pace yourself.

Keep a bag of dried fruit and nuts on you. The slow releasing energy will help keep you going.

 

3. Relax when you can

Try not to be too animated whilst waiting for your scenes and reserve your energy for when the camera is rolling.

4. Get to know the Crew

…and learn their names. Directors and cast may change a lot, but crews will mostly stay the same, and these are the guys you will be working along side for years to come.

5. Don’t be a Diva

A good attitude goes a long way, and word spreads fast about those with bad ones.

 

 

ACTING FOR CAMERA SHOWREEL

Filmbase

4th -7th August 2016, Thurs – Sun

€275 members / €295 Non-Members

This intensive 4-Day Acting for Showreel course is ideal for past acting students, or those with experience from similar course, to prepare, workshop, rehearse and shoot a scene.

Intro:

Filmbase have just announced an updated intensive 4-day ACTING FOR CAMERA SHOWREEL course. It is often difficult for aspiring and developing film actors to acquire worthy professional footage for inclusion in their showreel, Filmbase have decided to run a program specifically designed to facilitate this, covering relevant topics such as self-taping, acting techniques and self management.

 

Course Content:

Working with scene partners, you will be given scenes to workshop, rehearse, and learn. The course culminates in an intensive shoot day, where your scene will be shot, edited and sound designed for inclusion on your professional showreel.

This is a fantastic opportunity to produce a professional scene, working in a structured, professional context.

This is ideal for students of Level 1 and Level 2 Acting courses at Filmbase, or equivalent courses from other institutions. Places are extremely limited, so early booking is advised!

 

Lead Tutor: Patrick Murphy

Patrick is best known for recurring role of Karl in over 4 seasons of Love/Hate and has just landed a role in the acclaimed show, Vikings. He has been acting for the last 9 years and has appeared in numerous TV shows and films along the way. Patrick has studied Meisner, Stanaslavsky and done most other acting for camera courses Ireland has to offer. He has recently won the Underground Cinema’s Best Music Director award.

Over the years he honed in on what casting directors looked for in showreels, and he started his own production company, ‘Whispered Films’. As well as producing award-winning films, he has been creating showreels for actors across Ireland and England, both editing previous work and filming new scenes as needed. His back catalog includes creating popular music videos, adverts and documentaries.

Dates:

  • 4th – 7th August, Thurs – Sun

Class times:

  • 10.00 – 5pm each day

Pricing:

  • €275 members / €295 Non-Members
  • €100 Deposit

Location:

  • Filmbase, Temple Bar, Curved street

To book your place on this course, please contact Filmbase Reception on 01 679 6716 and dial 0. For more information on this course, email our Training Department at training@filmbase.ie. Please read our Terms & Conditions before booking a course.

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A Few Things to Consider Before You Start Writing Your TV Drama

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Ahead of her Writing for TV Drama course at Filmbase, which runs over 8 Wednesday evenings from 30th March – 18th May, tutor Eilish Kent suggests things to consider before you start writing your TV drama.

 

Ensure your central character is worthy of the screen time:

Renewable series or a franchise is the golden goose of TV Drama and something all TV channels want constantly; to create series that can engage an audience beyond season one you must create characters that audiences will want to watch, either for their great mastery (of some skill or talent) or for the incredible and difficult situation they are in, or both. These characters must also have rich backstories, the richer the backstory the more there is to mine for future stories and seasons. Without an interesting central character the series will not have legs, as it is the central character who will generate story by the manner in which they react to the situations they find themselves in.

 

The long emotional arc:

In series, as opposed to singles or features, characters’ arc of transformation is drawn out or never completed, they always have their Achilles heal to deal with and this is why the character retains interest for audience. Once the issue central to their character is resolved there is less at stake.

 

Working within the format:

TV works to prescribed schedules and programmes have precise durations; this means that as a writer you have to write within this structure. Unlike cinema, audiences can easily turn over to another offering, so it is imperative that you grab the audience’s attention and hook them in as quickly as possible.

 

Writing to the hooks:

To keep an audience engaged and wanting more you need to give them a reason to come back after commercial breaks and for the next episode or season; to achieve this, TV is written to the story hooks and breaks.

 

The rules of the world:

Once you have established the rules of the world you can’t break them. You can’t change a character’s true essence to accommodate plot; at the same time, however, you must continuously surprise audience within the context of what you have established.

 

Test the idea:

Before spending time writing your TV series test the idea, ask hard questions of the central characters and the central concept, what makes it interesting for your target audience and how will this endlessly renew itself.

 

Above all never be boring.

 

Eilish works freelance as a story consultant and script editor on film and all TV genre, she can be contacted on eilishkent@gmail.com

 

Course Details

Writing for TV Drama with Eilish Kent

  • 8 Wednesday evenings from 30th March to 18th May, 

€260 Members / €295 Non-Members

Writing Television Drama is a course aimed at writers who are interested in learning more about the fundamental skills of crafting good television drama in all its forms.

 

Intro:

Along with the explosion of high quality television drama over the last decade there has been an increasing diversification of audience viewing patterns. Broadcasters and production companies are increasingly looking for innovative and distinctive drama proposals capable of reaching and attracting large television audiences.

The course is highly recommended for writers who are interested in exploring TV drama as an avenue for their work, but may also appeal to directors and producers seeking a better understanding of television story structure and dynamics.

The course is designed and will be led by Eilish Kent, who worked for the BBC and RTÉ commissioning and developing TV dramas, for over 16 years. She has worked across formats from singles to renewable series, and across genre, from comedy to true life stories. She has brought many first time writers to TV audiences.

 

Course Content:

  • The principles of screenwriting and their application for television drama.
  • The current best practice for submitting drama proposals to broadcasters and television production companies.
  • The commissioning process and broadcaster requirements at the various stages of the development process.
  • The fundamental principles of writing for single and one-off dramas, serials and renewable series.
  • The world of the series and the series ‘Bible’.
  • The importance of research, generating storylines, arcs and plotting.
  • Creating compelling characters, pacing and tone and audience engagement.
  • Different formats and genre.

 

Tutor: Eilish Kent

Projects Eilish managed onto screen for RTÉ include Hardy Bucks, Raw, Fade St, Any Time Now, No Tears (International Emmy for best series or serial), Love Is The Drug (IFTA best series), Fergus Wedding, Paths to Freedom and Foreign Exchange. And for the BBC, Vicious Circle, Rap at the Door and Mezzone (RTS winner). She devised and managed StoryLand, a unique project when launched that saw 28 original online series produced. Prior to her work in TV, Eilish was an actor’s agent in London and worked in marketing for Oxford University Press. She is a graduate of EAVE and North by Northwest. She has a BA in English and History of Art and an MA in Modern Drama from UCD. Currently she works freelance as a story consultant.

 

To reserve your place on this course, please contact Filmbase Reception on 01 679 6716 and dial 0. For more information, email our Training Department at training@filmbase.ie. Please read our Terms & Conditions before booking a course.

 

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