Close Up: New Talent Development Scheme for Actors at Filmbase


Filmbase has announced the first in a series of talent development schemes for actors. Close Up is a professional development programme for actors at Filmbase.

The programme is open to actors who wish to engage in a series of workshops with a range of professional directors working across film and television projects. The studio will run on Tuesday evenings and actors will work with a different director each week, adding up to a unique series of professional workshops.

Close Up is intended as a programme for actors who are developing their screen careers and can benefit from focused professional feedback on craft technique. Participants must have some existing credits or recognised professional training in order to apply. It is not a traditional acting course and is not suitable for beginners.

Each workshop will be led by a different director, ensuring that all participating actors gain a valuable experience working with a range of different professionals and gaining an insight into the different ways directors communicate and prepare actors for scenes.

Application Process:
Actors wishing to take part are invited to submit an application before 5PM Thursday 3rd November.
To apply you will need:
1. Completed Online Application Form
2. Your professional CV and headshot
3. Showreel/Scenes
4. Filmbase membership number
Application is open to all members of Filmbase and places are fully sponsored. Studio blocks will run on six week rotations, beginningTuesday 8th of November 2016 until Tuesday 13th December. There will be a limited number of places available per studio block to ensure a high quality of experience for all taking part.

Selection Criteria:
Spaces on the programme are limited to 16. Application to the programme does not guarantee a place. In the event that applications exceed the number of places available, priority will be given to emerging actors with feature film, television, commercial or short film experience in professional productions. Showreel scenes will be required as proof of existing experience. Actors who have completed advanced training in screen acting will be considered on the basis of showreel scenes shot as part of their training.
The final pool of actors selected for the programme will be chosen by a panel.
This is professional development workshop series. It is not a traditional acting class and is not suitable for beginners.

Taking Part:
You will be notified by 5pm, Friday 4th November if you are being offered a place on the programme.
Once you confirm your place we will ask you to fully commit to attending all modules in your block to allow for programme continuity and planning of exercises. If you will not be able to attend all modules we would kindly ask you to decline your place to allow someone else to attend. You will not lose your place on the programme if you do so and your place will carry forward to a future studio block.

Actors must be 18 or over to take part.
You must be available to take part in all six modules.
Although the there is no application fee you must be a Filmbase member to apply.

− Script Breakdown & Analysis
− Finding Your Unique Voice
− Getting Clarity of Vision
− Articulating Your Vision
− Being the Actor
− Working with Directors
− Shooting & Reviewing Scenes
− Actors/Directors Tool Kit
− Creating an Honest Moment/Performance
− Auditioning & Casting
− Rehearsals: The Different Approaches
− Getting Your Work Seen

Directors Dates:
Lisa Mulcahy – 8th Nov, 7pm until 10pm
Kieron J Walsh – 15th Nov, 7pm until 10pm
Nick Kelly – 22nd Nov, 7pm until 10pm
Johnny Gogan – 29th Nov, 7pm until 10pm
Frank Berry – 6th Dec, 7pm until 10pm
Louise Ní Fhiannachta – 13th Dec, 7pm until 10pm

For more information and link to the online application form check out:<>



Interview: Greg Sestero, co-star of cult film ‘The Room’ & author of the ‘The Disaster Artist’



Ahead of his appearance at Filmbase, Gemma Creagh talked to Greg Sestero, co-star of cult film The Room. Greg is also the best-selling author of the The Disaster Artist, a memoir of his time as an aspiring actor in Hollywood, leading to his bizarre friendship with the mysterious and iconoclastic director of The Room, Tommy Wiseau. The Disaster Artist garnered critical acclaim and commercial success with the book recently being released in the U.K by Little Brown and also adapted into the film, The Masterpiece by director James Franco.


First off, how did you meet Tommy Wiseau?

I met Tommy in acting classes in San Francisco. It was quite a conservative class. People were quite reserved. When Tommy went up there, he performed a Shakespearean sonnet that was so mind-blowing I thought, ‘I got to do a thing with this guy’. And so I approached him. That’s how we met.

So, you were obviously friends with him when he was working on The Room. How did you become involved?

We were roommates when he was writing. He always wanted to be an actor and Hollywood didn’t really  see his talents, so he decided to write his own screenplay. He wrote a part for me to be in it. At first, I was reluctant. Then the night before filming he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse – if I didn’t make the movie it would be the biggest mistake of my life.

With regards his writing process, how did he come up with his ideas?

I think he was inspired by his own personal stories and the way he sees life. He’s also very much into ’50s films, Tennessee Williams, Marlon Brando and James Dean – I think The Room was a culmination of all that and his perspective on life.

How involved were you in the filmmaking process itself?

I just pretty much helped to Tommy carry out his vision. It was his vision from the start and I was just there to support him. I never really wanted to change any aspect of it. I felt it would work a lot better for him if he just did it his way. I was just kind of there to pick up the pieces and make sure the whole thing went forward.

I know there were a lot of last-minute rewrites, what was the mood like onset?.

It was the first time making a movie so there was chaos and some dysfunction – and a lot of humour! A lot of things happened that were pretty funny, looking back. Ultimately, it was Tommy trying to make a movie his way and a bunch of people trying to understand that.

What was it like when it all blew up as a cult phenomenon?

I observed the film for a few years after it came out and film students picked it up and started spreading it. A few years later, I was living in Europe when the movie really blew up. I was stunned to know it was playing in places like New York and London to sold-out crowds. It was intriguing for me, despite being in the movie, just how people were responding to this vision that Tommy had of this drama. They loved it for all these different reasons. Soon enough I was attending screenings with Tommy. I came to Dublin and was in London – there’s something about the film that people love.

One of those things that struck me about The Room is that there’s authenticity there; there is real emotion behind it.

There really is something there. I think that it’s the fact that he was really trying to send a message through his film. People can see that and they respond to that.

Let’s talk about your book The Disaster Artist – how did that come about?

With the cult success and the touring, I was getting a lot of questions about how I got involved in the film and my relationship with Tommy. I thought the best way to tell the story was for me to go to the beginning and share what a crazy and surreal journey it was meeting Tommy, our unique friendship and how it led to the both of us stumbling our way into this cult success; what it is like to have a dream and try to pursue it against all odds. I thought there’s a lot more there than just the making of a cult movie. My goal with it was to really share something that had heart and humour as well.

So how did the James Franco ‘The Masterpiece’ adaptation come about from your book?

James read it and wrote a terrific article in his column about what he liked both about the book and The Room. He got it and wanted to turn it into a film. I have been lucky enough to see a cut of the film and it’s really terrific. I’m just grateful that someone with James’ talent saw the message the book was sending.

Is it strange to see another actor play yourself as an actor playing a role in a film?

It was a pretty fascinating and surreal experience. But with the book I always saw it as a film, so I removed myself from myself at that time. It was more exciting than anything else. It’s taking your story and putting it in another dimension – it’s very freeing in a lot of ways… it’s no longer your story. It’s great therapy actually. I recommend it!

What can you tell us about the documentary you are screening on Tuesday here at Filmbase in Dublin.

It is a short documentary with interviews with all the actors about the making of the movie and it becoming a cult phenomenon, and the fans. It gives you a well-rounded perspective of what it was like to be inside The Room. Also, I’ll be doing a book reading and, hopefully, I’ll be showing a big surprise to the Dublin fans of something new.

Voicesonfilm in association with Filmbase and NUI Galway present The Disaster Artist: Inside The Room with Greg Sestero at Filmbase @ 7pm, Tuesday, 27th September 2016.





Reel Art Information Session at Filmbase


Film artists interested in applying for Reel Art are invited to attend an information session on the scheme on Tuesday 6th September at 3pm in Filmbase, Curved Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2. This session will outline the purpose and priorities of the award and will answer questions on the scheme. Anyone interested in attending is required to register their interest by sending an email to<>.

Launched in 2008, Reel Art is designed to provide film artists with a unique opportunity to make highly creative, imaginative and experimental documentaries on an artistic theme.  Operated in association with Filmbase and the Audi Dublin International Film Festival, Reel Art will wholly support two films with grants of €70-€80,000 per project.  Reel Art films will premiere at the Dublin International Film Festival in February 2018. The deadline for receipt of applications is Friday 7th October 2016 at 5pm.

The Arts Council’s purpose in offering the Reel Art scheme is to support film artists to make documentary art films that would not otherwise get made. A key aim of the scheme is to complement, rather than replicate, the documentary and other funding programmes offered by the Arts Council, broadcasters and funding agencies in Ireland.

Reel Art projects should be conceived for theatrical exhibition at film festivals and in arthouse cinema settings.  Only proposals for original, imaginative and aesthetically-driven treatments of arts subjects will be considered. Proposals that offer visually engaging, creative and experimental approaches to their subject will be prioritised.

Updated guidelines for Reel Art 2016, together with application forms for the scheme are available for download from the website www.<> as are details of previous Reel Art projects.



The Teen Actors Summer Programme – (Level 1) 5 Days @Filmbase


4th July – 8th July 2016, 5 Days, Mon – Fri,

(14yrs – 17yrs)

Cost: €180

Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm

The Teen Actors Summer Programme is a five day workshop. This class provides teen actors the opportunity to tailor their work for the camera.

During the programme teens will cover commercials, auditions, scene work, and other exercises highlight the different technical skills and adjustments required to cultivate a film/TV performance.

The course will cover:

Acting for camera
Cold readings
Scene work

Students are introduced to the world of a creative artist and scenes are practiced and critiqued to better understand how to apply all on-camera media in a fun and relaxed environment.

Who should apply:

This 5-day course is ideal for teens (14yrs – 17yrs) who have an interest in acting and feel they would like to explore the world of acting at a beginner level.


4th July – 8th July, 5 Days, Mon – Fri

Class times:

10am – 4pm


€100 Deposit

Add Teen Actors Level 2 (Tues 2nd Aug – Fri 5th Aug, 10am until 5pm) for a total cost €330.


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



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


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.


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.



  • 18th & 19th June, 1 weekend

Class times:

  • Sat 10.30 – 5.00 & Sun 11.00 – 5.30


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


  • 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 Please read our Terms & Conditions before booking a course.


Call For: Applications for Pitching Forum for Co-Production Projects


Screen Talent Europe and Filmbase in collaboration with The Norwegian Short Film Festival invite emerging producers, directors and screenwriters from Northern Europe to pitch new short film and documentary projects at the festival in Grimstad, Norway, June 8th – 12th 2016.

To participate you must apply one of the Screen Talent Europe partners. It is free to participate and the costs of transportation and accommodation will be covered by Screen Talent Europe.

The best pitch will receive a prize. The reward is film equipment for production, postproduction facilities and a cash production grant of 50.000 NOK (5300 €).

10-14 short films and documentary projects will be pitched during the Pitching Forum. In a 5-minute pitch, each participant will present their project to a pitching jury and an audience of potential co-producers, co-financiers and filmmakers attending the festival.


To participate you must be between 18-30 years old.

Producers, directors and screenwriters must have produced at least 2 films (fiction or documentary).

You must apply with a project in development (fiction or documentary) with a maximum length of 40 min.

The project must be produced through international co-production. This means that the project owner will produce the entire or parts of the project in another country. It´s not a requirement to have a co-producer in another country when you apply, but to get the production grant disbursed, the project must be established as a co-production between two countries.

Application deadline: April 15th 2016

More details can be found on the Screen Talent Europe Website:


Looking for funding?  Want to submit your work to festivals. Keep an eye on upcoming deadlines here.


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


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


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.



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 Please read our Terms & Conditions before booking a course.



FilmOffaly Award 2016



FilmOffaly, Offaly’s Film Commission, in association with Filmbase have announced the FilmOffaly Award 2016

This funding initiative aims to foster creative, resourceful filmmaking in the county. FilmOffaly are looking for unique, original short stories/documentaries by talented new filmmakers, professional and novice alike.

The only stipulation is that the filming must take place in Offaly.

There will be one award to one successful applicant. The winning applicant will receive: €8,000 towards the cost of their production/ A local premier/ 1-year’s Filmbase membership to the Writer, Producer and Director of the winning film/A 50% discount on production equipment and/or editing facilities from Filmbase for the project/ Filmbase’s production insurance to cover the shoot. The award will be based on a two stage application process.


Application Form and Guidelines can be downloaded from


Closing date is 3pm Friday 4th March 2016


Please read guidelines carefully and ensure that they are followed