A Dramatic Improvement
Rachel is a story consultant who works across the business and arts industries. She works with teams and individuals in Ireland, the UK and Germany to develop visual storytelling and audience engagement. She has worked on a wide range of television and film productions ensuring that scripts communicate the writer’s vision, connect with audiences and achieve commercial, as well as artistic, success.
Rachel works with her sister and colleague Mary Kate as A Dramatic Improvement and they have designed and delivered training workshops in visual storytelling for the Irish Writers Centre; Film Base; Screen Training Ireland and the advertising industry via IAPI.
In 2014/2015 they were lead tutors and writing mentors at Y Labordy an initiative funded by S4C, Film Wales Literature Wales and the Royal Theatre of Wales
Rachel and Mary Kate design and deliver workshops exploring the applications of storytelling in business. They are particularly interested in the role of storytelling in leadership, branding, change management, team building and knowledge transfer. They are uniquely positioned to build bridges between the skills of storytelling and the needs of businesses to connect with their audiences.
Mary Kate O'Flanagan
Mary Kate trained in the craft of screenwriting with the professors of screenwriting at The University of Southern California. She has worked as a tutor alongside her former professors for the last ten years. She has continued to be mentored by them, in particular David Howard, author of The Tools of Screenwriting. She is a guest tutor at the Czech Film School FAMU and The National Film School in Ireland as well as a lead tutor on pan-European programmes.
In the last year she has given intensive workshops and lectures on screenwriting in Prague, London, Cologne, Pilzen, Valletta as well as Dublin, Cork and Galway. She has also given workshops in Africa. She specialises in giving in-depth training to aspiring screenwriters from diverse backgrounds.
Mary Kate is a working writer who has written six feature-length screenplays, all of which have been funded by The Irish Film Board and subsequently optioned, currently in development. She holds an MA in Screenwriting, has won pan-European awards for her screenwriting, is a published short story writer and Ireland’s Grand Slam Champion Storyteller at The Moth. Mary Kate is also a Grand Slam Champion Storyteller at The Moth in LA. You can hear her story here: themoth.org/stories/carry-him-shoulder-high
Mary Kate and Rachel have lived in several European countries and are particularly interested in screen stories that transcend borders.
”Everyone has a story to tell. Our job is to help writers captivate audiences, transcend cultural differences and move people.”
Some of Our Business Clients
We work with businesses to help them craft stories that communicate their messages. Our diverse clients include Bord na Móna, Virgin Media, The Institute of Advertising Practitioners of Ireland and more.
Some of Our Film Clients
Our clients include producers from Ireland and across Europe, as well as individual writers from around the world. Our work for MEDIA-funded pan-European programmes brings us to different parts of the continent on a regular basis. We enjoy helping stories from unique cultures to cross borders and connect with international audiences, while retaining an authentic voice.
Philip La Zebnik, Screenwriter
Mulan, Pocahontas, The Prince of Egypt
“I would rank Mary Kate on the highest international level in terms of her knowledge of filmmaking, her contributions to the creative process, and her expertise in dealing with screenwriters”.
David Howard, Author
The Tools of Screenwriting and How to Write A Great Screenplay
“I have known Mary Kate and Rachel for ten years in a variety of capacities: MK as a writer, and both as script editor s and as teachers of screenwriting. I have had the opportunity to see them interact with writers and producers, give feedback and helpful advice to struggling writers and in every area, they have excelled.
The O’Flanagans have a terrific story sense, a very keen ability to zero in on both the strengths and weaknesses of a given story and then to guide a writer through the difficulties of grappling with the story problems presented. Mary Kate and Rachel have developed a gentle, understated approach when dealing with writers (a notoriously thin-skinned breed) that sets them at ease and allows advice, feedback, brainstorming and all-around help sink in effectively”.
Liz Nugent, Author
Author of No.1 Bestselling novel, ‘Unravelling Oliver’ and ‘Lying In Wait’.
“I had been really stuck on the second novel which I could not make work, but in the first hour of Rachel and Mary Kate’s 2-day introductory course, I realised why it wasn’t working and how I could fix it. It is a course that works as well for those with no experience as for those with plenty. And it’s hugely entertaining. And you get to see great films and scenes from films. And you walk away with ideas and inspiration. And really, you should just do it.”
Martin Daniel, Professor
Professor of Screenwriting, USC.
“I have known Rachel and Mary Kate professionally for ten years and Mary Kate has been my colleague on numerous programmes around Europe, working with experienced and emerging screenwriters. Their understanding of storytelling for the screen is second to none and they are clear and organised communicators. Their enthusiasm for their subject in infectious and they are very popular with participants. They have the gift of giving encouragement to writers. They are organised, diligent and generous with their time and attentions. I’d recommend them to anyone who needs help writing a story as their skills are rare to find.”
Lisa Albert, Writer-Producer
Lisa Albert, Writer-Producer
“I have both participated in workshops with Mary Kate and received notes from her on projects of my own. She has an extraordinary diagnostic ability when it comes to finding problems in story structure and – just as important – she has a mercifully gentle touch when it comes to delivering the news – never proscriptive, never doctrinaire, just a very sure sense of what audiences respond to and how best to shape the story that the writer wants to tell. She has an encyclopedic knowledge of film and brings joy, humor and patience to a difficult process. It’s been my great pleasure to work alongside her.”