Image by Kumiko SHIMIZU

Services

Storytelling for the Screen

Masterclasses & Workshops

We design and deliver tailor-made masterclasses and workshops. These vary from 3 hour lectures to intensive development programmes spanning a year. Depending on the number of participants and training needs, we recruit qualified and experienced colleagues from around the world.

We also moderate public interviews with award-winning screenwriters for festivals.

Script Consulting

When a screenplay is in progress, we offer professional consulting. This involves reading, making notes and moderating a consultation process with the writer and any other member of the creative team (producer, director,  development executive) to agree a detailed plan for the next draft.

This is the most rewarding and effective work we do with writers.

Training for Producers & Development Executives

The producer has the difficult and all-important role of holding the creative vision for the whole project from the time it is optioned until it is a realised drama on the screen.

Many producers and development professionals find it difficult to communicate with writers and directors when a screenplay is failing to make progress. The training we give imparts expertise in working with the writer, giving them specific guidance and constructive notes and keeping them encouraged.

From Idea to Outline

This is a unique 10-week process we have developed to help writers take an idea to a polished and compelling outline. This is where we map out the story so that the process of writing pages becomes easier. The writer completes an assignment every week  (usually a chapter or sequence of the story) and we go over it and polish it until it is strong.

This is an enjoyable part of the creative process. With this support, writers tend to find this process rewarding and engaging.

From Outline to Draft

​If the writer already has a well-developed outline, this 10-week process works well. The writer works in stages (usually 12-15 pages a week) and we meet weekly to give feedback on the work so far, then plan the next stage. This way, the writer doesn’t get lost in ACT II, or jump the rails and find that it is hard to write an ending.This supportive process has proved to be popular with writers. Producers also find it saves them from development hell.

 

In our experience this is a productive process and saves time, money and the heartache involved in wrong turns.

Rewrites and Polishes

Sometimes writers lose heart or get busy with other projects. After consultation with a writer, in which we ask for their thoughts about what a screenplay needs, and talk to them about what we think it needs, we offer a rewriting service.

The idea is to rewrite or polish a promising project that a writer has struggled to bring to the next stage. This process is designed to re-energise the project; we advise that  the original writer has the chance to approve any changes made.

We rewrite uncredited in order that the original writer’s work be properly recognised.

 

Storytelling for Business

Storytelling has become a buzzword in business in the last years. Experts have long known that an advertisement with a story has better spontaneous and prompted recall, months after it has aired. Story also helps enormously with internal communications especially during periods of transition. The transfer of information can become “sticky” when it is presented as facts and figures. But people remember stories as they progress through highs and lows to a surprising but satisfying conclusion.

This is because the nature of stories requires the audience to participate emotionally, hoping and fearing for the characters and trying to anticipate the outcome; the story keeps them engaged and then leaves them with an emotional impact that will resonate long after information packs have been forgotten.

Our work with businesses has led us to believe that the use of story in this context is overlooked and undervalued. We find that everyone we meet has a fascinating story, they just don’t have the confidence in their skills to tell it. Or they mistake what is interesting to them personally as being interesting in itself. We work with people to help them make their stories entertaining and memorable.

You can hear us talk on RTÉ Radio One about or work with businesses here:

The Business / RTÉ Radio One

Storytelling in Business

Sisters Rachel & Mary Kate O’Flanagan have both worked for many years in the script-writing & editing end of the film industry. In recent years they have transferred their story-telling skills to the world of business.

Saturday, April 16th 2016

We offer one-day training seminars to businesses to talk about the nature of story-telling, the universal principles that apply to good stories and the reasons stories work in every context. We then offer a follow-up service where we work with individuals and teams to help them craft stories to their purposes.

Purposes include, but are not limited to:

Presentations

Product Launches

Internal Communications

Awards Ceremonies

Re-branding

New Stategies

 

Tips and Reading List

Can’t get to a course right now? You can learn at home.

There is a long and noble tradition of screenwriters teaching themselves by parsing the work that they love. If you don’t have access to training, we recommend that you download the screenplays for movies that you love and read them while you watch the films. You can learn a lot that way.

Irish Writers Guild is inexpensive to join the newsletter advises of training events, writing competitions, vacancies and funding schemes.

There are many publications that you can read to keep up to date on film:

How to Build A Great Screenplay

by Howard and Mabley

Poetics

by Aristotle

Do/Story

by Bobette Buster

The Uses of Enchantment

by Bruno Betelheim

Story

by Robert McKee

On Film-Making

by Alexander McKendrick

Into the Woods

by John Yorke

Cinematic Storytelling

by Jennifer Sijll

 

Mary Kate O'Flanagan

marykateireland@gmail.com

Rachel O'Flanagan

racheloflanagan@gmail.com

A Dramatic Improvement

83 Wellington Road,

Dublin 4, Ireland

Tel: +353 (0) 86 816 3656

Skype: marykateoflanagan

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