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Working with Writers - For Producers, Directors, Development Executives and Script Editors.

Working with Writers - For Producers, Directors, Development Executives and Script Editors.



Monday, September 20th 2021

Writers are a notoriously thin-skinned breed and steering them through the development process is a particular skill. This training programme is designed for creative collaborators, to improve their abilities to get the most out of the writers with whom they choose to work.

Over a six-week course we will examine:

Writer syndromes and the strategies that suit each one:

There is no one approach that fits all writers. Diffident writers need to be encouraged, impetuous writers need to be reined in. In this programme we will identify the different writer syndromes we have encountered and how to approach them.

Managing the Relationship:

This business is all about establishing and maintaining good relationships. And it is a business. Writers and those that hire them often have very different views of what the relationship is and this can lead to wreckage. 

We will look at:

  • Aligning goals and putting that in writing.

  • Clarifying expectations

  • Triangulating the relationship (in a good way)

  • Teaching the Writer to Surf the Deadline

  • Command or Consensus?

Managing The Meeting:

Writers bring a lot of emotion to development meetings, usually much more than anyone else in the process. How meetings are handled is crucial to the creative collaboration. 

We will cover:

  • The Set-Up Of The Room, In Person and Online

  • Reading The Silence,

  • Making Breaks Work For You,

  • Reinforcing Decisions,

  • Scheduling of Meetings

  • Length of Meetings,

  • Delivering Notes Verbally and In Writing

  • The Next Steps

Managing The Process

Writing is a lonely business and many writers left to themselves for long periods of time – well, you’ve seen The Shining. Many development processes leave the writers alone for too long and they can lose their way. Bringing the writer through a process in manageable steps will keep them on track and alert you to the fact if they’re floundering. This needn’t be time-consuming for you – quite the opposite. You will be giving feedback at each stage instead of being overloaded with work at greater intervals. We will also examine the order in which we address the different elements of storytelling for the screen, eg dialogue, set pieces, visual storytelling, characters, arcs of transformation, story structure.

Deconstructing and Reconstructing A Story

There are so many elements to a screenplay, we need a structured approach to examining the story. Ideally we will also be as objective as possible and not depend on our own taste. Most people can tell that a story isn’t working and some can tell where it goes off the rails but it can be helpful to know why and guide the writer to look there for solutions. Good story instincts can’t be transferred but the right questions will inevitably lead to the right answers. We will spend three weeks going over the shapes of stories, the shapes of scenes and templates of great storytelling for film and television. This is the fun bit.

This is an online programme, weekly on Monday Afternoons (14:30 – 17:30 Irish

Time) commencing Monday, September 20th 2021. Lectures are recorded so that you

can catch up if you miss one.

Maximum ten participants per class. Fee: €499 (€399 Early Bird Fee for bookings

before Sept 1). 

To book your place email:

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