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Workshops

Information on upcoming workshops and courses

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Mary Kate O Flanagan is a writer and story consultant, who works internationally, helping to shape stories by emerging and established screenwriters. She is a published short story writer and journalist, has won awards for her writing. She is a Grand Slam Champion Storyteller at The Moth in Ireland and at The Moth in Los Angeles.

Mary Kate’s work with writers is in the tradition of Frank Daniel, which uses a Socratic approach to enquire into the writers intentions and help to realise them as well as possible.

“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”

PHILIP LA ZEBNIK

SCREENWRITER

Mulan | Pocahontas | The Prince of Egypt

Conference
Making a Scene
Wednesday, August 31st, 2022

Venue:

Online

Fee:

€499 (Early Bird €399)

A 7-week online programme in the art of crafting a scene.


Wednesdays 19:30-21:30 (Irish Time) commencing August 31st 2022. This course also includes one individual consultation session with the tutor (1 x 120 minute meeting by arrangement). All classes are recorded so that you can watch or rewatch them in your own time.


Execution is everything. Once you have a sound, well- structured draft of a screenplay it’s time to examine each scene. But how to do that? How can you know if you’re making your scenes better or just different? You probably know some tips, like “less dialogue” and “show, don’t tell” but there is an art to crafting a scene and when you have a grasp of it, your work improves significantly.


Over the course of seven two-hour classes, this programme will teach how to make each scene a mini-masterpiece, covering:


  • Shaping a Scene For Maximum Impact

  • Finding the Heart of The Scene

  • Replacing Dialogue With Visuals

  • The Magic of the Objective Correlative

  • What Constitutes a Twist and Why It Is So Necessary

  • Scenes of Preparation and Scenes of Aftermath

  • Set Pieces, When To Use Them and How To Write Them.

  • Open Conflict and Hidden Conflict

  • Scenes of Seduction

  • The Lubitsch Touch

  • How to Be Subtle and Also Clear

  • Writing Thought Processes & Emotions Clearly

  • Cinematic Storytelling and Your Originality


The course includes individual coaching (1 x 2 hour session with your tutor).


There will be a maximum of 10 participants in this group. Cost is €499 per participant. Early bird discount to €399 for booking received by August 22nd 2022.


Conference
Idea to Outline
Tuesday, August 30th, 2022

Venue:

Online

Fee:

€499 (Early Bird €399)

A 7-week online programme for screenwriters.


Tuesdays 19:30-21:30 (Irish Time) commencing August 30 th 2022 This course also includes one individual consultation session with the tutor (1 x 120 minute meeting by arrangement). 


All classes are recorded so that you can watch or rewatch them in your own time. Over the course of seven two-hour classes and one individual consultation, this programme will show you how to keep your plot moving and achieve clarity and focus on the story you’ve designed for your characters. 


There will be weekly assignments for you to do in your own time. These will take no more than a couple of hours a week. By the end of this course, you will have been able to develop a strong, clear, compelling version of your story. This outline is what most funders and creative collaborators will read before they decide whether to support your project. Most importantly, it is your roadmap for the full-length version of your screenplay.  First drafts are so much easier when you know where you’re going.


We will cover:


  • The Sequence Approach: Designing Your Story To Be Believable Yet Never Predictable

  • The Jungian Moment: The Keystone of Your Story

  • Dramatic Tension: How It Works And Why It Is A Necessary Ingredient In Screen Stories.

  • The Enneagram: A Deep Dive into Characters’ Motivations

  • The Three Hats: Understanding the Audience’s Relationship to The Story

  • Your Unique Voice: Cinematic Storytelling and Your Originality


This programme is suitable for all levels of experience, including first-time screenwriters who are ready to learn.


There will be a maximum of 10 participants in this group. Cost is €499 per participant. Early bird discount to €399 for bookings received by August 22 nd 2022. To book, contact marykateireland@gmail.com


Conference
Idea to Outline
Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

Venue:

Online

Fee:

€500 (Early Bird €400)

Finding The Heart of Your Story For The Screen Television Drama, Feature or Short Film


From: Wednesday April 27th - Wednesday June 8th 2022 

Location: Online


Please note that all classes are recorded so that you can watch or rewatch them in your own time.


Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. But most early drafts have a beginning, a muddle and an end. So how do you know where to begin your story and how to end it - and how do you manage all that material in the middle?


Over the course of seven two-hour classes and one individual consultation, this programme will cover how to use The Sequence Approach to keep your plot moving and stay on course, focused on the ending you’ve designed for your characters. There will be weekly assignments for you to do in your own time. These will take more than a couple of hours a week.


By the end of this course, you will have been able to develop a strong, clear, compelling version of your story. This outline will be what most funders and potential collaborators want to read before they decide whether to support your project. More importantly it is your roadmap for the full version of your screenplay.


  • The Jungian Moment: The Keystone of Your Story

  • Designing Your Story To Be Unpredictable Yet Believable

  • How Dramatic Tension Works And Why It Is A Necessary Ingredient In Screen Stories.

  • A Deep Dive into Characters’ Motivations

  • Understanding the Audience’s Relationship to Every Part of The Story

  • Cinematic Storytelling and Your Originality


This course also includes one individual consultation session with (1 x 120 minute meeting by arrangement).


The course commences on Wednesday April 27th 2022 and takes place on Zoom at 16:00 Irish Time. There will be a maximum of 10 participants in this group. Cost is €500 per participant. Early bird discount of 20% for bookings received by April 21st 2022. To book, contact marykateireland@gmail.com


Mary Kate O Flanagan is a writer and story consultant, who works internationally, helping to shape stories by emerging and established screenwriters. She is a published short story writer and journalist, has won awards for her writing. She is a Grand Slam Champion Storyteller at The Moth in Ireland and at The Moth in Los Angeles.


Mary Kate’s work with writers is in the tradition of Frank Daniel, which uses a Socratic approach to enquire into the writers intentions and help to realise them as well as possible. 


“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”. 


Philip La Zebnik. 

Screenwriter: Mulan, Pocahontas, The Prince of Egypt.

Conference
Scenewriting, The Secret Weapon
Tuesday, 8th March

Venue:

Zoom

Fee:

€500 (Early Bird €400)

Find Your Unique Voice by Mastering Key Scenes.


Execution is everything. The success of your screenplay is not only in your premise and plot but in how the story is told. Over the course of eight two-hour classes, this programme will help you create the spine of your story through the writing of several key scenes, ie:


  • The Opening Scene

  • The Inciting Incident

  • The Break into Act II

  • A Set Piece

  • The Midpoint

  • End of ACT II

  • Final Twist

  • Final Scene.


We will start with a recap of overall structure in a screen story and how dramatic tension works on an audience. Then we will look at how to write and rewrite a scene. We will go into detail on key scene-writing skills, including:


  • Shaping a Scene For Maximum Impact

  • Replacing Dialogue With Visuals

  • The Magic of the Objective Correlative

  • What Constitutes a Twist and Why It Is So Necessary

  • Scenes of Preparation and Scenes of Aftermath

  • The Lubitsch Touch

  • How to Be Obvious With Your Subtleties

  • Communicating The Inner Life of Your Characters

  • Cinematic Storytelling and Your Originality


There will be feedback during class times if you want to share your work-in-progress.


This is an 8-week course online at 19:30 – 21:30 Irish Time. Commences on Tuesday March 8th 2022. There will be a maximum of 8 participants in this group. Cost is €500 per participant. Early Bird Discount of 20% for bookings paid in full by March 1st 2022.


Tutor

Mary Kate O'Flanagan is a writer and story consultant, who works internationally, helping to shape stories by emerging and established screenwriters. She is also a published writer and journalist, has won awards for her writing. She is a Grand Slam Champion Storyteller at The Moth in Ireland. She is also a Grand Slam Champion Storyteller at The Moth in Los Angeles.


Mary Kate’s work with writers is in the tradition of Frank Daniel, which uses a Socratic approach to enquire into the writers intentions and help to realise them as well as possible.


“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”. 


Philip La Zebnik 

Screenwriter: Mulan, Pocahontas, The Prince of Egypt.


To book, email marykateireland@gmail.com

Conference
Scenewriting (Advanced) Course
Wednesday, 6th October

Venue:

Zoom

Fee:

€499

Find Your Unique Voice by Mastering The Scene.


Execution is everything. The success of your screenplay is not only in your premise and plot but in how the story is told.


Over the course of eight weeks, this programme will cover a recap of how dramatic tension works. Then we will look at how to write and rewrite a scene. It will then go into detail and give feedback on key scene-writing skills, including:


  • Shaping a Scene For Maximum Impact

  • Replacing Dialogue With Visuals

  • The Magic of the Objective Correlative

  • What Constitutes a Twist and Why It Is So Necessary

  • Scenes of Preparation and Scenes of Aftermath

  • The Lubitsch Touch

  • How to Be Subtle and Clear

  • Writing Thought Processes and Emotions Clearly

  • Cinematic Storytelling and Your Originality


There will be feedback on your work-in-progress.


Tutor

Mary Kate O'Flanagan is a writer and story consultant, who works internationally, helping to shape stories by emerging and established screenwriters. She is also a published writer and journalist, has won awards for her writing. She is a Grand Slam Champion Storyteller at The Moth in Ireland. She is also a Grand Slam Champion Storyteller at The Moth in Los Angeles.


The course commences on Wednesday, October 6th and takes place on Zoom from 8pm until 10pm. There will be a maximum of 8 participants in this group. Cost is €499 per participant. Early bird discount of €399 for booking received by August 31st.


Mary Kate’s work with writers is in the tradition of Frank Daniel, which uses a Socratic approach to enquire into the writers intentions and help to realise them as well as possible.


“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”. 


Philip La Zebnik 

Screenwriter: Mulan, Pocahontas, The Prince of Egypt.


To book, email marykateireland@gmail.com

Conference
Introduction to Storytelling for The Screen
Tuesday, 21st September

Venue:

Zoom

Fee:

€499

An 8 week course in screenwriting for new and aspiring professional screenwriters.

Through this programme you can grasp and master the fundamentals of storytelling for the screen. Most first drafts have a beginning, a muddle, and an end. It's easy to get lost and give up before you really get started. 


With this course you will:

  • Sketch out a map before you start writing pages

  • Learn how to use The Sequence Approach

  • Understand how to use Dramatic Tension as the engine of story

  • Find the hidden theme that compels you

  • Receive tailored instruction and guidance from an experienced and qualified story editor.

  • Make connections and share writing tips with your peers


Two hours of interactive classes per week. Assignments are approx 1-2 hours work a week, in your own time. Maximum 10 participants per group.


Classes are at 8pm on Zoom and start on Tuesday the 21st of September. Classes will be recorded to watch later, in case you miss one.


Early bird fee up till August 31st, €399


To book, email marykateireland@gmail.com

Conference
Working with Writers - For Producers, Directors, Development Executives and Script Editors.
Monday, September 20th 2021

Venue:

Online

Fee:

€499

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: marykateireland@gmail.com

Conference
Advanced Screenwriting Programme
Tutoring by Arrangement

Venue:

Zoom

Fee:

€800

Have you been meaning to get your screenplay written for a while now? Do you find it gets sidelined in favour of something more urgent (but less important)? 


If you have already studied screenwriting and are aware of the sequence approach, this programme will move you from outline towards completed screenplay 


(NB Some writers complete a draft of their project in eight weeks but everyone progresses at a different pace).


Now you know the underlying principles of storytelling for the screen. But knowing the theory and practicing the art are two different things. With this programme you will:


  • Refine your outline and start writing pages.

  • Receive weekly instruction, editing and guidance from an experienced and qualified story editor.

  • Work alongside one other writer and see how them principles apply to their work in progress, thereby making it easier to see how it applies to yours.

  • Shape and refine the supporting materials you need to attract finance and creative collaborators, i.e. an outline, logline and cast of characters.


You attend a 3 hour meeting per week. Assignments will be approx. 2-3 hours work per week, in your own time. 


€800 per project for 8 weeks input. Limited Spaces Available. Tutoring is on a 2 to 1 basis. Contact Mary Kate at the email address below to arrange a suitable time.


To book, email marykateireland@gmail.com