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Factual Storytelling Masterclass with Robert Thirkell in Association with Galway Film Centre

Tutors: Robert Thirkell

Date: Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

Duration: 1 Day

Venue: Galway, TBC

Cost: €75

Course Profile:

This one day masterclass identifies the key elements of factual storytelling and how to make formats work. Tutor, Robert Thirkell, will use case studies with real shoooting scripts and rough-cuts. He will demonstrate how to structure stories so they have drive and drama, how to script and plan programmes before shooting and how to fix problem productions.

Based on Robert’s C.O.N.F.L.I.C.T. seminar, the course will cover the following:

  • It will start with casting Characters
  • Move on to thinking Out of the box to create scripts
  • Then creating a Narrative drive, the arc
  • And the all important cold open/pre-title the Front of the film
  • It will continue with managing talent and making them feel Loved while getting what you need
  • Techniques of Interview, producing Actuality, and writing Narration, and which is best when.
  • how to pitch the programme to the audience so they Care, including publicizing it and getting the right spin on it,
  • the importance of Timeline to get you out of a mess, the Title and Truth so you can be both bold and honest,

There will be clips shown of ‘before and after’ including JAMIES SCHOOL DINNERS and THE BOY WHOSE SKIN FELL OFF including rough cuts off both when they were failing, and show how these techniques transformed them into Bafta and Emmy winners.

You won’t just listen to a riveting performance in storytelling, but will have the challenge of transforming an impossible pitch (that became a hit) yourself, and restructuring a failed roughcut.

This course is part of a series of seminars/workshops on Writing For Non-Drama Television. These will include:

  • A Workshop on Commentary Writing for Television with Patrick Uden (January 19th, 2016)
  • A Day of Case Studies of Irish TV Series & Documentaries. Contributors will include Andrew Gallimore and Gerry Hoban. (February 5th, 2016 TBC)

Participant Profile:

This course is aimed at factual television/documentary Producers, Directors, Series Producers and Edit Producers seeking to enhance their storytelling and problem-solving skills for non-drama TV programming.

Application Procedure:

Please apply online at For further details contact Mary Deely at Galway Film Centre. Ph: (091) 770748. Email: Deadline for applications: Thursday 12th of November.

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