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Storytelling for Creative Producers and Development Executives with John Yorke (Online)

Tutors: John Yorke

Date: Monday, May 11th, 2020

Duration: 35 hours

Venue: Online

Cost: €0

Course Profile:

Screen Skills Ireland in association with MediaXchange is pleased to offer Storytelling for Creative Producers and Development Executives with John Yorke. This course is offered free of charge to support the Irish creative screen industries affected by the ongoing situation with COVID-19.

Understanding the nature and make up of storytelling is essential to developing TV programming. John Yorke has been behind some of the biggest hits in television and has distilled that knowledge into a detailed step by step course.

In thirty sessions over four weeks we’ll explore all the key components of storytelling and how they apply to every format of scripted drama. We’ll examine the reasons why they resonate and go into concrete detail about the history and application of the theories of narrative structure.

We’ll explore technique, the role of the method of consumption in dictating structure, but more importantly we will apply that knowledge into contemporary analysis and application.

How do you develop original material? How do you decide whether an idea is best suited to single, a mini-series or Closed Season Serial? All of these questions and more will be explored in a comprehensive guide to developing stories for the modern television market.


MODULE 1: Advanced Structure & Story Rules

Schedule: 11.30am-1pm & 3pm-4pm 11th, 12th, 14th, 15th, 18th, 19th, 21st May

Course Topics:

  • Essential ingredients of story
  • Story structure and its application to screenwriting
  • Structural rules of storytelling formats (episodic/serialised, long-running/closed-ended)
  • Creative materials – treatments, bibles, pitchbooks
  • Archetypes and the ‘essential rules’
  • Pitching

MODULE 2: Advanced Character & Dialogue

Schedule: 11.30am-1pm & 3pm-4pm 8th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 15th, 16th, 18th June

Course Topics:

  • Character: creating interesting characters and the relationship with structure
  • Dialogue: creating subtext and managing exposition
  • Multiprotagonism: the rules and how to manage structure
  • The art of compelling narrative: suspense and surprise
  • Dramatic Irony, Tragic Irony, Foreshadow, retardation

Participant Profile:

Aimed at experienced creative producers, script editors, executives and commissioners who wish to gain further expertise in developing and writing for television drama. Participants must have industry track record with at least two paid professional producing/executive/development credits (television or film).

Please note places are very limited and we expect a high volume of applications.

Screen Skills Ireland courses are open to all regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability.

Application Procedure:

Please apply online by 5pm on Tuesday 5th May 2020 with your up to date CV.

For further information, please email

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