IFTA Skills in Focus Series: Working in Development

Friday, February 19th, 2021

Screen Skills Ireland is delighted to support Working in Development, a webinar in the IFTA Skills in Focus Series.

Development is a critical element in the production of a film or TV Series. The development stage is the first step in the film production process and is where stories are found, fleshed out and honed until they are in a position to be sold, commissioned or start filming. Good development is critical to delivering the best possible film or television series, but development is often an over-looked, under-funded and mysterious area of production.

On this panel, three leaders in this field will share their unique insight and experience into the role of creative producers and development departments in delivering top-level Film & Television projects. They will discuss the skillset need to work in Development, the practicalities of working in the area, and tips for improving collaborations.

The panel features noted Producer, Story Consultant, Lecturer and Author John Yorke (Wolf Hall, Life on Mars, Shameless, Author: Into the Woods), Head of Development at See-Saw Films Katherine Bridle (Ammonite, Lion, Top of the Lake) and Element Pictures Head of Development Chelsea Morgan Hoffmann (Normal People, Herself). Treasure Entertainment Producer Rebecca O’Flanagan (Handsome Devil, Viva) will moderate the panel.

Topics on the panel will include scouting for ideas/talent, networking, research and developing ideas, script reading, coverage, and notes, collaboration and key points to achieving success.

Meet the Panellists

John Yorke
Producer, Author of Into the Woods
John is widely acknowledged as the UK’s foremost expert on story, and his book Into the Woods is the bestselling book on the subject in the UK. He has spent years analysing not just how stories work but why they resonate with audiences around the globe. As former Head of Channel Four Drama, Controller of BBC Drama Production and MD of Company Pictures, John has tested his theories during an extensive production career working on some of the world’s most lucrative, widely viewed and critically acclaimed TV drama, from EastEnders to Shameless, Life on Mars and Wolf Hall.

Katherine Bridle
Head of Development, See-Saw Pictures
Katherine joined See-Saw Films at its inception in the UK. She is responsible for driving forward the creative development of all See-Saw Film projects to date including The King’s Speech, Shame and Macbeth as well TV drama Top of The Lake and Lion (starring Dev Patel and Rooney Mara). She works closely with the key creative at all stages of development and production as well as securing development finance. Katherine has worked with some of the industry’s most exciting filmmakers and writers, including Steve McQueen, Abi Morgan, Anton Corbijn, Jane Campion, and Justin Kurzel. Katherine’s recent work includes Francis Lee’s Ammonite (Starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan).


Chelsea Morgan Hoffmann
Development Producer, Element Pictures

Chelsea is Head of Development at Element Pictures Group, having previously worked as a Development Executive at Blinder Films, and a Script Editor at the hit soap-drama Red Rock. She re-joined Element in 2017 after previously working there as PA to Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe, and Lenny Abrahamson from 2012-2014. In between, she worked as script editor on two series of the television drama Red Rock and as Development Executive at Blinder Films, along with freelance script-editing. Her recent credits include the hugely successful TV Series Normal People, the feature film Herself, and IFTA-winning feature Rosie.


Moderated by Rebecca O’Flanagan
Producer, Treasure Entertainment

After working at Irish Film Board to work as a Development Manager, Rebecca established Rubicon Films in 2004. There produced a number of titles including The Running Mate which won the IFTA for Best Drama Serial. She executive produced The Eclipse (2008) for Treasure Entertainment, written and directed by Conor McPherson, which won the award for Best Actor at the Tribeca Film Festival for Ciaran Hinds and the I FTA for best film. Rebecca executive produced BAFTA nominated Good Vibrations (2011), produced John Butler’s The Stag (2012) and Handsome Devil (2016) ,Paddy Breathnach’s Viva, Hugh O’Conor’s debut feature Metal Heart, and John Butler’s Papi Chulo, which premiered at TIFF 2018, as well as TV Series Finding Joy and the upcoming Smother. Rebecca lectures on the MA in Screenwriting course at the School of Film and Digital Media in NUI Galway, as well as guest lecturing at on a number of other film courses.


To register for this event, visit the IFTA Website HERE