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Screen Studio Academy: Writers Intensive Lab

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January 2016, Dates: TBC, Tues & Thurs
€380 Members / €420 Non-Members

The Screen Studio Academy Writers Intensive Lab is designed to develop techniques for writing and rewriting drama for the screen and with the goal of achieving a professional level of screenplays.



Are you a writer, editor or producer looking to take your screenwriting to the next level? Would your writing benefit from a professional toolkit of practical techniques and skills? Do you need to learn how to sharpen, focus and structure your stories and screenplays?

Participants will focus on developing their screen writing through detailed story structuring and intensive scene craft. Writers will learn skills and techniques that can be applied to any genre, from comedy to drama to horror, and cover formats ranging from shorts to features and television writing.

The course runs two evenings per week (Tuesdays and Thursdays). Writers will also be expected to set aside time outside of class for writing assignments and for developing project work. Writers will also work with the Screen Studio Actors and Directors Academy programmes at Filmbase to collaborate on developing projects through performance and workshop participation.

While primarily intended for writers, script editors and creative producers, this programme is also suited for directors seeking a greater understanding of writing and visual storytelling techniques. Participants should have completed introductory level scriptwriting training or have previous writing experience in order to get the most out of this course. It will be of strong benefit to writers who are actively developing their own projects.


Course Content:

The course will cover screenwriting for film, television and screen media and will promote the Sequence Approach as a primary tool for developing screen stories. Specifically, the Screen Studio Academy Screenwriters Intensive Lab will cover:

  • How to shape a story for maximum audience effect;
  • The Sequence Approach to writing feature films and television;
  • The exploration of character through narrative and the beats of transformation within the arc of a screen story;
  • Scene study and scene craft development;
  • Replacing and counterpointing dialogue with Visual Storytelling techniques;
  • Story outlining, First drafting and re-writing techniques;
  •  The craft of deconstructing and reconstructing a scene within the overall structure of a story;
  • Writing for genre.


Tutors: Mary Kate O Flanagan

Mary Kate works as a script consultant with writers and producers in Ireland and internationally. She trained in teaching screenwriting with David Howard, author of The Tools of Screenwriting and How to Build a Great Screenplay and Martin Daniel Professor of Screenwriting at USC, among others. She has been an expert speaker on storytelling for the screen in Germany, Poland, Romania, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Botswana, South Africa, The UK, The US, Slovenia. In her native Ireland, she has been a guest lecturer at NUI Galway and the National Film School and Screen Training Ireland. She has an MA in Screenwriting and is A Champion Storyteller at The Moth.


Rachel O Flanagan:

Rachel is one of the most experienced story consultants in Ireland, with twenty years of experience in developing and script editing feature films, television series, short films and single dramas. Following an MA in Communication Studies – University of North London (now London Metropolitan University) she completed further professional training including the European MEDIA programmes North by Northwest and Arista and Bobette Buster and Bruce Block’s Visual Storytelling.

Produced Irish projects include The Stag; Good Vibrations; My Brothers; Rasaí na Gaillimhe; The Running Mate; Showbands 1 & 2; The Clinic; On Home Ground; Home For Christmas. Clients in Ireland include: Treasure Entertainment, Parallel Films, Subotica Films, Great Western Films, Saffron Films, Wildfire Films, Newgrange Films, Rubicon Films, Comet Films; FÁS Screen Training Ireland and RTE.

Rachel has designed and delivered screenwriting workshops for FÁS/Screen Training Ireland; she has worked as a guest lecturer in Screenwriting, Film Development and Script Editing at the Huston Film School (NUI Galway: MA Screenwriting); Dun Laoghaire Film School (IADT: BA in Film & Television Production); Film Base (Film Institute of Ireland) and DCU (School of Communications). She is a tutor and script advisor for Y Labordy, a programme that hothouses Welsh writing talent in screenwriting and dramatic storytelling.



  • January 2016, Dates: TBC, Tuesdays & Thursdays

Class times:

  • 7.00pm – 10.00pm
  • Weekend/evening work may be required for collaborative projects (dates tbc)
  • Participants should set aside two to three hours per week outside of class time for writing


  • €380 Members / €420 Non-Members
  • €150 Deposit


  • Filmbase, Temple Bar, Curved street

Follow on courses:

Participants will be offered priority booking for Screen Studio Writer’s Academy Advanced Courses from January 2016 in Comedy Writing, Soap and Television Writing and Writing for Transmedia courses.


To book your place, contact Filmbase Reception on 01 679 6716 and dial 0. For more information, email Lynn at Please read our Terms & Conditions before booking a course.