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In The Writers Room with Matthew Carnahan


6th – 9th October 2016 / €250

Filmbase and Screen Training Ireland are pleased to launch a unique course to provide Irish writers with an introduction to the current US Television landscape. Under the leadership of the Creator/Showrunner of the Emmy award-winning Showtime series House Of Lies, selected writers will work as a group to develop an idea from concept to pitch.


This course will feature:

• an overview of what Networks are currently developing and buying,
• what the Network brands stand for and how this influences commissions,
• break down of the US business model for writer, exploring the workings of Pilot Season, Staffing Season, Development Season and Buying Season.

This programme will also examine the role of the Showrunner and how they run a writers’ room and deal with Network demands, while maintaining an original creative vision. From here writers will participate in a Writer’s Room workshop to develop an original television concept idea with Showrunner, Matthew Carnahan.

The idea will be developed from concept to pitch, breaking down an entire Season One story arc and Show Bible. With Matthew, participants will learn how to develop ideas and characters and how to pitch and sell them to the Showrunner in the Writers Room.

The room will also examine Television Act Structure and Formatting, Writers Room Hierarchy and breakdown of a Show Bible (what it is, what it should contain and how it gets used). This unique opportunity for Irish writers to work under the US system will provide them with new techniques that they can use for future projects/writing positions within the US TV market.

Thursday 6th – Introduction to the Current US TV Writing Landscape with Des Doyle

This day will cover a detailed introduction to the current landscape of the US TV market and what writers need to know about the industry in order to develop, pitch, staff and write for network television shows.

Friday 7th – Sunday 9th – Inside the Writers’ Room with Matthew Carnahan

Matthew Carnahan will take Irish writers through a practical three day writers room experience, bringing a project from concept through to Season One story pitch. Writers will be active participants at all stages of this workshop and will get to experience an active working environment run by one of the most successful showrunners in the US television industry.

As this is a workshop-based course places are extremely limited. Applications for places are open to all writers, but priority will be given to writers who have existing experience in television writing with either broadcast credit(s) or projects with broadcaster development support.


Course Dates:

Thursday 6th – Sunday 9th October, 2016

10am – 5pm daily



Course Fees:




Curved Street
Temple Bar
Dublin 2


How To Apply:

This course is open to writers, but priority will be given to writers who have existing experience in television writing with either broadcast credit(s) or projects with broadcaster development support. Please apply online attaching a current CV at by 1pm on Wednesday 28th September. For further information on applications contact

As this is a workshop-based course places are extremely limited.


Special Bursary Support:

All Filmbase and Screen Training Ireland courses are open to all regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability. However, for this workshop, Matthew Carnahan will offer additional support to two writers from minority/disadvantaged backgrounds by waiving their participation fees and preserving two places for their attendance. This support is intended to encourage greater diversity of creative writing voices and they will be reserved specifically for participants who would otherwise not be able to take part in the Writers Room workshops. If you are a writer from a minority group and are interested in participating in this course, please contact Grainne Bennett directly on



Lead Tutor: Matthew Carnahan

On television, Carnahan created the series Trinity, Dirt, and the Emmy and Golden Globe winning House of Lies (starring Don Cheadle), which recently wrapped its five season run on Showtime. He is currently developing new television projects for Miramax, Alcon, ITV, and Showtime, while prepping a feature adaptation of his novel Serpent Girl.

After ten years in New York working as a playwright and director (Live Bait, Velvet Elvis, The Elephant Trainer’s Apprentice, Snap, Dogamerica, The Knees Of A Cellist), Matthew received the Chesterfield Fellowship from Steven Spielberg. He went on to write Driveaway for Tom Hanks at Disney and to adapt his play, The Knees Of A Cellist for MGM. He wrote and directed the short film, Mailman, produced by Sandra Bullock, which premiered at The Sundance Film Festival, and went on to 12 more festivals and a long run on Bravo. The following year at Sundance, Carnahan premiered his feature directorial debut, Black Circle Boys (written during the Chesterfield Fellowship), to critical acclaim. Carnahan’s documentary about former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Rudyland, won IDFA and Palm Beach and played on Reel Life, the HBO / Cinemax documentary series. His novel, Serpent Girl, was published by Random House in 2006 to rave reviews and three editions, then published in paper (as Copping Free).



17353778Tutor: Des Doyle

Des Doyle was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. After graduating from the Dublin Institute Of Technology with a Diploma in Film Production he began his career as a camera assistant and over the last 15 years has worked on a diverse range of TV dramas, commercials, music videos and feature films, working with artists such as U2 and Sinead O’Connor as well as directors such as Jim Sheridan and Lenny Abrahamson.

Des is the director of the critically acclaimed documentary Showrunners: The Art of Running a TV Show, featuring Matthew Carnahan (House of Lies, Trinity, Dirt), JJ Abrahms (Alias, Lost, Fringe), Hart Hansen (Bones), Robert and Michelle King (The Good Wife), Ronald D. Moore (Outlander, Battlestar Galactica), Bill Prady (The Big Bang Theory) and Joss Whedon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Firefly) amongst others. The documentary also led to the accompanying book Showrunners, written by Tara Bennett and published by Titan.