Mindshift: Breaking Into Television
Autumn 2015 - This course has now passed.
As the most demanding form of drama work, writing for TV can be the best way to perfect the craft of scriptwriting. There are regular openings at Fair City, Rós na Rún and Red Rock, and growing opportunities to write TV dramas for Irish and international audiences. Ferdia MacAnna (writer, director) will workshop how to prepare sample scripts to get you your first break. Join panelists Trevor Colgan (writer), Brigie de Courcy (producer), and Bláthnaid de Róiste (story/script editor) as they explain how writing soap works, and how to get your foot in the door. Eddie Doyle (Head of Comedy, Talent and Music Dev. at RTÉ) will join Sam Atwell (Series Consultant) and Ruth Carter (story developer/producer) to talk about commissioning new TV drama scripts. Finally, there will be an interview with Thomas McLaughlin and Louise Ní Fhiannachta, two very successful TV writers, who will share their experiences and expertise. All sessions will allow time for Q&A.
Starts: Sat 12 Sept
Time: 10.30am – 4.30pm
Duration: 1 Day
Cost: €60/€50 Members
10.15–10.30 | Registration
10.30 – 11.45 | Ferdia MacAnna – Submitting your Script: Advice on how to prepare sample scripts to get your first break and the dos and don’ts of submitting to production companies.
11.50 – 13.00 | Panel 1: Can anyone write for soap? Some of Irish soap’s most influential and experienced writers talk directly about the ‘ideal’ soap and story writer, what exactly makes for the best scripts and what makes one script stand out from another.
Trevor Colgan (Roy, Fair City, Red Rock, The Big Bow Wow), Brigie de Courcy (Fair City), and Bláthnaid de Róiste (Ros na Rún). Moderated by Ferdia MacAnna.
13.00 – 14.00 | Break for Lunch
14.00 – 15.15 | Panel 2: Pitching your drama script. Getting your unsolicited script made, or even read by a production company, is about the toughest way to break into the industry. Those in the know, from RTÉ and Blue Ink Films, discuss how to make the most of your one chance to impress, what matters to a production company and what Heads of Development are looking for.
Eddie Doyle (RTÉ Head of Comedy, Talent and Music Development), Sam Atwell (Fair City Series Consultant, former writer and director for Home & Away), and Ruth Carter (founder of Blue Ink Films, developer and producer of Damo and Ivor). Moderated by Ferdia MacAnna.
15.25 – 16.30 | Interviews with Thomas McLaughlin and Louise Ní Fhiannachta as they discuss their experiences as emerging scriptwriters, how they have sustained their careers, and how these careers have progressed and changed within televisions constantly evolving industry.
About the speakers
Ferdia MacAnna is a novelist, screenwriter and TV producer/director. He has produced and directed many TV programmes including Don’t Feed the Gondolas, Upwardly Mobile and the BAFTA-winning Custer’s Last Stand Up. He has taught screenwriting, creative writing and scripting at various colleges including Trinity College and DCU.
Trevor Colgan is a writer and producer, known for his work on Roy (2015), Fair City (1988 -2014), Caerdydd (2006) and The Big Bow Wow (2004).
Brigie de Courcy is Executive Producer of Fair City. She has worked as an actor, director, TV presenter, teacher and script editor. She has a doctorate in Tragedy which is a great foundation for working in Soap. She was Series Story Producer on Emmerdale and then on EastEnders. Subsequently, she redesigned how the BBC makes their continuing drama series.
Bláthnaid de Róiste is the current Head of Scripting at Ros na Rún and works as both Story Editor and Script Editor for the soap.
Eddie Doyle is RTÉ's Head of Comedy, Talent and Music Development. Eddie has management and leadership experience across a variety of genres on both RTÉ ONE and RTÉ TWO, in News & Current Affairs, Entertainment, Factual, Lifestyle, Comedy and Music. He has commissioned a number of successful RTÉ projects including Mrs Browns Boys, The Voice of Ireland, Republic of Telly and Damo & Ivor.
Sam Atwell is Fair City's current Series Consultant and was a former actor, writer and director for Home & Away. He has produced his own work, including film and theatre, and has also worked as a script editor and story liner.
Ruth Carter is the founder of Blue Ink Films and has most recently developed and produced for Parallel Films the second series of 6 part comedy drama Damo & Ivor for RTÉ. She is also currently producing for Parallel Films a one hour Reality Bites Documentary for RTÉ for broadcast in the autumn of 2015.
Thomas McLaughlin has written sit-com for television and is one of the principal writers of Fair City (1988-2014). He has written for the stage and radio and is the Chairman of the Writers Guild of Ireland.
Louise Ní Fhiannachta is an independent director and has been helming projects for the past six years. Her writing background includes over 150 episodes of Ros na Rún and the RTÉ short Cured, which was selected at numerous film festivals including the Arizona International Film Festival.