This 3-day Advanced Development Workshop is aimed at experienced screenwriters, directors, creative producers, showrunners, development executives and story editors.

Designed around the Story-Type Method®, it is regularly updated with new film clips and case studies.  It can also be adapted so that most clips/examples and all the case studies come from one specific genre (currently thriller, comedy or animation).

Three additional 2-day modules, Writing a Successful ThrillerWriting a Successful Comedy and Writing a Successful Animation are available for participants having followed the main 3-day workshop or having read Screenwriting Unchained.

NEW in 2019: Our 2-day module Writing a Successful TV Series is now available.

This workshop covers the following topics:

Day 1

  • The Story-Type Method: A New Framework for Developing Screenplays
  • What's Wrong With the Three-Act Structure? Five Key Points About Story Structure
  • Developing A Plot-led Story (Part I): Behind the Scenes (Managing Conflict & Managing Information, Dramatic Irony, Mystery, Surprise, Suspense)
  • "What's at stake?" and Four Other Essential Questions About Managing Conflict

Day 2

  • Developing A Plot-led Story (Part II): Planting & Pay-off, Visual Storytelling, Sequence the Action, Craft the Draft. Case studies: Misery (R. Reiner) and Gravity (A. Cuaron)
  • Five Essential Questions About Managing Information
  • Developing a Character-led Story: Map the Change, Sequence the Evolution, Grow the Draft). Case studies: Silver Linings Playbook (D.O. Russell) and The Intouchables (E. Toledano and O. Nakache)

Day 3

  • Developing a Theme-led Story. Case study: Crash (P. Haggis) and Dunkirk (C. Nolan)
  • Developing Something Else: Hybrids and Exceptions (Case Studies: Birdman, The Lives of Others, Edge of Tomorrow, L.A. Confidential, The Secret in Their Eyes...)
  • The Story-Type Method: Bringing it All Together
  • Selling Documents vs Story Design Tools
  • The Rewrite Stuff: 12 Ways to a Stronger Screenplay

What's in it for you?

Based on the innovative Story-Type Method, this workshop leaves aside rigid rules that lead to predictable screenplays. It also steers clear of supposed formulas for commercial success, which simply don't exist (or we'd know!).

The aim of the workshop is to equip filmmakers with a set of storytelling tools that help develop each project as effectively as possible. It details how filmmakers can identify the story-type of their projects as early as possible and adjust the development process accordingly, making it easier, faster and hopefully leading to stronger screenplays.

The workshop puts a strong emphasis on each project reaching the widest possible audience, both at home and abroad, without compromising the filmmakers' creative integrity. After the workshop, the course documentation is made available online. It includes detailed case studies from both classics and recent movies.

The workshop is usually fine-tuned to the specific needs of a production company / regional agency / development funding body or studio. For example, it can be followed by an optional extra day of one to one meetings for project work with the participants (see details below).

Although this might change in the near future, at the moment the only option for individual participants who want to learn more about the Story-Type Method (beyond the resources already available on this website) is to ask their producer, funding body or studio to commission the workshop.

Alternatively, please take a look at Screenwriting Unchained or watch the introduction video in The Structurator to find out more about the Story-Type Method.

Film Clips

Dozens of clips are screened over the three days to illustrate each storytelling tool and case study, from films such as: Two Days, One Night (L. & J.P. Dardenne), Frenzy (A. Hitchcock), Silver Linings Playbook (D.O. Russell), Cloud Atlas (T. Tykwer and the Wachovskis), The Lives of Others (F.H. Von Donnersmark), Misery (R. Reiner), Ridicule (P. Leconte), Birdman (A.G. Inarritu), The Bourne Supremacy (P. Greengrass), As Good as it Gets (J. L. Brooks), Gravity (A. Cuaron), The Apartment (B. Wilder), A Quiet Place (J. Krasinski), Rio Bravo (H. Hughes), Billy Elliot (S. Daldry), There’s Something About Mary (Farelli brothers), Cyrano de Bergerac (J.P. Rappeneau), City Lights (C. Chaplin), Parenthood (R. Howard), Crash (P. Haggis), Dunkirk (C. Nolan), Taken (P. Morel), Groundhog Day (H. Ramis) and more...

Our Advanced Development Workshop has been commissioned by:

3-day Advanced Development Workshop:
Fees on January 1st, 2019

All amounts exclusive of 20% VAT, when applicable

Independent Production Company
£4,995.00(3-9 participants)
  • Includes preparation and delivery
  • Travel & accommodation costs on top
  • A/V equipment / Meeting room not included
Get more information

Would you like to bring your script development skills to the next level and give your projects a makeover?

This package will train creative producers, development execs, story editors and writers working for the same independent production company, making sure that is on the same page and equipped with the best tools when discussing projects. Sharing a common language goes a long way in development!

A separate slate assessment service can be arranged (fee to be defined depending on the number of projects in development in the company).

One or more extra day(s) for project work can also be booked alongside the workshop to allow meetings on individual projects immediately after the last day.

This is an advanced development workshop, so participants are expected to have already some experience in the development process. While almost anyone should be able to follow it, experienced participants usually take away more benefits as they can see more clearly how to apply the knowledge gathered during the workshop.

Optional One to One Day
£1,995.00For project work meetings
  • Includes preparation and delivery
  • Up to four projects per day (90mn meetings)
  • Actual fee varies, notes optional (see below)
Get more information

While the Advanced Development Workshop is very practical and allows the participants to focus on a specific project if they want to, there is no time during the workshop to discuss individual projects (except maybe briefly during the breaks!).

A number of extra days can therefore be booked along with the workshop to make time for specific projects to be read in advance and discussed with the creative team (producer, writer, director) immediately after the last day.

The fee includes preparation work for up to four projects. It varies depending on the exact number of projects and the actual amount of work requested (for example, written notes can be given after the meeting at an extra cost).

Each meeting will cover what's great in each project, what doesn't work yet and needs some attention, as well as provide rewriting directions.

Beyond the strength and weaknesses of the screenplay, we'll also try to look at the bigger picture and discuss which resources might be needed to move each project forward and which potential partner(s) might be involved.

Regional/National Fund or Studio
£5,995.00(10-20 participants)
  • Includes preparation and delivery
  • Travel and accommodation costs on top
  • A/V equipment / Meeting room not included
Get more information

This version of the workshop is aimed at regional / national funds or  organisations who would like to train a larger number of participants (usually up to twenty). It's also the option a studio would go for to train a larger development team and/or to train all the writers working with them in development.

The content of the workshop can be fine-tuned to a specific audience (for example producers, story editors and development execs, or writers and directors).

While the tools are the same, the approach can be slightly different depending on the participants' role in development. This being said, the workshop works equally well with a mixed audience as long as participants have roughly the same level of experience.

This is an advanced development workshop, so participants are expected to have already a good understanding and experience of the development process.

While almost anyone should be able to follow it, more experienced participants, usually take away more benefits as they can see more clearly how to apply the knowledge gathered during the workshop.

What People Say About Our Workshops

"Emmanuel’s 3 day Advanced Development Workshop for Ealing Studios was very useful and stimulating. I’m a big fan of Emmanuel’s teaching style because it’s non prescriptive and flexible – tools not rules as he always reminds us. All the feedback I’ve had from the writers who attended was extremely positive, I think they responded particularly well to the collaborative atmosphere and interactive sessions."

- Sophie Meyer, Head of Development, Ealing Studios

“Many, many thanks for such a stimulating and inspiring course. The tools are already coming in extremely useful and I hope will transform my approach to any new project from now on."

- Smita Bhide, Writer

“Emmanuel is the right kind of teacher for inherently creative people. He does not instruct, or impose, or prescribe. He displays and explains a box of first-class tools, and encourages the writer to use the ones that suit the work in hand. In this way the work is improved, and the writer gains confidence at the same time, which in turn leads to even better work. Emmanuel is very tall, but he never talks down to you.”

- Simon Perry, Producer, Former President of ACE, Former Head of British Screen, Former Head of the Irish Film Board

“I highly recommend Emmanuel’s Advanced Development Workshop to producers and anyone thinking seriously about working with writers in development. It’s one of the very best courses on development I know and Emmanuel is a highly motivating tutor, his boundless enthusiasm matched only by his deep knowledge of the subject.”

- Lee Thomas, Producer, former Head of Development and Production at Screen West Midlands

“I cannot thank you enough for such an extraordinary course full of so much wisdom mixed with a rare humility and delivered with real passion. The practical tools will be tremendously useful and the resources a huge bonus.”

- Natascha Carlish, Producer, Centre Director for The Hurst at Arvon

“I have learnt more on this workshop than any previous development course that I have attended. It’s as if up to now I have been looking in through a window and now the door has been opened. I came away not just with an effective set of diagnostic tools but the confidence to approach script development in an enthusiastic and positive way.”

- Sunandan Walia, Producer, Endboard Productions

"Thanks for a really useful and inspiring seminar - I have attended a number of development training courses in the past, so wasn't sure whether I would learn very much that was new. As it happens, I learned a huge amount and feel much more confident about going back into the development process with a brand new toolbox."

- Alison Sterling, Producer (ACE 24), Ignition Films

"Intense but incredibly useful workshop that has helped take our script to the next level. Emmanuel is very friendly and doesn't force you to conform to any fixed methods. Instead he gives you the tools to explore your own ideas better."

- Manjeet Gill, Writer/Director (iFeatures 2016), Black Country Cinema

"The story-type method is a refreshing and liberating way of looking at story and structure. Emmanuel is full of enthusiasm, and his passion for good storytelling makes the workshops engaging and the method fun (yes, really!) to apply. I've gotten some solid new tools, as well as the bonus of a new surge of inspiration and energy into the development process. Thank you!"

- Ina Remme, Producer (FilmLab Norway 2016)

"I truly enjoyed Emmanuel's three-day insightful workshop on The Story-Type Method! Full of vital and resourceful tools to use in the development process. Emmanuel is enthusiastic with no fixed screenwriting rules - only great tools he skillfully shared with us. I highly recommend his workshop to anyone who works in the film industry. Thank you so much!"

- Ingrid Stenersen, Writer/director (FilmLab Norway 2016)

"Thank you so much for the workshop at Filmlab in Norway a couple of weeks ago! As a producer I found it extremely inspiring and very very useful for my future collaborations and my work in creative processes. I have now got more tools when analyzing projects, guiding my directors/scriptwriters or just to discuss the projects. For my particular team that participated we also now have a common vocabulary to talk about our project, which feels really great. I'm also impressed with the structure of the lesson and your lecturing - kept me concentrated and interested the whole way. Thank you so much!"

- Andrea Ottmar, Producer (FilmLab Norway 2016)

"Without doubt the most inspiring developing session I have ever taken part in. Emmanuel is not only a very good speaker – but manages to use practical examples and group discussion to give the participants a very clear understanding of his thoughts on drama. Less dogmatic than McKee and Field he aims at giving the creative a tool box of dramatic elements rather than a formula for success. I strongly recommend this workshop to both writers, producers and funding bodies. Well done!"

- Frederick Howard, Producer (ACE 26) / Company Exec, Storm Group, Norway

"One of the best workshops regarding script structure I've attended. It really makes you review and research what you know about books like McKee, Field etc. The books that I've been related to at my studies. Really enjoyed it and will try to convey it to my work with films I produce and students I tutor. Very inspiring and thoughtful. Thank you Emmanuel!"

- Jelena Mitrovic, Producer (ACE 26), Film House Bas Celik, Serbia

"The Thriller Writing workshop I attended was extremely useful and Emmanuel gave us notes and advice that I will without a doubt revisit during the writing process. I would highly recommend attending his workshops."

- Dave Thorpe, Writer/Director/Producer (STI Thriller Workshop June 2017 in Dublin)

"I found the 3 day advanced workshop very inspiring. Emmanuel has no dogmas unlike other scriptwriting gurus. He is an ego-less gentle openminded teacher, who does not place himself above his students. He is very intelligent, but also emotional, spiritual and funny. Above all very positive. His tools are practical, but do not interfere with your writing flow. It's all about the balance between knowing and not knowing, combining heart and head.

I would advise every screenwriter this workshop, especially when you want to (re)discover your originality and talent."

- Karen van Holst Pellekaan, Writer and actress (Advanced development Workshop June 2018 in Amsterdam)

"True value for money. Well-suited for advancing and advanced screenwriters, including successful ones and those who think they have heard or read it all before.

Don’t expect a gospel from a preacher or a showman. Oberg is a modest man who clearly resists becoming the next screenplay guru. Yet he delivers an amazing, almost complete and very thorough understanding of the inner workings of our craft, guaranteed to spark fresh thoughts that will be benefit your next project, no matter how experienced you are.

And there is a big bonus. The screenplay business is a fickle mistress that can often leave you frustrated. Oberg makes you remember why you fell in love with her in the first place and he makes you fall in love all over again."

- Mike van Diem, Writer-director (Advanced development Workshop June 2018 in Amsterdam)

"What a fantastic three day workshop. Emmanuel Oberg explored the mechanics of writing good drama, and provided us with a toolbox to help turn it into great drama. Inspiring stuff!"

- Marty Thornton, Writer (Advanced Development Workshop September 2018 Galway)

"In his deconstruction of the story development process, Emmanuel Oberg provided fresh insight into the craft and artistry that combine to create an engaging story.

The Story Type method as pioneered by Oberg is a particularly useful diagnostic tool and has helped me identify key structural flaws and weaknesses in my screenplays while equipping me with new tools and strategies to problem-solve. Would highly recommend this workshop to both budding and established screenwriters or indeed anyone engaged in the script development process."

- Molly O'Driscoll, Writer (Advanced Development Workshop September 2018 Galway)

"Every once in a while, we need an update; whether it's a software update for our phones or laptops, or an attempt to re-paint the kitchen cabinets.

This is the update for story on screen.  If you are a writer, an editor, a producer or a commissioner, you need to do this course. Every project you work on will be better - fact!

I've been writing and editing for ten years, and I've done lots of different courses over the last decade, but this Advanced Development Workshop has completely revolutionized the way I think about my writing and the structure of story.

Not only is the Story Type Method enlightening, it's as creative and fluid as the writing process itself.  And it puts the audience at the heart of the discussion. Not in a slavish way that suggests pandering to the market or duplicating previously successful formulas, but in showing the best way to make the story you want to tell enjoyable for the different audiences that are out there.

I found this course inspiring and encouraging. Gone is the sense of dread that can accompany sitting down to tackle a scene or a treatment - I'm itching to write.  I can think of no higher praise."

- Bláthnaid De Róiste, Film & TV Writer, Story Editor (Advanced Development Workshop September 2018 Galway)

"The Advanced Screenwriting Workshop with Emmanuel Oberg, facilitated by Eibhlín at Creative Europe, was an invaluable experience.  This was an intensive three day lecture of case studies, discussion, and a new way to look at the screenwriting process that I found incredibly helpful and inspiring. Not only for current projects, but as a tool to dissect previous scripts that were proving stubborn in the rewriting process!

The workshop was also an opportunity to meet with other writers, directors, and producers from all over the country – a welcome reprieve from the often isolated days of a writer. I would recommend this workshop to anyone who has the opportunity to attend."

- Sarah Ingersoll, Writer (Advanced Development Workshop September 2018 Galway)

"The most encouraging workshop I have ever attended.
I am a big fan of the book and I highly recommend it to anyone working in the industry. Emmanuel is very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. I cannot thank him enough for sharing his methods with us. The workshop is definitely a game changer and brought my writing skills to the next level. Many thanks."

- David Souto, Writer-director (Advanced Development Workshop September 2018 Galway)

"Emmanuel's enthusiasm and knowledge were incredible. What an excellent facilitator and a lovely man too. I've always had loads of ideas for screenplays but was never quite sure about where to begin the script writing process. Over the three days, I gained an amazing amount of knowledge on story types and structuring, what does and doesn't work and why it's ok to not always live by the rules (lead with your passion). Thanks Emmanuel, I feel that I've unlocked the start of a new writing chapter in my life."

- Anna Mannion, Screenwriter (Advanced Development Workshop May 2019 Dublin)

"As a writer I was able to immediately put into practice what I learnt from this extremely informative course, presented with passion, humour and verve by a man of great generosity at the top of his game and an accomplished speaker of great clarity."

- Peadar Cox, Screenwriter (Advanced Development Workshop May 2019 Dublin)

"Emmanuel Oberg's workshop was very inspiring and eye opening. Three days with an intensive focus on storytelling in the broadest sense where existing models of structuring a screenplay were questioned. Emmanuel's wider perspective is at the same time very detailed. Both the workshop and the book provide useful tools and make you reflect on what can be the best path for your story to flourish.  It's also an encouragement to an analytical but flexible approach of your story without being dogmatic."

- Ellen Hoffmann, Producer (Advanced development Workshop June 2019 in Amsterdam)
If you attended the workshop
Please consider leaving a testimonial, it would be much appreciated!


ACE - Ateliers du Cinéma Européen (F)
ACE Producers (NL)
Cologne International Film school - Production department (G)
Cornwall Film (UK)
Creative England (UK)
Creative Europe - Desk Ireland Media Office Galway (IR)
Creative Europe - Desk Germany Media Office Munich (G)
Ealing Studios (UK)
FAS / Screen Training Ireland / Screen Skills Ireland (IR)
Film I Väst - SVT - Svenska Filminstitutet (SW)
Film Kolektiv (CZ)
FilmLab Norge (NW)
Ideal Audience / Kaleo Films (F)
iFeatures (UK)
Jim Henson's Creature Shop (UK)
Medienboard Berlin Brandebourg (G)
Mitteldeutsche MedienForderung (G)
Netherlands Film Fund (NL)
Pipedream Pictures (UK)
Screen West Midlands (UK)
Swedish Film Institute (SW)
UK Film Council - Development Fund (UK)
Zephyr Films (UK)
Zimmedia (Zimbabwe)

Over the last two decades, Emmanuel has worked as an international script consultant, in parallel with his writing, on both film and TV projects. He also offers a slate assessment service for producers. For more information, please click here.

"Very thorough understanding of the inner workings of our craft, guaranteed to spark fresh thoughts that will be benefit your next project, no matter how experienced you are."
Mike van Diem, Academy Award Winning writer-director

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