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.

NEW in 2017: two modules, Writing a Successful Thriller (2-day workshop) and Writing a Successful Comedy (2-day workshop).

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 Billy Elliot (S. Daldry) or 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: Groundhog Day (H. Ramis) and Silver Linings Playbook (D.O. Russell) or The Intouchables (E. Toledano and O. Nakache)

Day 3

  • Developing a Theme-led Story. Case study: Crash (P. Haggis)
  • 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 which 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 the Story-Type Method allows filmmakers to 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 on 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 single 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 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), Rio Bravo (H. Hughes), Heat (M. Mann), Billy Elliot (S. Daldry), The Court Jester (N. Panama), There’s Something About Mary (Farelli brothers), Cyrano de Bergerac (J.P. Rappeneau), City Lights (C. Chaplin), Tootsie (S. Pollack), Scream (W. Craven), Alien (R. Scott), Parenthood (R. Howard), Crash (P. Haggis) and more...

Our Advanced Development Workshop has been commissioned by:

Advanced Development Workshop References

Advanced Development Workshop: fees on January 1, 2017

All amounts exclusive of 20% VAT, when applicable

Independent Production Company
£3,995.00(2-5 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 total makeover?

This package will train creative producers, development execs, story editors and writers working for the same independent production company, making sure that everyone in the team 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 a good understanding and experience of 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 On One Day
£1,995.00For project work meetings
  • Includes preparation and project notes
  • Up to four projects per day (90mn meetings)
  • Actual fee varies (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, whether written notes are given after the meeting).

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
£4,995.00(6-20 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 20). 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 The Workshop

"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, 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
If you attended the workshop
Please consider leaving a testimonial, it would be much appreciated!

References

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