June 5, 2020: We did it! For the first time last week, I delivered one of my Advanced Development Workshops online, and thanks to all involved - based on the feedback received both during and after the workshop - it turned out to be an exhilarating success.
Many thanks to all the participants and to Creative Europe Desk Galway who embraced this leap into the unknown. Special thanks to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland who supported the event and to Stephanie Comey who managed to deliver an uplifting opening speech despite the difficult times.
The participants selected for the workshop were twenty-four Irish writers, directors, producers and story editors developing live and animation TV projects. We decided to schedule the event over four afternoons to make it easier on both the participants and myself. Apart from the occasional technical glitch (and the heat in my loft office that week!), it was a very enjoyable experience.
The most difficult thing for me, compared to a live event, was not to be able to see anyone and "read the room". Still, we were able to have a good amount of interactivity using chats, polls and Q&As sessions after each module. By the end of the workshop, it really felt like there was a group spirit, despite the distance. We then finished off with a series of one to ones to discuss individual projects and put all the tools into practice.
I learnt a lot in the process and will probably do things slightly differently the next time. For example, I'm working on ways to have some of the content pre-recorded in short modules, so that everyone can access it at their own pace and keep the live sessions mainly for case studies where interactivity is more important. So watch this space!
Despite the fact that we couldn't meet each other face to face, feedback was overwhelmingly positive, so thank you all for your kind words!
I'm especially grateful for the many words of encouragement received during the workshop, they really helped me get a sense that it was working for the participants too:
"Very tough when you have to create the energy all the time. Really great stuff. Thank You."
"Thanks so much Emmanuel! Brilliant class and looking forward to more tomorrow : )"
"Thank you so much for today. It was great. Thank you for the slides. I am looking forward to tomorrow already!"
"Really enjoying the course."
"Enjoying it very much. Instructive and entertaining as always!"
"I think you're doing a brilliant job. I'm really enjoying the course. "
"The only way it could have been better is if we had all been physically present."
Here are a few testimonials from the participants of this first online TV Series Workshop:
Many thanks again to Eibhlín Ní Mhunghaile for her kind invitation and for her precious help in the organisation and delivery of this workshop.