Slate Acceleration Workshop for Creative Europe Latvia

I’m back from another virtual trip to Riga where I delivered an online edition of our new Slate Acceleration program.

The participants were twenty-six writers, directors and producers developing eight feature film and TV Series projects. They were given access to the first three modules of our Advanced Development self-led course before a series of online meetings with each creative team. A few participants were fairly new, but most of them were very experienced and I thoroughly enjoyed working with all of them, so thanks everyone, it was a real pleasure!

I’ll let Lelda Ozola, from Creative Europe Desk Latvia, provide more details about the workshop and how it went:

“Based on a very successful cooperation with Screenplay Unlimited in autumn of 2020, we have returned to working with Emmanuel Oberg on developing a slate of TV series and fiction feature projects proposed for funding from the ERDF Culture Recovery Fund. Out of 25 projects submitted to this competition, 9 projects were selected — 4 fiction features, 4 TV-series and a documentary feature — with a total of more than 6 million Euros allocated for the production of those projects.

We organised this workshop with the aim of enhancing the overall quality of the selected projects and consequently their international competitiveness. It took place in June 2022, supported by the National Film Centre of Latvia and CED Latvia MEDIA Office.

The workshop included valuable resources available in the Screenplay Unlimited members’ area — recorded lectures and sample case studies — as well as individual sessions on each project conducted with Emmanuel Oberg, providing an analysis of scripts and outlines.

The organisers received very positive feedback from the participants. Many of them said that they highly valued the level of preparation shown for the individual consultations. They enjoyed the questions Emmanuel asked, often making the participants rethink their stories and character development. Also the original approach to Maslow’s Pyramid as an instrument for reaching a wider audience was an eye-opener for many of the screenwriters. All of them said that they have been very inspired for the rewrite of their scripts.”

We knew that everything would run smoothly, punctually, professionally and with a gentle sense of humour…

We initiated this workshop with the intention of boosting the quality and competitiveness of the projects. As the project financing is additional European financing for mitigating COVID measures in the cultural and creative sector, huge responsibility lies on both the National Film Centre, as well as the film production teams. Professional outside assistance can only benefit the slate of selected projects. Due to our previous experience working with Emmanuel Oberg, we knew that everything would run smoothly, punctually, professionally and with a gentle sense of humour – and it did. Always a great pleasure to collaborate with him!

Lelda Ozola

Extremely helpful!

I found extremely helpful the information on story structure, juxtaposing logistical and dramatic acts, with flexibility as one of the factors. The same should be said regarding the difference between plot-led and character-led stories, as well as the original approach of the Maslow pyramid as an instrument for reaching a wider target audience. Thanks a lot for your knowledge.

Ligita Lukstraupe

Many thanks to Dita Rietuma, Inga Blese and Baiba Erdmane from the National Film Centre of Latvia and to Lelda Ozola from Creative Europe Desk Latvia for their kind invitation and their fantastic organisation. It's always a pleasure to collaborate with you too!

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