Writing and Developing Genre Stories

NYE DATOER :  AUGUST 29 & 30 FROM 10 – 17

This workshop is a hands-on, practical guide to writing and developing genre stories. It demonstrates an approach to genre, which once learnt and understood, you can apply to any story genre you are working with.

On the first day Stephen Cleary will explain his approach and guide you through it step by step, showing numerous examples to illustrate the approach, and facilitating questions and discussion. 

On the second day, Stephen will explore Character Genres, an entirely different way of using genre ideas, and one that may be more useful than using traditional story genres when it comes to writing TV drama using genre ideas and formats.

The workshop concludes by mapping out how to write the set piece scenes that are at the heart of generic writing. What a set piece is, how it is structured, and what kind of set pieces to master within the genre you are writing in, are some of the areas covered.

We’ll also look at what happens when you mix genres together and how to predict and deal with the problems genre mixing raises before you write your script.

This workshop is essential for anyone working with genre, and is designed with screenwriters, script developers, producers and directors in mind. The approach is equally useful for TV drama or feature film development.

Pris Dkk 1875 incl. moms. Forplejning gennem dagene er inkluderet.

Kurset afholdes på Nordisk Film, Mosedalsvej 14, 2500 Valby

Tilmeld dig ved at skrive til tina@filmgreb.dk med kontakt informationer samt profession

TIMETABLE:

Part One:  What is a Genre?

Why do story genres exist: when did they start: what was the first one?

How knowing your genre helps you to:

  • understand your story’s structure
  • understand your audience’s expectations
  • pitch your project
  • define your budget.

Part Two: The eight fundamental elements of any genre film

  • A unique and straightforward way of understanding how any genre story is put together, broken down into its basic units.                                                                    

  • How the combination of those elements determines the tone, pace and intensity of your film and how you control and vary each as the story unfolds

Part Three: TV drama and genre – Genres of character

Looking at genre from a character rather than plot perspective:

  • Loners
  • Partners
  • Team Players
  • Team Leaders

Part Four: The Genre set piece

  • Why the set piece matters
  • The role of the set piece in the story
  • The internal architecture of the set piece
  • Using the “wrong” set piece to energize your story

Part Five: Three great genres

Writing Horror

  1. The Context: Genre History & Traditional Themes
  2. Exploring the fundamental elements
  3. Horror sub-genres

Writing Romance

  1. The Context: Genre History & Traditional Themes
  2. The fundamental elements
  3. The classic Romance Structure and modern variations

Writing Thrillers

  1. The Context: Genre History & Traditional Themes
  2. The critical importance of point of view in the Thriller

Part Six: TV drama and genres

  • Single genre drama series characteristics
  • Mixed genre drama series characteristics
  • Character genres and TV dramas

The workshop is a mixture of presentation, discussion, clips and slides. All participants will receive 50 pages of notes, including all the slides used during the workshop.

STEPHEN CLEARY

Stephen Cleary has worked in film and television for over 20 years. As Head of Development at the UK national film Agency he developed Before the Rain, (winner Golden Lion, Venice Film Festival), Rob Roy, Butterfly Kiss, Love and Death on Long Island and many others. Stephen founded and ran Arista, Europe’s largest private film development agency from 1996 to 2006. Graduates of Arista program have written, directed or produced over 250 feature films and thousands of hours of television drama.

He produced the feature New Year’s Day, in 2001 and co-produced Goodbye Charlie Bright in 2002. He co-wrote the feature films Alexandria, produced in 1998, and Buddha’s Little Finger, produced in 2013. In partnership with the South Australian Film Corporation, he designed and implemented the Filmlab low-budget feature initiative, resulting in the internationally acclaimed features 52 Tuesdays and The Infinite Man among others. He was development consultant on the BBC drama series Hinterland and a recent development initiative led to Stephen initiating and developing the multi award-winning feature Sweet Country. He was the lead consultant on the Academy Award nominated and Emmy winning documentary What Happened Miss Simone?   He also wrote, with Nina Simone, her autobiography I Put A Spell On You.

He has consulted on many feature films, documentaries and TV series in Scandinavia over the past five years.

Stephen Cleary’s 2-day Advanced Story Workshop

NEW DATES : AUGUST 26 & 27 FROM 10 – 17

If you are interested in exploring structuring stories at a new depth, then I have designed an Advanced Story Workshop looking at different, more complex ways of understanding stories.

Writers, directors, producers and story executives are all welcome. 

As well as discovering and exploring five basic ways of structuring a story, we’ll look at asking and answering questions that all of us have asked at one time or another about stories we are working on. What if my story doesn’t seem to fit a traditional shape? What if my story is influenced by ideas beyond the Western tradition? What if my story is simply non-traditional? Must I try to force it into a different shape? 

There are other questions too. What effect on the structure and plotting of your story does the gender of the protagonist have, if any? Because if character and plot are different ways of looking at the same thing, then surely if you change the nature of the character, you must change the nature of the plot?

What if I want to use the nature of my characters to lead me to the structure of my story? Can I do that? How?

Is it true that cinema protagonists work best if solitary whilst TV drama series protagonists work best in partnerships or groups? Why?

Is it true that successful movies are plot driven whereas successful TV series are character driven? What does this actually mean when it comes to mapping out the structure of your script for one or the other? And what about theme? How does my theme impact on my story’s structure?

All of these questions will be explored in this workshop.

And we’ll take one whole afternoon to deep dive into the best kept story secret of all, Narrative Point of View. I guarantee that once you have understood NPOV in all its aspects, you will never stop using it in your writing and development practice.

And the only place you can find out about it is in this workshop.

Come along for two days of intense story exploration, full of clips, conversations and thought-provoking perspectives. And 50 pages of notes to take away when you’re done.

Stephen Cleary

Pris Dkk 1875 incl. moms. Forplejning gennem dagene er inkluderet.

Kurset afholdes på Nordisk Film, Mosedalsvej 14, 2500 Valby

Tilmeld dig ved at skrive til tina@filmgreb.dk med kontakt informationer samt profession

Advanced Story Workshop

Day One:

MORNING

  • Recap: the principles of plot sequences and the relationship to character.
  • Special sequences, exploring more deeply:

The opening sequence: unfolding your story

The Antagonist’s sequence: organizing the forces of opposition

The closing sequence: structuring the audience’s cathartic moment

  • New areas:

       Structuring with character

       Short-term and long-term story questions

AFTERNOON

  • Mixing plot and character: the grand design
  • Structure and Genre
  • Expanding your structural palette:

Thematic sequences

Theme driven cinema stories

Theme driven TV series

              Day Two:

               MORNING

  • Radical structures:

                  Imagistic sequences – poetic cinema and poetic scenes

                  Theme/character mixes: arthouse cinema, TV mainstream

  • Genres of character: structuring from the inside out

    Loners and Partners

    Team players and Team Leaders

                   AFTERNOON

  • Narrative Point of View

       Defining your audience’s perspective on your story

       Controlling what they feel

       How to make a character more liked without changing their character

       The secret of an irresistible villain

       Changing NPOV intensity depending on where you are in the story

As usual the workshop will be accompanied by notes on all areas covered, including all slides shown over the two days.

STEPHEN CLEARY

Stephen Cleary has worked in film and television for over 20 years. As Head of Development at the UK national film Agency he developed Before the Rain, (winner Golden Lion, Venice Film Festival), Rob Roy, Butterfly Kiss, Love and Death on Long Island and many others. Stephen founded and ran Arista, Europe’s largest private film development agency from 1996 to 2006. Graduates of Arista program have written, directed or produced over 250 feature films and thousands of hours of television drama.

He produced the feature New Year’s Day, in 2001 and co-produced Goodbye Charlie Bright in 2002. He co-wrote the feature films Alexandria, produced in 1998, and Buddha’s Little Finger, produced in 2013. In partnership with the South Australian Film Corporation, he designed and implemented the Filmlab low-budget feature initiative, resulting in the internationally acclaimed features 52 Tuesdays and The Infinite Man among others. He was development consultant on the BBC drama series Hinterland and a recent development initiative led to Stephen initiating and developing the multi award-winning feature Sweet Country. He was the lead consultant on the Academy Award nominated and Emmy winning documentary What Happened Miss Simone?   He also wrote, with Nina Simone, her autobiography I Put A Spell On You.

He has consulted on many feature films, documentaries and TV series in Scandinavia over the past five years.