with John Yorke
The primary reason why great ideas (and even developed scripts) written for longform television fail at the final hurdle, is poor structuring.
John Yorke should know. He wrote one of the greatest books on story structure ever written – Into The Woods – and as the Golden Globe winning, former head of Ch4 Drama, BBC Drama, Company Pictures and Eastenders showrunner… his resume clearly speaks for itself.
Join him for this two day longform structure masterclass.
When: June 27th and 28th (weekend)
Where: Ealing Studios, Ealing, London W5 5EP
What can you expect?
Part lecture, part practical workshop, this two day immersive weekend will elevate your career and project through deep industry insight.
It will offer hyper focused structuring for your narrative, and you will revisit character, theme and genre for your stories, as well as explore industry production formats – who offers the best home for your project and why?
Expect to learn new pitching skills too, as getting industry to lean forward and into your project is the first half of the challenge.
The weekend will break down into three focused areas:
- Master the single structure that is present in all great stories
- Understand how all other story models fit within this single structure
- Address how structure and character can be successfully integrated into pilots and extended over entire seasons
- Learn to see the DNA beneath your story, characters, premise, situation, action and dialogue
- Learn how that DNA works, how to modify it, and how you can better use it in all your stories moving forward
- Practice rapidly developing stories within this structure
- Understand the needs of the business, beyond your story and script
- Analysis of the current market place – identifying current and popular trends and how to avoid guaranteed failure
- Learn how your story must adhere to strict industry structure needs and why
- Learn to think like a story development executive or producer in order to meet the needs of the business
- Learn how to remove the road blocks that can cause your deal and project to falter even if it is great writing
- Practice rapid story development and pitching
- Targeting the networks – what they do, what they’re looking for and why you may be better suited to some more than others
- Pitch development – solo and in groups
- Rapid fire pitching – of your own and other people’s projects
- Devising a new TV series from scratch inc. character creation/development, pilot outline, story arc, series arc, story bible
Plus on both days, John will be inviting special industry guests to speak about their careers past and present, breaking in, the current ever evolving landscape of the business, what the commissioners are looking for in writers and their projects and how to get your scripts onto their desks.
After selling out his one day seminar for the past two years, John is expanding the class and introducing more practical exercises designed exclusively for this weekend. Expect breakthrough after breakthrough clearing a path for you to fulfill your greatest potential.
Meet John Yorke
John is passionate about story telling and story creators. He is also a master at getting things made.
For many years he’s been responsible for a vast array of British drama; as both Head of Channel Four Drama and Controller of BBC Drama Production he’s worked on big popular works such as Hustle, Spooks, Casualty and Holby City alongside award-winners such as Bodies, Omagh, Sex Traffic, Not Only But Always and The Curse of Steptoe.
His career began single-handedly story-lining EastEnders in its very first BAFTA winning year – beginning a 14 year association that produced some of the biggest audiences in British television history.
As a commissioning Editor/Executive Producer, he championed some of the defining works of British television including Life On Mars, The Street, Shameless and Waterloo Road. In 2005 he created the BBC Writers Academy, a year-long in-depth training scheme which has produced a generation of successful television writers.He’s also worked as Editor of The Archers.
John took a sabbatical for three years to research and write arguably the best book on story telling ‘Into The Woods’… Dominic Dromgoole, Artistic Director of the The Globe Theatre said… ‘Even for a convinced sceptic, John Yorke’s book, with its massive field of reference from Aristotle to Glee, and from Shakespeare to Spooks, is a highly persuasive and hugely enjoyable read. It would be hard to beat for information and wisdom about how and why stories are told.‘
More recently John and his team won the Golden Globe for ‘Wolf Hall’
He knows the business. He knows story. And he is passionate about helping new talent into the industry.
Here’s what previous delegates had to say about John…
‘John Yorke gave the best explanation and POV on story structure I’ve ever heard!’
Mike O’Reilly, Screenwriter
‘John Yorke was amazing, the cave/forest/wood concept was a real ‘unlock’ moment for me.’
Matt Harlock, Screenwriter & Director
‘John Yorke’s session was fantastic – I learned loads and he simplified everything into easily digested stuff.’
Sarah Cassidy, Screenwriter
‘I understand a lot better now how to create a premise that works for commissioners, what questions they ask, and how to pitch it.’
Kristina Day, Screenwriter
‘John Yorke knows story structure inside and out and taught us in a way that was simple, engaging and memorable.’
KT Parker, Screenwriter
Appearing in this session
Credits include Wolf Hall, Shameless, Life On Mars, EastEnders