Workshop Sessions / Dates and Locations
The program consists of 2 on-location workshop sessions and 2 on-line sessions per year:
First session: Nissyros, June 22 - July 4, 2016
The intensive 1st workshop session consists of presentations, group workshops, Q&A sessions, case studies & individual tutoring. Participants are divided in small groups of 5-6 projects (7-8 participants), each supervised by a trainer in script development.
In the first two days of the workshop session, participants present their projects. From the start, problems are introduced, as well as possible strategies for their solution. The process is open for project critique by trainers & experts.
Afterwards, the group work in script development begins, for the duration of the seminar. There are 5-7 hour morning meetings daily, devoted to the deep analysis of the participating scripts, their breakdown, the identification of shortcomings and discussion of solutions. A re-writing process takes place throughout the duration of the workshop session, depending on each screenplay’s specific needs, changes suggested by the trainers, or ideas developed within the groups.
Trainers return to the basic structure of the projects if necessary, their main focus being to offer guidelines & suggestions that will help participants re-write their screenplay drafts in ways that make them dramatically stronger, and enhance their dramatic & emotional impact on audiences.
Afternoon sessions are devoted to a series of group sessions, Q&A sessions and case studies concerning all aspects of film project development. They offer a deep analysis of participating projects from the point of view of production and they aim at helping participants identify their projects’ potential and enhance it. These sessions are conducted by specialized MFI trainers, last for the duration of the workshop, and are divided in three modules, offering both a general training content & a personalised, project-specific approach.
The first module concerns the evaluation of projects’ dramatic, stylistic & production values, as well as the methods to optimize the aforementioned values, and increase the projects’ potential for artistic & commercial success. It also includes an introduction to the workforce required for projects’ realization, and to methods for collaborating between screenwriters, producers, directors and crew.
The second module offers a basic training in strategies for film development. It addresses issues such as each project’s production needs and how a specific project can & must be made. Areas discussed include international film markets, the identifying & targeting of audiences, the promoting & fundraising process, strategies for co-productions, as well as the establishment of own companies as a tool for producing participating projects. Special attention is given to budgeting, marketing, and distribution.
The third module concerns an introduction to a strategy for promoting participating projects. Special attention is given to presentation techniques. Participants are trained in pitching techniques, and undertake pitching exercises (working out the pitch, and presenting to fellow participants). These exercises are taped and later on commented.
During the session, afternoons are also devoted to individual meetings between participants and their tutors in script and project development.
At the end of the first residential session, participants are expected to have a deep understanding of their scripts’ re-writing needs, as well as a clear realization of the necessary & appropriate steps to set up the process of its actual production.
Second session: On-line, August/September 2016
The second, on-line workshop session follows, taking place in four private internet forums hosted in MFI’s website. Each workshop group is placed to a private forum, accessible only with a special password assigned to the group’s members and their trainer. Participants are required to have progressed with their projects to the stage of an extensive re-write of their draft, ideally to produce a complete new draft. They “upload” their material to their group’s forum for trainers and fellow participants to read. Then, as in a residential session, group discussion on the projects begins.
Tutors and participants “enter” their group forum and take part to this virtual workshop, commenting thoroughly on every project and discussing the re-writes, remaining problems & possible solutions.
Furthermore, a special internet forum exists, for participants to communicate with trainers in project development, concerning the possible developments in their projects’ production track.
Considering the time delay for all responses and the subsequent cross commenting to occur, this session lasts for 3 weeks, providing an adequate time frame for group work. The whole process is monitored by the MFI.
Third session: Samos, October 2 - October 9, 2016
The third workshop session is again a residential one, focusing on the final re-writing process. Participants are required to deliver a fully revised script draft in time for all trainers and fellow group members to read.
The session is designed as a workshop for a deep review and critique of the revised drafts. Script development trainers work with participants towards a final, shooting draft. They address script changes made and their effectiveness, as well as further revisions, clarifications of the dramatic material and the final development of narrative to the stage of a screenplay that both fulfills the writer’s original vision & intention and meets the requirements of attracting further interest & support for its realization.
This workshop session also maintains a good balance between group work and individual sessions, with the addition of the possibility participants have to meet and receive feedback, not only from trainers and experts in all fields but also from invited industry representatives.
Fourth session: On-line, December 2016
The fourth workshop session is yet again an on-line one. Participants are expected to provide their final drafts so that their script development tutors can comment and provide feedback.
Project follow up