28 September 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network
IFTA to host panel event - Working in Development – Skills in Focus
19 Feb 2021 : News Desk
IFTA Skills In Focus: Working In Development
The event takes place 2pm-3:30 pm online on Thursday, February 25th and is presented in association with Screen Skills Ireland.

IFTA has launched its new IFTA - Skills in Focus series for 2021, a year-round series of structured discussion panel events, webinars, and masterclasses that provide unique access to top-level Irish & International filmmaking talent across the sector and bring together carefully curated panels to focus on the skills and techniques that bring about award-calibre work. 

Following the success of last year's series, which focused on First Time Feature Directing, Cinematography, and Documentary Filmmaking among others, the Academy will host Working in Development on February 25th, the first in the 2021 series.

This event aims to increase the understanding of the role of Development in producing a quality script as well as sharing the skills and methodologies needed to achieve success in Development.

Development is a critical element in the production of a film or TV Series. The development stage is the first step in the production process and is where stories are found, fleshed out, honed, and worked on until they are in a position to be sold, commissioned, or start filming. Good development is critical to delivering the best possible film or television series, but Development is often an over-looked, under-funded and mysterious area of production.

Working in Development will explore and demystify this area via a panel of Irish and International industry leaders who will share their unique insight and experience about the role of creative producers and development departments in delivering top-level Film & Television projects. They will discuss the skillset needed to work in Development, the practicalities of working in the area, and tips for improving collaborations.

The panel features noted Producer, Story Consultant, Lecturer and Author John Yorke (Wolf Hall, Life on Mars, Shameless) Author: Into the Woods, Head of Development at See-Saw Films Katherine Bridle (Ammonite, Lion, Top of the Lake),  Element Pictures Head of Development Chelsea Morgan Hoffmann (Normal People, Herself) and the panel will be moderated by Treasure Entertainment Producer Rebecca O’Flanagan (Viva, Good Vibrations, Metal Heart).

Topics on the day will include:

  • Scouting for ideas/talent and Networking
  • Research and developing ideas
  • Script reading, coverage, and notes
  • Collaborating with Writers
  • 3 Key points to achieving success

Register for Working in Development – Skills in Focus here

Working in Development Panel includes:

John Yorke

Producer, Author of Into the Woods

John is widely acknowledged as the UK’s foremost expert on story, and his book Into the Woods is the bestselling book on the subject in the UK. He has spent years analysing not just how stories work but why they resonate with audiences around the globe.

As former Head of Channel Four Drama, Controller of BBC Drama Production, and MD of Company Pictures, John has tested his theories during an extensive production career working on some of the world’s most lucrative, widely viewed, and critically acclaimed TV drama, from EastEnders to ShamelessLife on Mars and Wolf Hall.

Katherine Bridle

Head of Development, See-Saw Pictures

Katherine joined See-Saw Films at its inception in the UK. She is responsible for driving forward the creative development of all See-Saw Film projects to date including The King’s SpeechShame and Macbeth as well TV drama Top of The Lake and Lion (starring Dev Patel and Rooney Mara). 

She works closely with the key creative at all stages of development and production as well as securing development finance. Katherine has worked with some of the industry’s most exciting filmmakers and writers, including Steve McQueen, Abi Morgan, Anton Corbijn, Jane Campion, and Justin Kurzel. Katherine's recent work includes Francis Lee’s  Ammonite (Starring Kate Winslett and Saoirse Ronan).

Chelsea Morgan Hofmann

Development Producer, Element Pictures

Chelsea Hoffmann is a Development Producer with Element Pictures, having previously worked there as Head of Development, Development Executive, and PA to Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe, and Lenny Abrahamson. She worked as Script Editor across two series of Elements' hit drama Red Rock, as well as the acclaimed series Normal People, and has worked across several Element films and television projects.

Chelsea has also worked as a Development Executive at Blinder Films, and previously as a stage manager and sound designer Off-Broadway and Off-off-broadway. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and an M. Phil in Irish Film, Theatre, and Music from Trinity College Dublin.

Rebecca O’Flanagan (Chair)

Producer, Treasure Entertainment

After working at the Irish Film Board to work as a Development Manager, Rebecca established Rubicon Films in 2004. There produced a number of titles including The Running Mate which won the IFTA for Best Drama Serial. She executive produced The Eclipse (2008)  for Treasure Entertainment, written and directed by Conor McPherson, which won the award for Best Actor at the Tribeca Film Festival for Ciaran Hinds and the IFTA for best film.

Rebecca executive produced BAFTA nominated Good Vibrations (2011), produced John Butler’s The Stag (2012) and Handsome Devil (2016), Paddy Breathnach’s Viva, Hugh O’Conor’s debut feature Metal Heart, and John Butler’s Papi Chulo, which premiered at TIFF 2018, as well as TV Series Finding Joy and the upcoming Smother.  Rebecca lectures on the MA in Screenwriting course at the School of Film and Digital Media in NUI Galway, as well as guest lecturing on a number of other film courses.

Register for Working in Development – Skills in Focus here

The Skills in Focus Events form part of IFTA’s year-round programme of learning events. IFTA will shortly be announcing their spring/summer schedule for these events and you can expect an array of top international and Irish talent from across the film and television sector. Last year, IFTA delivered more than 30 individual events online during the lockdown as well as the Virtual IFTA Awards Broadcast on Virgin Media in October 2020.

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