Screen Training Ireland

Education: Robert Thirkell to hold Factual Storytelling Masterclass in Galway

Screen Training Ireland in association with Galway Film Centre will hold a one day Factual Storytelling Masterclass on Tuesday November 24th in Galway city.

Tutor, Robert Thirkell, a TV Troubleshooter, and film repairman responsible for many hit TV documentaries and formats, will identify the key elements of factual storytelling and how to make formats work. He will use case studies with real shooting scripts and rough-cuts and will also demonstrate how to structure stories so they have drive and drama.

Thirkell who has won BAFTAs for Back to the Floor and Blood on the Carpet which created the modern formatted revolution, will also look at how to script and plan programmes before shooting and how to fix problem productions.

This course is aimed at factual television/documentary Producers, Directors, Series Producers and Edit Producers seeking to enhance their storytelling and problem-solving skills for non-drama TV programming.

There will be clips shown of ‘before and after’ including Jamie’s School Dinners and the Boy Whose Skin Fell Off including roughcuts off both when they were failing, and show how these techniques transformed them into BAFTA and Emmy winners. Participants will also have the challenge of transforming an impossible pitch (that became a hit) yourself, and restructuring a failed roughcut.

Robert’s other credits include The Human Planet, a major BBC/Discovery international documentary co-production (winner 7 BAFTA awards, the most for any programme in its year) and Battle for Scientology (The first ‘First Cut’ new director film to be moved to primetime on Channel 4, biggest First Cut audience.)

The Seminar will take place on Tuesday November 24th in Galway city. Applications can be made through Deadline for applications is November 12th. For any questions, email Mary Deely at or phone 091-770748.