Matthew Carnahan

#Training: In The Writers Room with Matthew Carnahan, October 6-9

Filmbase and Screen Training Ireland have launched a new course: In The Writers Room with Matthew Carnahan Creator/Showrunner of Emmy award-winning Showtime series House of Lies. This unique course aims to provide Irish writers with an introduction to the current US Television landscape.

It will feature:

  • an overview of what Networks are currently developing and buying,
  • what the Network brands stand for and how this influences commissions,
  • break down of the US business model for writer, exploring the workings of Pilot Season, Staffing Season, Development Season and Buying Season.

It will also examine the role of the Showrunner and how they run a writers’ room and deal with Network demands, while maintaining an original creative vision. From here writers will participate in a Writer’s Room workshop to develop an original television concept idea with Showrunner, Matthew Carnahan.

The idea will be developed from concept to pitch, breaking down an entire Season One story arc and Show Bible.

With Matthew participants will learn how to develop ideas and characters and how to pitch and sell them to the Showrunner in the Writers Room.

The room will also examine Television Act Structure and Formatting, Writers Room Hierarchy and breakdown of a Show Bible (what it is, what it should contain and how it gets used).

This unique opportunity for Irish writers to work under the US system will provide them with new techniques that they can use for future projects/writing positions within the US TV market.

The course takes place across four days from Thursday October 6th to Sunday October 9th at Filmbase, Curved Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.

Thursday October 6th – Introduction to the Current US TV Writing Landscape with Des Doyle

This day will cover a detailed introduction to the current landscape of the US TV market and what writers need to know about the industry in order to develop, pitch, staff and write for network television shows.

Des Doyle is the director of the critically acclaimed documentary Showrunners: The Art of Running a TV Show, featuring Matthew Carnahan (House of Lies, Trinity, Dirt), JJ Abrams (Alias, Lost, Fringe), Hart Hansen (Bones), Robert and Michelle King (The Good Wife), Ronald D. Moore (Outlander, Battlestar Galactica), Bill Prady (The Big Bang Theory) and Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Dollhouse) amongst others. The documentary also led to the accompanying book Showrunners, written by Tara Bennett and published by Titan.

Friday October 7th to Sunday October 9th – Inside the Writers’ Room with Matthew Carnahan

Matthew Carnahan will take Irish writers through a practical three day writers room experience, bringing a project from concept through to Season One story pitch. Writers will be active participants at all stages of this workshop and will get to experience an active working environment run by one of the most successful showrunners in the US television industry.

Apply online attaching a current CV at by 1pm on Wednesday September 28th. For further information contact

As this is a workshop-based course places are extremely limited.

This course is open to writers, but priority will be given to writers who have existing experience in television writing with either broadcast credit(s) or projects with broadcaster development support.

Matthew Carnahan will offer additional support to two writers from minority/disadvantaged backgrounds by waiving their participation fees and preserving two places for their attendance. This support is intended to encourage greater diversity of creative writing voices and they will be reserved specifically for participants who would otherwise not be able to take part.

If you are a writer from a minority group and are interested in participating in this course, please contact Grainne Bennett directly on

Filmbase and Screen Training Ireland courses are open to all regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability.

Course in a snapshot

Tutor: Matthew Carnahan, Des Doyle

Course Date: Thursday, October 6th, 2016

Course Duration: Thursday 6th – Sunday 9th October

Venue: Filmbase, Curved Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.

Location: Dublin

Cost: €250