3 Day Screenwriting Workshop with Paul Fraser (26-28 March)

Led by writer and director Paul Fraser (Dead Man’s Shoes; A Room for Romeo Brass; Somers Town), this three-day workshop is aimed at developing and nurturing projects from conception to completion. 10 places are available for professional writers and content creators from the North East of England. The intention of the course is for participants to gain a greater understanding of writing for film. It aims to expand understanding of structure, genre and how to develop and generate story ideas as well as providing an insight into the mechanics of the industry.

The workshop has been designed to allow participants to develop their own idea in parallel to learning skills and techniques for telling stories - so learning can be put into action. Accordingly, the course is divided in to two halves – group learning and individual tuition on a project:

  • Group workshops and discussion – focusing on key aims of the course.
  • 1 to 1 sessions - focusing on developing individual projects.

This course structure provides participants with the opportunity to receive one-to-one mentoring to develop their individual projects. It ensures they are able to apply learnings to their own work – engaging with them over the strengths and weaknesses of their projects and making a plan for their next steps.

When: Wed 26 – Fri 28 March, 10am – 6pm

Where: The days will be split between BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Toffee Factory, both on the Newcastle-Gateshead Quayside. 

Eligibility: preference will be given to creative professionals based in the North East of England who meet the criteria indicated here. Those who do not meet the criteria are still welcome to apply in case places become available.


We will contact successful applicants by Fri 14 March. If you are selected you will need to put down an attendance deposit of £50 to secure your place – though, thanks to the support of our funders, this will be reimbursed to delegates who meet the eligibility criteria on completion of the full course. You will also need to submit a treatment (not more than 5 pages) by Fri 21 March. This will form the basis of your individual work with Paul. 



Course structure




10am – 11am: Introduction

Project outline and intentions: an introduction to the projects, the participants and expectations for themselves and their projects. And a brief overview of Paul’s work.


11am – 11.15am: Coffee break.


11.15am– 1.00pm: An English example

Screening of Heartlands.


1.00pm –1.30pm: Meet the filmmaker

Question and answer session on Heartlands


1.30pm – 2.30pm: Lunch break.


2.30pm – 3.30pm: Pitching - The Hows and Whens

Seeding in key details for Day three. Discussing ways to sell your idea and techniques on pitching, types of pitches and how best to convey your project.


3.30pm – 6.00pm: Group and individual mentoring

The first afternoon mentoring session will be divided into two groups for a general discussion on projects, encouraging collaboration and finding solutions. Participants will question and challenge one another’s projects and be set tasks for follow up sessions.

Key questions will be set that investigate and challenge the writer to understand whom their project is for and what they are making.

Participants will step out of the group sessions to have their first 1 – 1 mentor sessions.




10am  – 10.30am: Who is your film for?

A session exploring concepts such as:

  • Identifying your audience and market.
  • Who will fund your TV and film projects?


10.30 – 11.00am: Stories and Genre

Understanding story forms and what your project is. The session explores genre types and clearly defining what your project is.


11.00 – 11.15am: Coffee Break


11.15am – 1.00pm: Generating stories for TV/Film

A series of practical workshop looking at structures, creating ideas and exploring how they work. Exploring notions of:

  • Collaboration in film
  • Focussing on storytelling.
  • Story structure
  • Exploring stories from your own world.
  • A diagnostic tool for checking film structure and ways to strengthen problem areas.


1.00pm – 2.00pm: Lunch Break


2.00pm – 3.00pm Voice - Characters and dialogue

The session explores protagonists, antagonists and character arcs. Also engaging with ideas for how to create individual and authentic character ‘voices’. Looking specifically at:

  • The initial wants and needs of a character to the resolution of their journey.
  • Exploring dialogue and how it lends itself to character motivation.
  • Exploring the stereotypes of scenes and sequences.


3.00pm – 4.00pm: Story presentation

Discussion and workshop on supplementary material:

  • Defining treatments, outlines, synopses and scene-by-scene breakdowns.
  • Clarifying how best to present projects for readers
  • How to explore material during development and drafting.


4.00pm – 6.00pm: Individual project mentoring

Group updates and developments. Re-examining the individual projects in light of the day’s workshops – how the projects define themselves and using the diagnostic tool to check structure, story and areas that need more attention.

*These sessions may continue in a bar!




10.00am – 11.00am:  Pitching run through

A chance to try out and get final tips before presenting your project.


12.00pm – 2.00pm: Live pitch

Members will be given the opportunity to pitch their project to a panel of funders and other industry decision makers.


3.00pm – 6.00pm: Mentoring sessions on submitted projects

One-to-one sessions with each participant/project. Ensuring projects and participants are prepared and engaged with their projects in preparation for their next steps.


Northern Film & Media | BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art | South Shore Road | Gateshead | NE8 3BA | info@northernmedia.org | 0191 4404940

All content © 2017 Northern Film & Media | Designed by Supanaught | Built by band-x Media