Dates & TimesWorkshop includes: 3rd, 4th, 5th, 17th, 18th October, 2015 (10am – 5pm with one hour lunch break)
plus 2 hours independent consultancy with each participating project
Contact Hours32
FeeMember price: $600 / Non-member price: $720
(Membership: $55 / $44 concession - join Open Channel here)
Course LocationTBC
How do I enrol?Applications have now closed. If offered a place you will be sent an enrolment form to complete to confirm your enrolment.
PrerequisitesApplicants must have a current screen project (film, television or digital) at any stage of development, and be prepared to discuss the project within the class.

“Stephen is one of the world’s leading development consultants. He is a master of the screen storytelling arts and has a deep understanding of the alchemy that makes a story leap off the page, as well as a highly sought-after developer with an innate ability to help writers to create their best work.”

Open Channel is pleased to be hosting Stephen’s internationally renowned STORY STRUCTURE WORKSHOP for the first time in Australia.

The workshop is aimed at writers, directors and producers who want to give an existing or new project a rigorous structural workout to bring the plot and characters of their project into sharp focus. This workshop gives participants a deeper understanding of the interplay between plot and character over the whole sweep of a story, sequence by sequence and through individual scenes. Understand what story structure really means, and how plot, character and theme can be organised into a successful, coherent whole.

The content of the workshop is new and original, based on work Stephen has been doing for the past two years.

Who is it for?

The workshop is for anyone involved in the writing and development of drama for the screen: features, documentary features, TV drama both series and one-offs and online.

This workshop is not suitable for people approaching screenwriting for the first time. It is designed for people with a degree of experience and who are prepared to discuss their projects in a collaborative workshop environment.

clearypicStephen explains the philosophy of the course:

“In my experience  screen stories fall into sequences and it’s the job of the creative team to work out where they fall and set about organising them so the story plays as well as it can. Exactly how it plays, and how you organise the sequences, depends on the kind of story you have and what you want to do with it. Sequence structuring is not about applying pre-existent templates to your work, it’s about getting to grips with, in a deep and profound way, what plotting is really about, which is the structured revelation of truth to the characters, and via them, to the audience.

So sequence structuring is not a magical key that opens up a new world of success for you, but it is a crucial part of the true craft of storytelling and it bears some serious study. With hard work and some concentrated time it can be understood and mastered, simply through practice.

This workshop is new and entirely original, taking a few simple known ideas as a jumping off point to places previously unexplored. It will be an intense and rewarding experience.

Course Outline

Click here to download a PDF course outline of the five day workshop, and other development phases.

About Stephen Cleary

Stephen works internationally as key consultant on features and television, including with the very successful SAFC FilmLab program. Stephen has worked as a producer and director of music films and documentaries, specialising in jazz and R&B. As well as working in development as a consultant and trainer for over the last 15 years, Stephen has produced two mid-range features and executive produced over 60 short films. More than 80 features that Stephen has developed have gone into production, at all budget levels, in more than a dozen different countries and a variety of languages. Stephen also lectures regularly for the Victorian College of the Arts.

Stephen is story consultant on the BBC TV series Hinterland, now going into its third series. He developed 52 Tuesdays, The Infinite Man, Inner Demon, Touch, My Mistress, The Death and Life of Otto Bloom which is about to go into production, story consultant on  Graceful Girls which just won best documentary at MIFF, on Bad Girls, currently shooting in WA, on the Swedish film Nordic Light to be directed by Dolph Lungren, on the BBC Film’s Wrong Planet, on the Piki Films (NZ) Achtung Bro. Stephen was a consultant on documentary What happened Miss Simone currently airing on Netflix and was author of Nina Simone’s autobiography (as ghost writer).

Stephen Cleary on IMDB

How do I Enrol?

Applications have now closed.

Observational Places

Applications have now closed.

View our terms and conditions

Short Course enquiries

Open Channel Reception

T: 03 8327 2016