Archive for April 1st, 2009

Trends in EU TV

1st April 2009 by Maura McHugh

The European Audiovisual Observatory recently reported new data from Volume 2 of its Yearbook “Trends in European television”, which was published last month.

The yearbook examined the origin of fiction programmes (TV series, TV films, feature films, short films, animated films) broadcast by 124 channels in 13 European countries. Its analysis uncovered that American fiction is overwhelmingly dominant on European television screens, but there are signs that nationally produced fiction is improving in distribution.

However, Ireland was near the bottom of the tables. Only 4.4% of drama broadcast on Irish TV was home-grown, 33.4% came from other non-national EU countries, but the majority — 62.2% — originated in America. Only Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Austria and Luxemburg produced less indigenous programming than Ireland.

France was top of the league: it produced 28.2% of its programming from within the country, bought another 32% from non-national EU sources, and only broadcast 39.8% of American fiction.

Britain followed with nearly a fifth of its TV drama produced nationally, with Spain, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands close behind. It’s worth noting that Britain has the second-lowest rate of non-national EU programming (12.3%), which means that it imported more American programming than Ireland (68.4%).

The least progressive was Luxemburg: 99.5% of its broadcasts were American programming, with a tiny 0.5% coming from non-national EU sources, and nothing produced from within its own borders.

The Sunday Independent wrote up a brief piece on the report and quoted James Morris, chairman of the Irish Film Board: “It is no coincidence that the European countries that have a strong policy towards supporting and broadcasting their own local programming are the same countries which have the strongest film and television production industries with huge export potential.”

Courses at GFC

1st April 2009 by Maura McHugh

There are two courses being offered at the Galway Film Centre in the coming months:

Story Development and Pitching Forum

This weekend workshop is aimed at those interested in writing for TV and film, including boh drama and comedy. By exploring the origin and mechanics of stories and industry needs, participants will be helped to pitch their ideas, focus their writing and to make their stories more screen compatible. TV executives decide from a few pages or less if a script is of industry standard. This course will help you to reach that standard.

John Murphy, writer, storyliner and industry consultant who has worked with RTÉ, BBC and TG4, tutors this workshop. John has written both drama and comedy (The Happy Bag), as well as scripting, devising and consulting on many entertainment shows for presenters ranging from Cilla Black to Frank Skinner. John was the subject of the ‘Who stole Bob Monkhouse’s jokes?’ documentary, as the person who investigated and retrieved the jokes.

Course Dates: 1 weekend, 25th & 26th April
Course cost: €235 waged/€185 unwaged

Scriptwriting course with Script Editor

This four day course will look at how to develop your story idea. It is aimed at both emerging & experienced screenwriters working on their feature film and short film screenplays. The course is also aimed at emerging script-editors. The class is limited to four writers and two script editors. The course offers a great experience for emerging writers and script editors to work intensively on their stories with a professional script-editor. It will cover the basics such as wants and needs, objectives, obstacles, rising action and ideas on sequencing & structure. 
Those interested in this course will need to submit a script or treatment by April 17th.



Mark McIlrath, the course tutor, is a script editor who works on feature film projects in Ireland, Italy, France and the UK. He has been through the Arista and North by Northwest programmes. He is a regular contributor to Film Ireland and Scriptwriter magazine on script editing theory and practice.

Course Dates: 15th to 18th May 2009

Course cost:
Writers: €455 unwaged/€465 waged (4 places)
Editors: €355 unwaged/€365 waged (2 places)
These fees include membership to the Centre for the year)

Information on how to apply for the courses is available on the web site.