Archive for November 25th, 2020

The US Scripted Content Market in 2021 

25th November 2020 by admin

What is the state of the market for drama likely to be in the United States next year? In an upcoming webinar, Des Doyle will be giving his take on the state of play. He will explore the impact of the Corona virus on production and development and present his analysis of the opportunities and pitfalls for Irish writers seeking to make a US sale.

The webinar will take place on 10th December at 11am.

This event is an initiative of the Writers Guild of Ireland and is supported by Screen Skills Ireland. Spaces are limited to WGI members only so book a place here.


Des Doyle is the writer/director of the critically acclaimed documentary Showrunners: The Art of Running a TV Show, featuring JJ Abrams (Alias, Lost, Fringe), 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) among others. The documentary also led to the accompanying book Showrunners, written by Tara Bennett and published by Titan.

He has given talks on Show-running, US TV Production, the Global TV Marketplace and the Future Of Content for USC Los Angeles, Rowan University Philadelphia, Scriptmakers Berlin, APIT TV Producers Conference Lisbon, Northern Ireland Screen , IADT Dublin and Galway Film Centre.

He is currently working on a new media-based documentary series as well as providing creative consultancy services to Irish Producers & Writers with projects targeting the US and streaming markets.

O.Z. “Zebby” Whitehead Remembered by Stephen Bradley

25th November 2020 by admin

I met wonderful Zebby Whitehead in 1991 and we became unlikely friends. He was in his 80’s and I was in my mid 20’s. I was working with producer Noel Pearson who lived and had his office in a house on Harcourt Terrace and was then at the height of his Oscar-winning powers shortly after productions of My Left Foot and The Field, both directed by Jim Sheridan. The house had previously been lived in by Michael MacLiammoir and Hilton Edwards. Theatrical and Cinematic history was thick in the air in Dublin 2. I had left my student theatre days behind and wanted to make films. Serendipitous times.

I went to visit Zebby for many cups of tea in his ground floor flat on Leeson Street. It was frugal, sparse, clean and welcoming. I became enamoured by Zebby’s tales of old Hollywood in the Roaring Twenties followed by the distant, unimaginable Thirties and Forties. He told me that he had accompanied Katherine Hepburn to a New England cinema to see a public screening of her first film Bill of Divorcement in 1928 because Zebby had gone to Harvard with her brother and he stayed with the Hepburn family on many occasions. Katherine encouraged Zebby to pursue his acting dreams. Perhaps it was she who introduced him to the iconic director John Ford who cast him in several films?

I loved the stories of his cameo parts in some very famous films. I wanted to pay tribute to my generous friend and mentor. But I didn’t want to make a hagiography, a sop, an emotional mess. So I made a film about the grim reaper coming to kill Zebby in the middle of a wild storm.With unexpected results. After many applications and rejections it was selected for competition at the Venice Film Festival 1995. Ed Guiney, my friend and housemate produced the film, and apparently he’s gone on to make some other films since then.

For anyone who wants to watch Reaper there’s a link below. It’s 12 minutes long, filmed by Cian de Buitléar on black and white 35mm negative to match the clips from The Grapes of Wrath. Introducing the premiere in the old Screen Cinema near Trinity College (piggy-backing on the premiere of Paddy Breathnach’s first film Ailsa, written by Joseph O’Connor), Ed Guiney described Reaper as ”out there where the buses don’t run”.

RIP O.Z. ”Zebby” Whitehead.
Good luck to all those nominated for a ZeBBie in his memory during this crazy year of 2020.

Stephen Bradley
Watch Stephen’s short film Reaper here