SCREENTELLING  

Barcelona Film Project Development Lab

"The Writer", original painting by kind permission of the artist Kevin Richard https://www.oldsoulart.com/

 
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The Lab

ScreenTelling is an audiovisual project development event that takes place in Barcelona, Spain, several times a year, in English or Spanish (French optional if there are enough French-language applicants). It is geared to film professionals - directors, writers, producers, consultants - wishing to push their projects to a more advanced stage of development and/or hone their mentoring skills.


During the Lab, we will not be spending a day per project but rather discussing each project every day from different angles (theme, genre, plot, structure, characters).

 

This creates a dynamic build-up process allowing participants to rethink and revisit their projects every day from a new perspective.

 
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Miguel Machalski

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Blanca Escoda Agusti

 

MIGUEL MACHALSKI


Born in Buenos Aires from a Polish father and a British mother, now based in Barcelona after years living in Paris which gives him a multicultural and multilingual background, Miguel has been working since 1995 as a scriptwriter, project development consultant and lab mentor around the entire world.


He has worked as a script analyst for films like Billy Elliot (Stephen Daldry), Million Dollar Baby (Clint Eastwood), Saraband (Ingmar Bergman), Mar Adentro (Alejandro Amenábar), Femme Fatale (Brian de Palma),  Spider (David Cronenberg), The Interpreter (Sydney Pollack), The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (Terry Gilliam), Tabú/Gohatto (Nagisa Oshima), Tango (Carlos Saura), The Golden Bowl (James Ivory)...

He is or has been a mentor on several script development programmes supported by Creative Europe (Sources2, EAVE, LIM, MAIA, NIPKOW, TORINO FEATURE LAB) and at the Binger Lab in Amsterdam, aside from hundreds of individual consultancy sessions.


He has also published three books on screenwriting, two in Spanish and one in English. For more information about Miguel you can check these links:

www.miguel-machalski.com

www.imdb.com/name/nm1656311/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

BLANCA ESCODA AGUSTI


Graduated with a First Class Honours from Contemporary Media Practice at University of Westminster (UK). After attending several script development courses at the Script Factory with Lucy Scher, she started working as an intern script reader for production companies in the UK and the US. She was asked to give her opinion on genre for the book Stand-Out Shorts (Russel Evans, Focal Press, 2010), published in the USA and in the UK.


She has attended several seminars, among them the acclaimed "Story" by Robert Mckee and she's a regular at the London Screenwriting Festival in order to keep up-to-date with the industry standards and needs. She works as a Feature Film Writing teacher and a Script Reader for Cineuropa. 


Blanca has her own script consultancy since 2011 in which she reads and edits scripts for freelance writers and production companies mostly across Spain, the UK and Latin America. For further details, check www.decodingstories.com

 

HOW WE WORK

WHO CAN APPLY


Screenwriters, filmmakers, producers or film professionals with a feature film project (fiction, non-fiction or animation) in development at treatment, step outline or fully scripted stage.


The Lab is also open to up to 3 observers who wish to have a practical insight into the craft of consultancy and script development. Observers will be given a set of guidelines (an observational framework) prior to the workshop.

  
METHODOLOGY


The projects are discussed collectively by all the participants, who will have read all the projects beforehand. We have an established framework in which we systematically cover the chief components of the project: theme, genre, characters, plot, structure and, if relevant, dialogue. There are also slots reserved for individual sessions within the Lab time frame.


Either way, we believe creativity generates creativity and always work with an open play-it-by-ear approach.

PROGRAMME


During the Lab we will be working 6 to 7 hours daily.


As each project will be revisited every day, this creates an active and interactive non-formulaic process creating deeper insight into each project rather than quick fix solutions that may seem useful at first sight but often turn out to be inadequate in the long run.

DATES AND VENUE

You can leave us your email and requests (check Contact section) and we will keep you posted or else write to miguel.machalski6@gmail.com and/or blanca@decodingstories.com

 

Testimonials

“The ScreenTelling Workshop was extremely well structured but in a way that we had inputs on our projects and what we would like to dedicate the time for. Since the number of participants is quite small, the time dedicated to your project grows and everyone knows your story and your intentions in great detail. The workshop is mainly focused to content and storytelling which I absolutely love; there is a lack on the market regarding this especially since every workshop focuses more on packaging, marketing and reaching the audience - but since there is no content development or at least content at all, I feel is difficult to reach further tasks.
The workshop was very useful and I am sure I will benefit from it on long term. Miguel and Blanca are very dedicated, energetic, offer constructive feedback and they are well trained in asking the right questions that help you clarify the story, the characters and your intentions in making the story”. Iona Turcan, Filmmaker/Screenwriter, Romania

Ioana Turcan, Filmmaker/Screenwriter, Romania

"I was blown away how in such a short amount of time I was able to really cut to the heart of what was limiting my vision of the film and with that understanding move forward with so much more clarity and focus. Miguel has created a wonderful symbiotic process of learning the tools of evaluating your work through this peer lead lab environment. I'm very grateful to both him and the other filmmakers for helping me develop the core of my film and learn through developing their films. Could not recommend this experience enough."

Darius Devas, Filmmaker, Australia

“Although we had been developing our script for quite some time now, Miguel managed to give me a fresh perspective on the whole story and placed me right at the heart of the most important decisions about character and plot… Very, very insightful!”

Philip Delmaar, Writer & Script Coach, The Netherlands

“Spending 5 days with Miguel and the group was absolutely fantastic! It gave me so many new insights, not only regarding my own script but also in the art of screenwriting. I came back absolutely bustling with ideas and set about directly in writing a new version of my screenplay”.

Olof Spaak, Writer & Filmmaker, Sweden

"For me the workshop was a great experience. It was so interesting to have a different exercise everyday, so that you can look at your story in a completely different way than before. It was so nice to meet people from different countries and cultures, who each had their own perspective on the stories. I took a lot of new ideas home and feel inspired again to work on the script. I will definitely participate again with future projects! Thanks for everything, Miguel".

Helena Dalemans, Writer/Director, Belgium

“Not by making statements about the projects, but by asking the right questions, Miguel leads participants to the core of the story. The exercise of being interviewed about a character in the project works really well; it brings you to aspects of the character and of the story that you never would have imagined on your own. This approach brought me closer to what I really wanted to tell, to what the real dilemmas in my story are. (...) I not only felt safe, but also inspired and challenged to think beyond boundaries”.

Liesbeth Wieggers, Editor, Writer & Filmmaker, The Netherlands

“To spend five whole days talking about scripts with other filmmakers and consultants gave me the chance to thoroughly dive into each project, digest my interpretations and other people’s perspectives. It was like having an in-depth workout on scriptwriting/storytelling. Miguel’s structure on the workshop makes the conversation constantly interesting and process-oriented. In addition, the group dynamic that develops in very inspiring and generous”.

Anniken Fjesme, Writer & Script Coach, Norway

"During the workshop Miguel gets you to dive deeper into your characters than you would do on your own. The selected projects in the workshop were all in a different stage of development, but the approach and the tools that were handed to us were useful for everyone. I am very grateful for the insights Miguel gave us for our project, just by asking the right questions".

Shariff Nasr, Writer & Filmmaker, The Netherlands

“Miguel has developed a method which allows you to gradually dive deeper into the story you are writing. This method uncovers things about the story you didn't know earlier, which makes your story suddenly much clearer for you. During the week I learned some things about my own story that I previously didn't see. And now I feel my story has become so much stronger. It has allowed me to come up with a treatment that makes much more 'sense', and writing the script feels a lot more natural now”.

Abbie Boutkabout, Writer, Project Manager, Podcaster, Belgium

“The workshop contained group sessions guided by Miguel about character, plot, main theme and scenes. The participants were an interesting mix of filmmakers, producers and script coaches from all over Europe. The international nature of the workshop provided a valuable perspective on the selected stories. During daily conversations new questions and answers raised and got treated. I got to know my main characters better through useful exercises such as in-depth interviews and the analyses of key scenes. During and after the workshop I was inspired to rewrite and develop new story elements, dialogues and scenes. Miguel has a sharp analytical vision and supports the participants on substantive issues during the process by asking the right questions. He created a nice atmosphere, gave inspiration and ensured a clear insight into my story to improve my feature film”.

Line Pillet, Writer/Director/Actress, Belgium

"Miguel is gifted to create a safe atmosphere, an unusual intimate comfort zone where you take off your project's clothes and go through it really deeply, to remote corners that you would never have been able to explore by yourself.  I really appreciated the commitment and respect that he is able to build in his workshop in which you are invited to dive into other participants’ projects as deeply as in yours. Warning: once you've been there, it will be hard to appreciate any other kind of workshop methodology."

Pilar Justicia, Writer & Journalist, Spain

“Slipping into the skin of your main character at whom Miguel and the other participants are firing questions at unlocks aspects you have not explored before. Miguel‘s synthetic approach to plot allows you to address the current cornerstones of the project, and to open up the project for the upcoming writing”.

Thierry Besseling, Writer & Filmmaker, Luxembourg

 

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