Building Great Stories

STORYTELLING For The small screen(s)

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2018 TV/ONLINE LAB PARTICIPANTS

Angeline Armstrong, Thomas Atkin, Anoushka Berkley, Marisa Brown, Alexander Duncan, Tanya Farley, Lysander Fury, Amanda Hunt, Jean Tong, Simone Ubaldi.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

8-10 participants will take an idea for a TV or online project from concept, through rigorous interrogation in a writers’ room environment, all the way to industry pitch session.

Stage One - 15 - 17 February 2018

The program will begin with three days of interactive classes covering the basics of developing stories for the small screen(s), including building strong story engines, shaping satisfying episodes, creating unique characters, defining your audience and pitching to potential broadcasters/buyers. This will include a session devoted to a case study of a successful narrative webseries led by key creatives. Time will also be devoted to exploring how online content can act as a pathway to broadcast and how boundaries have blurred as broadcasters and streaming services seek to feed a content-hungry public.

At the end of this stage, you will have 2 weeks to work on your series’ concept before taking it into a simulated writers’ room in stage two.

Stage Two - 3 - 4 March 2018

After refining your concept, you will return to the program to immerse yourself in two full days of workshopping within a writers’ room environment.

Each writer will have 60-90 minutes with their very own writers’ room, during which time we will identify/refine core story elements such as the series’ arc, story engine, character arcs and episode shape. Although you will take the lead on your own project, you will also be supported by an industry mentor with significant experience in running writers’ rooms.

In addition to having a braintrust to assist you in developing this concept, these writers’ room sessions will give participants a taste of what it is like to work in a professional environment and to contribute ideas as a ‘writer for hire’ and work to a brief. It will also assist in learning to give and receive feedback in a professional and constructive manner. You will exit stage two armed with more information about how to strengthen and distill your idea into a pitchable concept.

Stage Three - 7 May 2018

Stage Two will be followed by a break during which time you will continue to refine your concept and pitch. Then everyone will be given the opportunity to present their work to industry at a networking and pitching event.

If you have questions, take a look at our handy FAQs or email us.

Applications currently closed

storytelling for games

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2018 GAMES LAB PARTICIPANTS

Alexander Bennetts, Anastasia Sidorova, Antranig Sarian, Celeste Curmi, Chloe Wong, Chris Tomkins, Cory Zanoni, Emily D'Elia, Garry Westmore, Ginger Valentine, Jake Ludowyke, Jennifer Reuter, Jessica Moore, Kat Clay, Klare Lanson, Lachlan Baynes, Lise Leitner, Marcus Grambau, Marisa Brown, Matt Eggleston, Paul Andersen, Rachel Freeman, Rowan Crawford, Stuart Willis, Tegan Webb, Vidya Rajan and Zac Gillam.

 

 

 

 

Do you have an amazing idea for a narrative game? Are you a writer who is just starting out or someone who has been working in another writing discipline interested in making the move in the games industry? Are you currently working in games but want to make the move into narrative development? Yes, yes, yes or yes? Well then, we have a workshop for you.

games writing workshop SATURDAY 23 - SUNDAY 24 JUNE 2018

Program Overview

Storytelling for Games will consist of a two-day, hands-on workshop for a group of 20-30 participants.

In this program, we will cover the fundamentals of working within narrative games development. Sessions will seek to demystify the role of the storyteller in game development and will draw on case studies to address topics such as degrees of player agency and interaction, game design and systems, environmental storytelling, narrative design, pitching, and working in a game development team. We will also be teaching a narrative tool, such as Twine or paper prototyping.

The workshop will be lead by Brooke Maggs in conjunction with a series of guest speakers who are all current games industry specialists and professionals. Details about our guest instructors are coming soon!

Who are we looking for?

Anyone who has not yet worked professionally as a writer in the games industry. You could be working in theatre, visual arts, film, TV or other narrative mediums or be someone working in another aspect of the games industry who is interested in learning about narrative development and interactive storytelling. You just can't have professional credits as a writer in a narrative game.

Applications Currently cLOSED

STORYTELLING FOR VR

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2018 VR LAB PARTICIPANTS

Steven Arriagada, Candice D'Arcy, Atalanti Dionysus, Fiona Leally, Katrina Mathers, Robbie McEwan, Zoe Meagher, Jill Moylan, Justin Olstein, Vidya Rajan, Stephen Yuen and Christine Yunn-Yu Sun.

Are you VR curious? Do you have a story you feel can be best told in Virtual Reality? Are you a person who hasn't yet worked in this field? Then our Storytelling for VR workshop may be for you.

HANDS ON WORKSHOP - MAY 26, 2018

Program Overview

For this lab, we will select 12-15 people to participate in a one-day, hands-on VR concept workshop run by award-winning Melbourne VR studio VRTOV.

VRTOV is an artist-led studio, strongly focused on crafting stories that put the audience at the heart of the experience. Its personnel employ experience from the worlds of game design, animation, documentary, theatre, performance art, new-media art and creative technology to create VR experiences that resonate with audiences around the globe. Its work has been featured at the Sundance Film Festival, the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Tribeca Film Festival, the Future of StoryTelling and MIFF and includes narrative storytelling such as The Turning Forrest and the short documentary Easter Rising: Voice of A Rebel

Lead by VRTOV's Creative Director Oscar Raby and its Co-Founder Katy Morrison, the workshop will cover the fundamentals of working within narrative in a Virtual Reality landscape. Participants will explore how varying degrees of agency, perspective, immersion and the presence of the audience influence narrative development and user experience. Recent examples of narrative projects will be used to illustrate how storytelling in Virtual Reality differs from traditional film/television as well as games.

Who are we looking for?

Anyone who has not yet worked professionally in the field of Virtual Reality and who has an idea that would be well suited to being told in this medium. You could be already working in theatre, visual arts or other narrative mediums. You just need to be new to VR.

Deadline for applications: Midnight, 5 May 2018.

Non-refundable application fee: $25

Participant fee: $165

NOTE: You cannot save the application form as you go so we strongly encourage you to prepare your application in a separate document before starting work on the online form.

Check out our terms and conditions here.

If you have questions, take a look at our handy FAQs or email us.

Sound interesting? Well, get cracking:

APPLICATIONS Currently cLOSED

 

LABS MENTORS

 
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CLEA FROST - PROGRAM DIRECTOR

A VCA graduate, Clea has worked in Australia and the US as a script coordinator, script editor, screenwriter and development executive. From 2008-13 she was the Executive Director of the Los Angeles-based screenwriting non-profit, The CineStory Foundation. In 2013 Clea returned to her hometown to become Manager, Script Development at Film Victoria. While there, Clea oversaw the agency's fiction slate as well as delivering a new iteration of the Catapult Concept Lab for early career writers and two workshops for its Incubator Feature Script Intensive. After leaving Film Victoria, Clea was the head writer on the VR game Earthlight. She is currently an assessor for Film Victoria, Screen Australia, Screen Territory and Screen Tasmania and sits on Film Victoria's EAC. She is also working with Melbourne games studio Hipster Whale on a narrative game project as a writer and content producer. In addition, Clea has several film, TV and online projects in various stages of development, including the short film The Visitor, which is currently in post-production.

 
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BROOKE MAGGS - PROGRAM MANAGER - GAMES

Brooke is a narrative designer, writer and researcher based in Melbourne, Australia. She is currently the narrative designer on The Gardens Between and Paperbark, and has consulted on games such as Florence, and with the Melbourne Museum on their upcoming exhibition, Inside Out.

Recently, Brooke received a Women In Games Fellowship grant from Film Victoria and won the MCV Pacific XBOX Creative Impact Award for her work in the games industry. Her articles have been published in The ConversationQW Magazine and she has been awarded a residency at the Varuna House for her fiction writing and shortlisted for the Ray Koppe Young Writers’ Residency. She’s presented and given research papers on creative writing and games at Oxford University and at The Australasian Association of Writing Programs. Her research focuses on creative writing practice and the links between digital literature and traditional literature.

She loves surfing, succulents in cute pots, reading comics in warm cafès and questing for the best breakfast in Melbourne.

 
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Chris Corbett - INSTRUCTOR - TV/ONLINE LAB

Chris has written over fifty hours of Australian television – including episodes of Newton’s Law, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Stingers, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Blue Heelers, The Secret Life of Us, McLeod’s Daughters and All Saints. He also wrote and produced the short film Fences – which won third prize and Best Screenplay at Tropfest 2009. Fences also screened at Aspen’s Shortsfest in 2010 where it was awarded a BAFTA Certificate of Excellence. His most recent television job is working as Script Producer on Series 4 of Nowhere Boys.

 
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OSCAR RABY - INSTRUCTOR - VR LAB

Oscar Raby is an award-winning multimedia artist and Creative Director of VR production studio VRTOV. His work ranges from feature doc to installation and live performance. His VR documentary Assent (2013), about Chilean dictatorship, has been exhibited world-wide including at Sundance New Frontier 2015, and received the Audience Choice Award for Interactive at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014. Oscar recently directed VR fairytale The Turning Forest (world premiere Tribeca Film Festival 2016), the BBC-commissioned VR doc Easter Rising: Voice of a Rebel (premiere Sheffield Doc/Fest 2016), and was VR Artist-in-Residence at London’s Royal National Theatre. Oscar is a regularly invited guest speaker at interactive art and new media festivals and symposia around the world. 

 
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KATY MORRISON - INSTRUCTOR - VR LAB

Katy Morrison is the co-founder of VRTOV, an award-winning VR production studio whose work has been featured at Sundance, Tribeca, and IDFA . Katy was the producer of VR experiences The Turning Forest (2016) and Easter Rising: Voice of a Rebel (2016), both commissioned by the BBC. Previously, VRTOV produced Oscar Raby's Assent (2013), the first VR documentary to win an award in a major film festival. Together with VRTOV Creative Director Oscar Raby, she was recently a VR Artist in Residence at the National Theatre in London. Prior to running VRTOV, Katy worked in documentary television as a researcher, writer and producer and has made over fifty hours of internationally broadcast documentary TV. In addition to producing VR content, VRTOV regularly run workshops, speak at festivals and facilitate hands-on engagement with VR production techniques for broadcasters and media companies.

 
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LEENA VAN DEVENTER - INSTRUCTOR - STORYTELLING FOR GAMES

Leena van Deventer is a writer, game developer, and educator from Melbourne. In 2013 she co-founded WiDGET, a support group for women and non-binary game developers with over 800 members. In 2016 she co-authored "Game Changers: From Minecraft to Misogyny, the fight for the future of videogames" for Affirm Press with Dr. Dan Golding. Leena was on the curatorial advisory committee for ACMI's "Code Breakers" exhibition, and is the Deputy-Chair of the Games and Interactive Advisory Committee for the Australian Writers Guild. Leena also sits on the Board of Directors of the Victorian Women's Trust, and is currently completing her Masters in Arts Management at RMIT University.

 
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SNOW MCNALLY - INSTRUCTOR - STORYTELLING FOR GAMES

Snow is a freelance writer, independent narrative designer and occasional educator with a passion for queer narratives. Their award-winning project Little Witch Story is in the process of being rebuilt into something shiny and new, and in the meantime they've run a variety of workshops, worked on a number of popular romance titles, maintained a two-and-a-half year weekly serial fiction and spoken on too many panels at gaming conventions.

 
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Alexander swords - instructor - storytelling for games

Alexander is a narrative designer with a background in audience development and arts management. He's worked for indies in Berlin, AAA in Sweden, and is now based in Australia helping studios forge strong relationships with their audiences through narrative systems and player care. Along the way he's re-engineered the sequence method for screenplay writing to develop robust models of narrative design across game genres, and pushed for better ways of understanding player motivation beyond demographics and traditional models.

 
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ben scerri - instructor - storytelling for games

Ben Scerri is a video game writer and designer from Melbourne. He's been involved with organising, running, and writing of tabletop and live-action roleplaying games since he was six years old, and is passionate about sharing knowledge between the tabletop-, video-, and live-action industries.

 

MARK MORRISON - INSTRUCTOR - STORYTELLING FOR GAMES

Mark Morrison has been writing stories and designing mechanics for tabletop roleplaying games and computer games for 30+ years. He has worked for Chaosium, Infogrames, Atari, BlueTongue THQ, Robot Circus, the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, and more. His most recent credits include dialogue for the science fiction mobile game Ticket to Earth (Robot Circus), the French Revolution RPG book Reign of Terror (Chaosium), and storyline for the forthcoming Call of Cthulhu computer game (Focus Home Interactive). He also teaches Writing for Interactive Narrative at Swinburne University.