• Dansk
  • English

2 day Plot and Character Workshop by Stephen Cleary

Stephen Cleary has designed a short workshop to explore a process where not only your plots, but your characters too, can be brought much more sharply in focus

We look at how - by becoming better and sharper at understanding and using plotting, we can improve all areas of our storytelling.

In Stephen’s experience screen stories tend to fall into sequences and it’s the job of the creative team to work out where they fall and set about organizing them so the story plays as well as it can. Exactly how it plays, and how you organize the sequences, depends on which kind of story it is and what you want to do with it. So when we talk about sequence structuring, it’s 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.

That is what we are looking to do over the two days, understand and practice plotting so that we can better realize our characters.  Stephen guarantees it will be an intense and rewarding experience if you choose to get involved. If you have a story you are currently working on, and you bring along a one-page synopsis of the story, we will look at that too. 

For those of you working with writers but not actually writing yourself, getting to grips with the principles of sequence structuring in relation to both plot and character will make you a better, more critical reader of work, and give you a set of tools you can use to help the writer and the story further down its path.


Stephen Cleary has worked in film and television for over 20 years. As Head of Development at  the UK national film Agency he developed Before the Rain , (winner Golden Lion, Venice Film Festival), Rob Roy, Butterfly Kiss, Love and Death on Long Island and many others.Stephen founded and ran Arista, Europe’s largest private film development agency from 1996 to 2006. Graduates of Arista program have written, directed or produced over 250 feature films and thousands of hours of television drama.

He produced the feature New Year’s Day, in 2001 and co-produced Goodbye Charlie Bright in 2002. He co-wrote the feature films Alexandria, produced in 1998, and Buddha’s Little Finger, produced in 2013.Recently, in partnership with the South Australian Film Corporation, he designed and implemented the Filmlab low-budget feature initiative, resulting in the internationally acclaimed features 52 Tuesdays and The Infinite Man among others. Currently he is development consultant on the BBC drama series Hinterland. He is also the co-author of I Put A Spell on You: the Autobiography of Nina Simone.

Stephen works as a story consultant around the world, was a visiting professor in Film at the University of Westminster in the UK and is currently a visting professor at the Victoria College of the Arts school of film and television in Melbourne, Australia.