Robert Thirkell Storytelling Masterclass

Robert Thirkell is TV’s ‘Troubleshooter’; the person the broadcasters and indies turn to to create - or rescue - their key series, ranging from Jamie's School Dinners to The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off, and Blood on the Carpetto the Heston Blumenthal series Big Chef Takes On Little Chef. 

This revelatory one-day workshop provides a unique opportunity to learn how to structure your stories and series so they have drive and drama, create successful formats and fix problematic productions. 

Although Robert often delivers his hugely popular CONFLICT talk to students and film festivals around the world, this is his only in-depth course, allowing filmmakers to explore fully the ideas and techniques he uses in a small, intimate classroom setting. 

Anyone interested in developing their storytelling skills - from researchers and APs, through to series producers, execs and commissioners. The course is primarily focused on factual programming but is also relevant to other genres.
  • Storytelling Toolkit – the 8 key elements to successful storytelling (Character; Out of the box and before Filming;  Narrative drive; Front; Loving your character, Interview technique; Care; Timeline, Title and Truth)
  • Getting off on the right foot - choosing the right stories, and making them different
  • Importance of cross-fertilising genres
  • Casting and Presenters – thinking laterally;’ when and why unorthodox presenters can work – and how to handle them; which contributors to avoid
  • Honing your script and how to lay them out
  • The importance of research – and how to do it effectively
  • The importance of Pre-titles – common mistakes and how to avoid them
  • Commentary – enhancing the sync
  • Storytelling Tookit part 2 – 9 advanced tools for story planning and edits
Robert Thirkell is arguably the world's leading story consultant for television and factual features. His credits include multiple Baftas-winning series (Troubleshooter, Back to the Floor, Blood on the Carpet, Jamie's School Dinners) as well as acclaimed one-offs including The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off which won the International Emmy for best documentary. He was named the UK's number one TV producer by Broadcast magazine. 

Do I need to bring anything to the course?It’s advisable to bring a pen and some notepaper. Otherwise, all you need is a receptive mind and your energy and enthusiasm.

Is lunch provided?We keep you replenished with teas, coffee, biscuits and fruit. We don’t provide lunch – although there are a number of sandwich shops, cafes, restaurants close by, as well as a supermarket.

What if I have to cancel?If you cancel more than 10 working days before the course date, you will get a full refund. If you cancel with less notice, or once the course has been confirmed the full course fees are still due. We will however endeavour to get you onto to a future course as and when we have a spare space. Although this cannot be guaranteed and will usually involve you being offered the place at short notice, we have a great track record of making sure people get their training – even it takes a bit of time.



10:00-17:30 (Please arrive 15 minutes early on the first day for the course induction.)


Cancellation Policy

Cancellations must be in writing and must be received at least 10 working days prior to the course date or the full fee will be charged. DV Talent reserves the right to cancel courses at any time (e.g. if there are insufficient enrolments) without liability, and delegates will be offered an alternative date or full refund. In booking a course, you are acknowledging you have read and accepted our Terms and Conditions.