Modern Tales is a five month story and professional development initiative created by Bushfire Digital and Script Cube for emerging BAME, female and disabled filmmakers. The programme supports writers, directors and producers in the development of long form dramatic fiction that is both market conscious and creative in its inception, set-up, development and execution. Modern Tales is supported by Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund, with BFI’s Film Forever National Lottery funds.

The 8-session course programme will now commence on Saturday, March 25th 2016.
The deadline for Project Development applications has also been extended. Please submit applications any time up to noon, Thursday, 9th March.

Social media, data sources and digital engagement in the modern age are disrupting and reconfiguring processes of development, production, distribution and exhibition. And as filmmakers we are having to rethink the way we understand, engage with and develop projects for our audience.

Modern Tales is a comprehensive, far-reaching set of eight lecture, seminar and workshop days, spread out over 5 months. Each day of the Modern Tales course will be on a separate topic, tackling the key areas of learning we have identified to encourage innovative story development and creative production. The days are designed to provide each participant with an essential, broad and accessible set of skills.

Below is a brief overview of each course;

IDEAS GENERATION – £100.00 – Saturday 25th March 2017

  • Where screen story ideas come from – valuable historic context to our collective understanding of how stories work;
  • The tools to build a dramatic narrative from the ground up;
  • How we test the validity of our idea, referencing the creative process and our relationship with our ideal audience.

WORKING OFF-GRID – £100.00 – Saturday 8th April 2017

  • The digital world will be left to one side to confront our story choices through talking and thinking exercises;
  • Discover the deeper meaning of what we are writing, why we choose certain projects and how to get others to engage with our vision;
  • Learn how to identify a story’s premise – a vital hook to take away so that you can move forward when developing your work.

RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT – £100.00 – Saturday 22nd April 2017

  • Insights into audience behavioural patterns and current behavioural theory;
  • Practical audience engagement strategies for creative work;
  • Processes to assist in iterative development and project prototyping;
  • An understanding of effective ways to use and employ online audience and consumer data to build a project investment case.

GENRE – £100.00 – Saturday 6th May 2017

  • How a writer uses genre as a development tool without being a slave to it;
  • A useful guide to some key genres broken down for you, point by point;The key points a producer must know when pitching stories using genre as a way to create recognition of story type.

DIFFERENT FORMATS & PLATFORMS – £100.00 – Saturday 20th May 2017

  • Engage with story development on different platforms such as social media and web platforms;
  • Gain insights into story development in different formats such as series, serials and interactive;
  • Acquire practical tools for creating and extending your story world to encompass the potential for opening out into different formats and platforms;
  • Identify potential for audience engagement and value added intellectual property.

ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT – £100.00 – Saturday 3rd June 2017

  • Discover practical approaches to activating an entrepreneurial mindset, increasing brain suppleness and plasticity;
  • Gain an appreciation of Lean Start up methodologies imported from digital innovation start-ups and their application to creative development;
  • Acquire a practical understanding of business models and a value proposition canvas as strategic project planning tools;
  • Recognise the business opportunities presented by the explosion of additional distribution platforms through social media, video on demand (VOD), streaming video on demand (SVOD) and other digital services.

PERFORMANCE & CHARACTER – £100.00 – Saturday 17th June 2017

  • Work with actors as a development tool. See through performance how the truth that underpins story is exposed;
  • Look at what great character writing really comprises;
  • Consider how performance affects tone and pacing of your work;
  • Interrogate the importance of great roles to attract cast and finance.

COLLABORATION AS ART FORM – £100.00 – Saturday 1st July 2017

  • Understand the needs and challenges of cross-disciplinary collaboration;
  • Learn key principles of effective creative collaboration;
  • Structure, build and empower team building processes and create the right environment for successful relationships and productive partnerships;
  • Explore successful processes for collaborative ideas development and execution in cross-platform interdisciplinary worlds such as Virtual Reality.

5 Course Days Bundle – 450.00 500.0o | 6 Course Days Bundle – 540.00 600.007 Course Days Bundle – 595.00 700.008 Course Days Bundle – 680.00 800.00

Modern Tales offers a unique journey through the development landscape for any filmmaker who feels the need to explore in greater depth the nature of the story you are trying to tell, the format you might wish to use and the way to get the work out in front of an audience. You can book onto any number of course days as individual filmmakers by clicking session icons below but Modern Tales also offers project development inclusive of all 8 course days for up to 10 writer, director (or writer/director) and producer teams.


The Modern Tales course is particularly targeted at diverse filmmakers from the BAME, women and disabled communities.

For details on application process please see Project Development.

Read the FAQs here.

Fees for each Course day are charged at £100 per session. If you purchase five sessions or more at the same time you will receive a discount:

5 Course Days – £450 (-10%) | 6 Course Days – £540 (-10%) | 7 Course Days – £595 (-15%) | 8 Course Days – £680 (-15%)

If you require any support or assistance please contact: info@moderntales.co.uk