Workshops & Speaking Engagements

Livingston+McKay offers workshops for filmmakers, screenwriters, and organizations that want to learn how to tell their story better. Tailored to the audience, our most popular workshops include:

The Importance of Story
Find out why stories are the best way to communicate, how to do it, and where to find the very best stories to tell.

How to Engage the Media
Acquire inside information on how to work with the media to get exposure for your event or company. Includes understanding what a newsworthy angle is and how to find it, how to write a press release that won't get thrown away, know the best way to pitch them your story, and how to become a media darling - the go-to person for their viewers/listeners. 

Crafting an Award Winning Documentary
Non-fiction storytelling isn’t stringing facts together to convey information. What separates a great documentary from the rest of the pack and makes it so powerful? It’s personal. When our story becomes our viewers’ story, we've made the story come alive for them personally. It might even change the world. Producers, creative executives, and writers will not want to miss this exciting opportunity to discuss the creative pipeline from idea to distribution.

Areas covered:
   * where and how to find the best stories
   * key components of every great documentary
   * common mistakes and how to avoid them
   * insider info on techniques for capturing compelling content
   * ethics of feature non-fiction storytelling

Mastering the Basics of Storytelling & Scriptwriting
What is the fuss about story beats? Bored of predictable stories that fail to connect with the audience? Learn how to harness the power of great story rhetoric in this interactive workshop for writers, producers, and creative executives. Participants learn the structural tools successful storytellers from Aristotle to Pixar have implemented to craft blockbusters that withstand the test of time. Whether you're a veteran or a newcomer, this workshop will help you craft better stories and understand the power of storytelling in a new light.

Areas covered:
   *basics of the three act structure
   *plot & character arc
   *story beats for key scenes
   *the emotional core
   *industry standards for logline, treatment & step outlining

Insanely Great Story Beginnings: The First Act

It's no secret the first act makes or breaks a movie. Whether you are a writer looking to move your reader, or a director or producer seeking to win big at the box office, you will not want to miss this advanced workshop on how to craft the first 25 pages (or minutes) of your movie to capture the audience. Mastering the Basics of Story and Screenwriting is recommended, but not required, for participants in the Insanely Great Beginnings workshop.

Areas covered:
   * in-depth discussion of the power of the first act
   * the emotional core of the first act
   * scene structure and sequencing
   * not too early, not too late: the key to the foundational turning points of act 1
   * building and developing character
   * setting up for big payoffs

Speaking Engagements
We travel around the country speaking at national conferences and on college campuses about the power of story. In addition to public speaking, we offer these options for seminars, festivals and community-wide events: 

The Power of Story: A Conversation with Livingston+McKay (60 min - 120 min)
Joani and Renée speak on Creative Catalysts (30 minutes,) and show clips from their various documentaries and programs with commentary. Afterward, a host may initiate a Q & A segment and/or encourage the audience to ask questions and join in the discussion. 

Panel Discussion (60 min - 90 min)
Joani and Renée will discuss the filmmaker's life, how a producer and director work in tandem, and the projects they've worked on. After a ten to fifteen minute introduction by each one, the audience will be encouraged to ask questions and join in a discussion on their choice of topics.

One-On-One Sessions (as many 15 min sessions as time allows)
At film schools, we offer 15 minute one-on-one sessions with students who are serious about telling great stories. We'll answer anything they want to know about the process of filmmaking, including how to get to where they want to go in the business.

Book Livingston+McKay for a workshop or as speakers for your event.

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