Bow Street hosts Irish Film School filmmaking courses

Our inaugural 2018 filmmaking courses were held at The Lir Academy and National College of Ireland. Director John Boorman led his 5-day Filmmaking course which also included sessions on film production fundamentals and a hands-on camera skills session led by award-winning cinematographer Seamus Deasy. Academy Award winning VFX House DNEG ran their 1-day VFX taster course to a packed classroom of filmmakers and VFX and animation students.  Producer Kieran Corrigan delivered his 1-day Business of Film course in partnership with UK media and investment company Great Point Media to a diverse audience of filmmakers and financial advisors.

New Courses

In 2019 we will be delivering our next tranche of courses from Bow Street, Smithfield, Dublin 7. Our Spring programme will commence on Monday February 25th and will run until Thursday March 7th 2019.

Bow Street Welcomes Irish Film School Students

Our 4 Courses At A Glance

  1. Filmmaking with John Boorman (Excalibur, Deliverance) – this 5-day course, led by John and his guests, will teach you essential filmmaking skills. You will learn best practice when it comes to bringing a project from script to screen.
  2. VFX with DNEG – Academy Award winners DNEG (Blade Runner 2049) will guide you through this 1-day course in Visual FX. You will have hands-on instruction from a DNEG instructor in the use of a digital stills camera and learn how a VFX shot is created from inception to final composite.
  3. Film & TV Production with Trisha Flood (Women on the Verge, Cardboard Gangsters) will guide you through the creative, technical and financial aspects of making a short film, feature film or a TV show during her 3-day course.
  4. Business of Film with Kieran Corrigan (Tailor of Panama, The General, We Have Always Lived in the Castle) will give you an overview of emerging international legal and financial issues, taxation and tax relief and production insurance. You will also explore financing sources, budgeting and discover how and where to network during this 1-day course.


State of the Art Studio Spaces



About the Bow Street Campus

The IFS will be based at Bow Street, Smithfield, Dublin 7 this Spring 2019. 

Bow Street is a state-of-the-art building with 4 film studios, a casting/self-taping studio, a headshots studio, a green screen studio, and cinema. Its studios double as modern and light classroom spaces.

Smithfield is a bustling cultural quarter and Smithfield Square is an up-and-coming area on Dublin’s Northside. Situated on the LUAS/tram Red Line, the Square houses major tourist attractions such as the world-famous Jameson Distillery and many restaurants and bars can be found here. Markets and family friendly events are regularly scheduled and the  Lighthouse Cinema has transformed the Square into a space that caters for an alternative, artistic community.

It has become a hub for many film production companies such as Brown Bag Films, Failsafe Films and motion graphics, animation and visual effects company Emberlight.

Film Production Hub - Smithfield Square, Dublin 7

Travel Guide

By Air

If flying into Dublin airport you can hop on the blue Aircoach and travel straight into Dublin City Centre.  See the bus route and timetable here.  

By Sea

If travelling by ferry you can travel from Holyhead (UK) directly into Dún Laoghaire or into Dublin port from the UK and France.

Bow Street is located at 12/13 Bow Street, Smithfield, Dublin 7. It is easily accessible from the city centre either by LUAS (Red Line), bus or DART (Connolly station). You can see the exact location if you click here. For more information on bus routes please see

Bow Street is approximately 200 metres (1-min) from Smithfield LUAS stop and so this is the most convenient mode of public transport to the area.

By Car

The nearest Car Park is on Queens Street/Smithfield Square.


Any accommodation in Dublin city centre would be suitable.

Airbnb and other booking sites like are popular way of finding and booking accommodation in Dublin.


Nearby hotels include the Maldron Hotel, Jury’s Inn and Ashling Hotel.  There are also many other hotels and B&Bs in Dublin city centre that would be a convenient base. The Grand Canal Hotel (15-min walk to Mayor Square Red Line LUAS stop) has offered our students a special rate, so please contact us if you would like more information on this

Further Study

If you would like to progress onto further study in film you may like to contact us to find out about our new courses that we have in the pipeline for Summer/Autumn 2019.

Open Evening Event

Irish Film School Welcomes You

Why not drop into our Open Evening? On Thursday February 7th our Admissions team will be available to chat to you about our programmes. Doors open at 4pm – 8pm and you can find us at Irish Film School, 18 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2, D02 HH29. Or you can tweet us @irishfilmschool and we will get right back to you!

Please also contact for assistance with your travel plans or if you would like any information on our London and Beijing venues.  We would be happy to advise you!

Olivier Robert-Murphy, Global Head of New Business, at Universal Music Group gave an interesting talk at Web Summit (WS) 2018 which included insights into his role as a jury president at Cannes Lions last year.  During this talk he maintained that the main elements of creativity centre around 3 things – storytelling, emotion and impact.  That is what he looks for in a campaign.

He showed the Adidas ‘Original’ video campaign and used this as an example of using existing creativity and building on it to create new creativity. He believes that creativity needs to focus on creating engagement – likes, shares etc and not just reach.  We need to stop thinking in terms of awareness and focus more on genuine engagement.

Universal Pictures

We met and interviewed Olivier after his talk to ask him more about his various experiences: Cannes Lions, VP of Marketing at Universal Pictures and Procter & Gamble. He chatted to us about his Irish heritage and gave us some valuable insights into how to convey purpose, emotion and impact in film.

Oliver Robert-Murphy of Universal Music Group & Lisa Wright of Irish Film School

Irish Roots

IFS: Your name appears to have Irish roots?

OR-M: My Mum was from Cork, a beautiful place and Robert was my father’s name, hence Robert-Murphy. My grandfather was called Patrick Murphy!

2 Top Tips To Use Music Effectively in Film

IFS: You have worked in the creative industry for the past 15 years, most recently your role has been matching music with brands. Some of our filmmakers are also composers. What are your top tips for them to match music with their projects?

OR-M: If you want your film to associate music with it, which I would say 99% of the time you do, it is effectively the same process as matching music to TV ads. There are 2 ways to do it:

  1. Either use music that inspires you to film something specific or
  2. Make your film and then add some music on top of it.

If you are not a composer there are a lot of banks of music that you can look at or you can use music from a multitude of platforms that exist today to help you to find the right music for your project.

Music is used to convey emotion. Ask yourself, if I play this music am I going to be scared? Happy? Sad? It’s all these emotional factors that you need to consider. The best way to test it is to put it on the image and see if it works.

Nature v Nurture

IFS: Is creativity something that you are born with or can it be taught?

OR-M: I talked about judging creativity at the WS. I was on stage last year at Cannes Lions and spoke to about this very issue and he said: “Creativity is a muscle that you need to train every day. Do at least one hour of creativity every day – writing songs, writing lyrics, coming up with new concepts”.  It is true that one of the myths is that we think that creativity is a gift and that you are born with it.  I believe that you need to train it – just like sports.

On Message

Executive Producer Kieran Corrigan teaches Business of Film

IFS: We are running a Business of Film course and we have partnered with Great Point Media in the UK to deliver that.  How important is sales, distribution and marketing and to be on message with your film from the beginning and to have a clear understanding of what you are selling as a filmmaker?

OR-M: I am not sure that it is necessary at the beginning because you could create an idea and then start to shoot, develop it and the actors bring something else to the film that is not planned.  So, I don’t think we should think like that.  You should be very flexible in your mind and be open to everything.  It’s OK if you change –and it’s not the original, original idea that you end up with. Not everyone has the talent of Quentin Tarantino, who says: “This is it” and pushes everything and everyone to the limit in order to get exactly what he wants.

Storytelling Tips

IFS: In terms of storytelling, videographers come to us and some of them struggle when it comes to the editing process. They shoot beautiful scenes, but when it comes to the edit they find it a challenge to make an engaging story. What tips would you give them?

OR-M: People is the answer. I don’t know if they are struggling, but you are raising a very good point – we are in the business of people, so it’s about asking yourself, who I am going to work with?  It is a job where you, as the creative, need the people that you work with to be talented, not necessarily creative.  If you surround yourself with the “right people” the end product will be so different.  Each of them will bring you something different.  Each of them will bring something you did not think about. We are in a business – yes – but the business of people.  This could be applied to any industry, any business. It is all about talent.

Secret Sauce

IFS: When you were a judge at Cannes Lions in 2018 what were you looking for and can you give us an insight into the secret sauce you were looking for?

OR-M: We spoke about emotion.  But we should not forget the impact.  The purpose is the message – but if it does not have impact no-one will see it or hear it.

The final thing I look at is KPI – this is a big thing. It could be qualitative or quantitative research.  It could be engagement – reach. It depends – every brand has different factors. It depends on what you want to achieve.

Partnerships with Brands

IFS: Talking about partnerships and brands, are there any “best in class” brands that create beautiful audio-visual contents?

OR-M: I love companies that are creating content for their people such as Red Bull or Coca Cola, because they do this to provide something extra special and meaningful to people.  Patagonia is also a brilliant brand. They are meaningful in what they do – especially for younger audiences.

Irish Film School Teaches Creativity

Student Actors from The Lir Academy performing in “Game Over” written by John Boorman shot during his recent Filmmaking course.

IFS: We have launched a new range of courses centred around the craft and business of filmmaking in London and Dublin.  Our Filmmaking course led by screenwriter and director, John Boorman, brings students through the creative process of filmmaking from script to screen – helping them to train their creativity muscles!

OR-M: I am sure this course gives a great insight into the key areas of filmmaking that would be useful for people at various stages of their filmmaking career.  

Enrolling Now

The Irish Film School is now open for enrolments for our Spring 2019 programme. Order your FREE brochure today!

Watch “Game Over” and please leave us your feedback & comments!


John Boorman Filmmaking Class

Filmmaking with John Boorman

In October 2018, the Irish Film School delivered its first filmmaking course in Dublin at The Lir Academy. The course took place over 5-days and was developed and led by award-winning screen writer and director John Boorman. The programme covered the essentials on how to bring a film from script to screen and John was supported in his delivery by guest speakers and instructors from within his network - Kieran Corrigan, Ronan O’Leary, Michael Dryhurst and Seamus Deasy.

John Boorman

Director John Boorman

John is best known for his feature films such as Point Blank, Deliverance, Excalibur, The General, The Tailor of Panama and Queen and Country.

John has directed 22 films and been the recipient of 5 Academy Award nominations, twice for Best Director (for Deliverance and Hope and Glory). He is also credited with creating the first Academy Award screeners to promote The Emerald Forest. John received the BAFTA Fellowship for lifetime achievement from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

John is a Director of Merlin Films, a leading independent Irish film production company. Merlin Films has been involved in the production of numerous major feature films for international markets since its inception.

At Merlin Films, John has worked with international talent for over two decades, including Samuel L Jackson, Pierce Brosnan, Kim Cattrall, Brendan Gleeson, Ewan McGregor, Richard E. Grant, Jamie Lee Curtis, John Hurt and Jon Voight.

John is a published author and has been a contributor and editor to numerous editions of Projections, a series of books published by Faber & Faber (UK) which presents filmmakers reflections on their craft.

Kieran Corrigan

Kieran Corrigan teaching the Business of Film during the Filmmaking Course

Kieran is director of Merlin Films, a leading independent Irish film production company. Kieran has collaborated with award-winning and world-famous film directors John Boorman and Roger Corman for over 25 years.

He has produced and arranged the financing for a significant number of international motion pictures, including The GeneralThe Tailor of Panama and Queen and Country. Most recently Kieran was Executive Producer on Supervized and We Have Always Lived in The Castle.

Ronan O’Leary

Ronan O'Leary on set during the Filmmaking Course

Ronan began his career as a producer-director for PBS in Los Angeles in 1984, making drama-documentaries on the philosophers Thoreau and Emerson, and profile-interviews with the filmmakers Oliver Stone and Sir David Puttnam.

Ronan has lectured at Britain’s National Film School, the London Film School, and was the first Irish filmmaker invited to lecture at the European Film School in Berlin.  He has also served on Film Festival juries in Berlin, Cork, Bosnia and Croatia.

Ronan’s credits as a second-unit director include “TARA ROAD” starring Andie McDowell, shooting in South Africa; “THE DAWNING” starring Anthony Hopkins; and “PLAYED” starring Val Kilmer and Gabriel Byrne, shot in Los Angeles and London.  He recently worked as Creative Consultant on John Boorman’s new film “QUEEN & COUNTRY” and was literary editor on John Boorman’s recent novel “CRIME OF PASSION”. He is currently filming a feature-length documentary on the life and work of artist Pauline Bewick, featuring Graham Norton.

Michael Dryhurst

Michael is an assistant director and producer, known for Never Say Never Again (1983), Superman (1978) and Hudson Hawk (1991). He worked with John Boorman on many of his films including The Emerald Forest.

Seamus Deasy

Seamus is a well-known cinematographer who has 58 credits to his name.  He has worked with John most recently on Queen and Country (2014).

Filmmaking Course Unwrapped

Day One

The day began with an intensive study in scriptwriting.  John, supported by Ronan, shared his insights with the students into what makes the "unturndownable" script and distributed a test scene that he had written, Game Over, for review and discussion. Students were asked to share details of projects that they had worked on or scripts that they had authored and these were discussed in class. John also covered the following topics in his screen writing class:

  • Genres
  • Structure
  • Final Draft software
  • Working independently
  • Working with a writer
  • How to attract a lead actor

At the end of the day students were invited to attend a welcome dinner at Pizza Stop, Chatham Lane in Dublin city centre.

Day Two

This day focused on pre-production and storyboarding of the test scene. Students were given a template by John and Ronan and asked to produce a storyboard for Game Over and a group discussion on the scene took place. 

Feedback and guidance was given by John on the storyboards and topics such as "how to film the art of the possible" and "how limitations force you into creative solutions" were covered by John in class.

Day Three

The day began with a session of the nuts and bolts of film and TV production by line producer Michael Dryhurst.  The schedule and top sheet of the budget for Queen and Country was distributed and discussed as a case study in class and Michael covered the following topics:

  • Schedule
  • Budget
  • Set design
  • Locations
  • Working with AD
  • Working with a Production Manager
  • Working with a Set Designer
  • Number of shooting days
  • Number of set ups per day
  • Relationship with DP
  • Directing actors

Clips from Queen and Country and The Making of Zardoz were shown and discussed by John, Michael and the students.


After class students attended the Irish Film School Networking Event in the foyer of The Lir Academy.  Canapes and prosecco, beer, wine and soft drinks were served and guests from within the film industry were invited to mingle with the students and instructors on the night. Ideas were pitched and contact details were exchanged during our networking event.

Day Four

The day opened with an overview of sources of funding and film financing by lawyer, chartered accountant and producer Kieran Corrigan.

Drawing on his long-term collaborations with director John Boorman and the ‘Pope of Pop Cinema’ Roger Corman, as well as his experience of working with top talent such as Brendan Gleeson, Kim Cattrall and Pierce Brosnan, Kieran gave tips on how secure funding and how a production can succeed with complex financing structures.

After the morning coffee break John joined the class and instructed his students on the theory behind the camera, movement, lighting, set ups, framing and how to break down a scene, in preparation for the after session on camera skills.

After lunch cinematographer Seamus Deasy gave our students a hands-on demonstration of three types of camera: film and digital cameras and super 16mm cameras. Students then had the opportunity to try different filmmaking techniques and the Arri Alexa camera system under Seamus’s guidance and instruction.

Day Five

On the final day ten actors from The Lir Academy were brought into the studio to demonstrate the casting process and the first pair were auditioned by John.  His students then took over and conducted the rest of the auditions. Two pairs of actors were selected during this process by majority vote and were invited to shoot the test scene, written by John, Game Over.

The test scene was then shot with John, Ronan and the assistance of a camera crew and a sound engineer.  Our students took it in turn to step in as director, under John’s guidance and instruction – directing the actors and DOP as well as taking control of the sound and lighting.

After a coffee break an experienced editor was on hand to demonstrate post production techniques and the editing process.  Two versions of Game Over were cut – John’s version and the student’s version and both can be viewed on our YouTube channel.

The final day ended with presentation of a copy of John’s “The Film Process” and certificates were formally awarded to the students by John, accompanied by a glass of fizz.

Filmmaking Student Alan Killoran receiving his certificate from John Boorman

Out of Class Networking

Our filmmaking student cohort mingled during the morning and afternoon coffee breaks in the foyer of The Lir Academy. Lunch was provided in KC Peaches nearby where an area of the restaurant was reserved for our students. Students availed of soup and sandwiches while chatting about their various projects and swapping information and tips.

Read our student testimonials to find out how they all got on.

Alumni Association

Upon completion of their course our students were invited to join our Alumni Association – an online forum where they continue to share stories and exchange information.  We post job opportunities and news and events here for our past students, along with exclusive news, events and discounts.

Book Now for 2019

  • Do you want to find out how to write a script that will attract a star and make it impossible for the studios to turn it down?
  • Do you want to discover how to present to the studio your script, your budget, your schedule and your storyboards?
  • Do you want to find out how to control the cast crew and make the endless decisions that will be required of you as a director?

Book now and learn the answers to the above from masters of their craft. Enrolments are now being accepted for John’s Filmmaking courses, to be held in Dublin and London in 2019.

Places are limited to a maximum of 12 students per course and so to reserve your space please book here today!


Come and join us in Dublin this year!

To mark the inauguration of the Irish Film School we are offering a limited number of scholarships to film students, film graduates, filmmakers, lecturers and academics.

Irish Film School is offering the opportunity to attend the Irish Film School for FREE this year. The Irish Film School will take place in the creative and cultural city of Dublin, Ireland over a two-week period this July and August.

Filmmaking Course

Study and work alongside one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, John Boorman.

Film and TV Production Course

Kickstart your career in production by studying and working with film and TV industry executives.

Visual FX

Do you want to step into the fascinating world of VFX? Take your first step with Oscar winning VFX industry leaders Double Negative.

Business of Film

Are you working in finance, accountancy, legal, insurance or marketing? Want to expand your services and add another skill to your CV? Get practical instruction in the business of film production from Kieran Corrigan and his team of film executives and professionals.

NOTE: There is a limited number of scholarships available.


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John Boorman’s series of thirteen books entitled Projections published by Faber & Faber takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the world of filmmaking. Projections is a forum for film-makers in which the practitioners of cinema write about their craft. The books are a perfect way to get an insight into John Boorman’s life story and an insight into the lives of many of the big names that he has worked with during his career, including Martin Scorsese, Robert de Niro, Nick Park, Clint Eastwood, Wong Kar-Wei, Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, Ray Harryhausen, Paul Thomas Anderson, Jodie Foster, James Stewart and many others.  The series of books are a “must read” for any aspiring filmmaker or cinephile.

In Adventures of a Suburban Boy, John Boorman, hailed by the Observer as 'arguably Britain's greatest living director', offers an enthralling memoir of a creative life spent turning dreams into celluloid, and money into light.

One of cinema's authentic visionaries, Boorman nevertheless enjoyed an archetypal English suburban boyhood in the 1940s and 50s, attending Catholic school and finding his first employment in a dry-cleaner's. But his abiding passion was for film, and he got his first break during the 'gold rush' era of British television in the 1960s. After directing several innovative documentaries for the BBC, he graduated to motion pictures, first filming pop stars The Dave Clark Five for Catch Us If You Can, before venturing to Los Angeles to make his first Hollywood picture - and his first masterpiece - Point Blank. The film inaugurated Boorman's profound friendship with star Lee Marvin, which also led to a second professional collaboration on Hell in the Pacific.

What follows are accounts of Boorman's joys and agonies in the making of such extraordinary pictures as the terrifying backwoods adventure Deliverance, the fantastical epics Zardoz and Exorcist II: The Heretic, the glorious Arthurian legend Excalibur, his magnificent drama of imperilled Amazonian tribes, The Emerald Forest, and his semi-autobiographical, multi-Oscar-nominated Hope and Glory. Among the many friends and collaborators of whom Boorman offers vivid portraits are Lee Marvin, Sean Connery, Richard Burton, Marcello Mastroianni, Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Helen Mirren and Nicol Williamson.

The General is the story of Martin Cahill - a working-class Dubliner who was the mastermind behind a series of daring robberies that stunned Ireland in the 1980s. Despite being the country's most wanted man, he eluded capture - with great cheek - until he finally fell foul of the IRA. John Boorman's screenplay delves deep into the heart of Cahill and reveals a man who possessed a relish for defying the might of society, a rage at perceived injustice, a ferocious cunning, a sense of perpetual celebration, and a dark brutality - all the characteristics of a Celtic chieftain. This volume also contains an essay by John Boorman on the dramatic struggles involved in bringing Martin Cahill's life and times to the screen.

Give the gift of education with an Irish Film School gift voucher.

Solve the perennial problem of finding original presents by giving friends and family an experience based gift voucher. Perfect for all occasions, an IFS gift vouchers can be used to register on any film course, or be used to pay towards existing course fees.


You can give any amount that you like. Our gift vouchers can be redeemed for any of our courses. These courses provide participants with the training and skills to avail of employment opportunities in the film industry.

Why not surprise someone with this unique and imaginative gift?


Your gift voucher will be personalised and signed by the founders of IFS, John Boorman and Kieran Corrigan.

Choice of Presentation

You can print out the voucher at home, or let us send an e-voucher directly to the recipient’s inbox.

Gift Voucher Terms & Conditions:

  • IFS gift vouchers may be purchased for use as payment on any IFS course.
  • Existing students can use an IFS gift voucher to make payments for an existing course
  • Our vouchers are valid for 12 months from the date of issue
  • All other standard Terms & Conditions also apply.

3 Steps to Ordering a Gift Voucher:

1: Just enter the details of your voucher into the form below and click 'Submit'.
2: You will then receive an email directing you to the IFS payments area. Just enter the amount that you would like to gift and make payment using a credit or debit card.
3: You will receive a payment confirmation email from the IFS payments area. Your gift voucher is now confirmed!

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