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portrait of Phil O'Shea

Phil O'Shea

Programme Director, MA Creative Writing (Playwriting & Screenwriting)

School of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of English

Contact Information


Visit Phil O'Shea

ALG08, College Building

Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom



Phil O'Shea is Programme Director of the MA Creative Writing (Playwriting & Screenwriting). Phil wrote and co-directed the feature film Vampire Diary (2007) which won Best Film at the Milan International Film Festival and three other major awards. Phil also wrote the feature films Spirit Trap (2005) and The Harpist (1998).

Phil has worked as a TV screenwriter for BBC, Channel 5, ITV and Sky TV, writing over thirty hours of produced TV drama. His stageplay Playing for England was on at the the King's Head Theatre, Islington in 2006. Phil has also directed TV drama for the BBC and the film The Crane, starring Jude Law, for the British Film Institute. Phil has won the UK Film Council '25 words or less' £10,000 screenwriting award, the Tours Film Festival special drama prize, the documentary film prize Toronto and the Virgin Atlantic Travel Film Award. Phil has lectured on screenwriting at Birkbeck College, London South Bank University, the City Literary Institute and many film schools. He is currently an external examiner in screenwriting at Birkbeck College University of London and at Bournemouth University. Previously he was external examiner at the University of Bedfordshire. He is a member of the film committee of the Writers Guild of Great Britain. Phil's research area is screenwriting in the digital era.



  1. O'Shea, P. Writing Film - A Good Practice Guide.

Other Activities

Keynote lectures/speeches (6)

  1. London International Screenwriting Festival. London (2010). Keynote speaker on Surviving as a Writer
  2. De Montfort University, Writer’s Day. De Montfort University Leicester (2011). Keynote address on Writing Horror.
  3. Equinoxe Screenwriting Forum, Heidelberg. Heidelberg, Germany. (2012). Participant.
  4. International Screenwriting Research Conference at Potsdam-Babelsberg university. Potsdam, Germany (2014). Presented a paper on Screenwriting In the Digital Age
  5. International Screenwriting Research Conference. Senate House, London (2015). Presented a paper on Screenwriting In the Digital Age
  6. AIM Conference. The Catholic University, Porto, Portugal. (2016). Presented a paper on Screenwriting In the Digital Age.

Media appearance

  1. German TV. Interviewed on an arts programme about my creative practice as a screenwriter and director.

Production activity

  1. Writer/Co-director of the feature film Vampire Diary.

Radio programme

  1. Radio Brighton. Radio Brighton Interviewed about my creative practice as a screenwriter and director.

Television programmes (13)

  1. Chuggington - Frostini's Meltdown. BBC 1 An episode of the TV series Chuggington
  2. Chuggington - Fire Safety. BBC1 An episode of the TV series Chuggington
  3. Spirit Trap. ITV Writer of the feature film starring Billie Piper.
  4. Dark Knight. C5 writer 4x1hr episode of the TV series based on Ivanhoe.
  5. Oscar Charlie. BBC1 Writer of two TV episodes of the TV series
  6. Dream Team. Sky TV Writer of 8 episodes of the popular soccer drama serial
  7. Risk. Canada TV Leader writer of the 26 part teen series
  8. The Harpist. WDR (Germany) Co-writer of the 90min feature film
  9. Wycliffe: Lone Voyager. ITV Writer of a one hour episode of the popular Sunday evening police series set in Cornwall.
  10. The Crane. Australia TV Writer/director of the British Film Institute funded film starring Jude Law
  11. Changing the Silence. C4 Director/Cameraperson of a documentary following a black theatre company from South London on a tour of the West Indies
  12. Yellowthread Street. ITV Writer of a one hour police episode set in Hong Kong
  13. Kinsey. BBC1 Director of the Birmingham-set TV drama about a maverick lawyer.