It’s been an insane last couple of months. Had the pleasure of working in a writer’s room with kick-ass (literally and figuratively) Emmy-nominated showrunner Morgan Gendel, who joined us in Cologne from LA for an intense 6 weeks. We created a brand new series and wrote the whole first season, that means, 9 full episodes in that time. Yes. It was exhausting and thrilling.
I’m not used to the frenetic TV pacing but definitely learned how to write fast whilst maintaining quality. I’m not used to writing with so many heads and there we were, 10 of us, beating out every episode together. The collaborative process has been nothing but enriching. Maybe we got lucky, maybe we were too tired to put up a fight, but we never had any major collisions.
I’m now sitting alone in my writing office, that corner of the living room we converted into my own little writing oasis, and I’m missing the instant feedback and help only a well run writer’s room can offer. White boards, index cards, silo beats, beat sheets, I’m lost without you. Now we all know that writer’s rooms aren’t Germany’s favorite television model, at least not those run by a Showrunner, but I’m sure we’re all asking ourselves at this moment: why not?!
Three heads are better than one. Six heads can speed up the process without it being detrimental to the quality and therefore be better than three if you’re looking for a horizontal arc show with more than 8 episodes. A writer/producer is an asset to the industrial entertainment machine we know as television, yet producers here on this side of the pond, don’t seem to be too keen on the idea. And I’m not just saying. We’ve had the pleasure of sitting with successful German producers, broadcasters and pay-tv during this period. And they all squeal at the pronunciation of the word “Showrunner”. Well, they say, TV is a different beast in Europe as it is in the US. There are financial implications. I think there are educational implications. Nobody is trained to be a showrunner nor to work well in a writer’s room. I highly doubt there isn’t a sustainable financial model out there to run a modest writer’s room for any given TV series. But that’s a whole new blog entry of its own.
Nevertheless, I’m ready to jump on board any writer’s room that comes along. If we can write a whole season in six weeks, that means 9 full episodes, we can pretty much do anything.
photo by JLD