Thanks to the gracious invitation from my Screenwriting Research Network colleague Paolo Russo – and a grant he was able to procure (and in the before-Covid time) I was able to spend a week at Oxford Brookes University working with the screenwriting masters students in Paolo’s course. At the culmination of the week, I gave this lecture on how writers rooms worked in the States.
Neil Simon actually wrote about writing for Sid Caesar in a play and that was all about glorifying what happened in the writer’s room. So it’s really a fun kind of play if you see it. I did some work on this tv show which is from the 60s. It’s also all on YouTube if you care to see it. It was a comedy about four guys who ran a rock and roll band. They’re literally still around and still touring. They’re in New Zealand right now. That’s how long-lasting the effect of the show was but these folks were all the writers of it including Treva Silverman — the woman up in the corner. She was the first woman to write alone on a series without a male partner — a husband or a guy who happened to work with her. That’s a big move. It seems ridiculous but that was a big moment in TV history.
Watch this entire presentation
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