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When the folks hosting the conference announced their theme as “Screen Narratives: Chaos and Order” the word ‘chaos’ immediately brought to mind writers rooms. I offered a quick history of writers rooms (the presentations are only 20 minutes long) and then quoted several current showrunners on how they compose their rooms and how they run them.
In terms of Handmaid’s Tale, they talk about how much work ahead of time they have to do and how much he wants the whole staff to contribute. He doesn’t want to be the full runner of the show — Bruce Miller — he wants everyone to be part of what he’s creating because he recognizes he’s a man running a show about women being oppressed in this Margaret Atwood future. So he has a particular take there and of course, we’re back to Vince Gilligan who I love greatly. He’s talking about making people feel comfortable, which I said, and I think comfort is very, very important. It has to be a safe place so that everyone is willing to tell their story. I laugh because my first days on Touched by an Angel the way they got all the writers to know each other was everyone had to tell the story of how they lost their virginity and once you told that to a room full of strangers you were willing to tell anything else. So it was an interesting first day of work to be sure. I’m not sure that qualifies as safe anymore but we’ll see.
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