49 Speaking Up In The Writer’s Room from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

49 Speaking Up In The Writer's Room There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

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.


…and I really say that to the girls a lot because when I have my classes, often when I just open pitching up — anyone can start pitching their ideas — who’s first? We’ll go through a line of like four guys and then I have to stop and go “Does anyone notice anything odd right now?” and I promise you it will be a boy who says “None of the girls have pitched yet.” The girls haven’t even recognized that they are waiting their turn. No one will give you a turn. You have to take a turn or you won’t move as far as you like as fast as you like. So speaking of the big deal and I hate to say it but I learned how to cuss in a writer’s room because sometimes that was the only way to get attention. If I threw out a good four-letter word, all of a sudden everybody was looking at my section of the table which doesn’t make my mother very happy, but it was a silly thing right? So you have to think about managing yourself and managing the other people that you are around. That’s a big deal.

Watch this entire presentation

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