Writers Talking TV
Last night I attended Writers Talking TV, a monthly event held by writers for writers where they interview the showrunner/creator and screen one or two episodes then follow up the screening with questions from the audience. It’s hosted by TV writer Denis McGrath whose podcast on this event can be found here on iTunes or on the Writers’ Guild website.
Anyone can attend, you don’t have to be a writer and it’s free! But be sure you RSVP and show up relatively early to get a seat. The venue has changed to TIFF Bell Lightbox, which is significantly bigger than the previous Camera Lounge. You’ll meet other working writers, aspiring writers and just fans of the show being screened. Tonight, it was Lost Girl.
I’ve watched very little Lost Girl so essentially this was my first full episode and I was admittedly a little lost in the story. The show is a big international hit, especially among the LGBT community because the heroine is bisexual. It’s similar to Buffy The Vampire Slayer, but darker and sexier (according to the Show Runner, Emily Andras).
Denis hosted a full hour interviewing Emily. He’s good at asking questions writers are interested in like how she started out, what it’s like working in the writers’ room, how they break down the story, how they handle feedback, what they look for in new writers, etc.. These questions spark great conversations about how few women are in Canadian writers’ rooms and why, difficulties faced by writers on Canadian series (typically budget-related), how the season plays out on a standard series and that sort of thing. It’s worth listening to the podcast to hear the discussion.
It’s a good idea to go to these types of events, even if it’s only to learn something about the show in case you pitch for them one day. If there’s nothing like this in your area, maybe you could create one. If you can’t get writers of that particular show to attend, make the event your own and if eventually it becomes something big, you could invite someone to attend or perhaps email them with a few questions or get them on the phone or Skype. If you don’t live in a Hollywood hotspot, it helps to know there are other isolated writers like you nearby.