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Interview with writer Jeanne Marie Ford
Topic Started: Aug 8 2013, 11:25 PM (1,660 Views)
Matt
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Classic Soap Fan

Credit goes to http://www.welovesoaps.net/ for posting an excerpt of this article which brought it to my attention.

http://www.frederickgorilla.com/soap-opera-diva
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Supergirlx2
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"I love working with Kristian. She's wonderful and fantastic." ~ DC

TFP!

i love her quote at the end of the article:
“I know that a lot of people consider soap writers and actors ‘hacks,’” she says. But, “I have worked with so many intelligent, hard-working, extremely talented people. … I’ve worked on this show almost my entire adult life, and I feel very, very lucky to live with one foot in Frederick County and the other in Salem, USA.”
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Ellie


TFP! Too funny about the 'Stan' storyline. I think that would challenge any writer.
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mirabella


Thanks for posting. That was quite an interesting interview. Enjoyed it!
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SocRMum1
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Much prefers sweevil, snarky EJ over Father Figure Fucktard Eejiot.

Great interview - very interesting read!

I was surprised to learn the writers don't have to live in LA. I just assumed they had to be near the studio for meetings, etc...but of course in today's world people can meet anytime, anywhere via conference calls, Skype, etc.
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LuvingLumi
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♥ LUMI ♥

SocRMum1
Aug 9 2013, 09:32 AM
Great interview - very interesting read!

I was surprised to learn the writers don't have to live in LA. I just assumed they had to be near the studio for meetings, etc...but of course in today's world people can meet anytime, anywhere via conference calls, Skype, etc.
Didn't JER live on the East Coast or something? I read once upon a time that he was rarely at the studio, he didn't want to meet with the actors or anything.....he wanted the story to be his without influencing from anyone in Burbank
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Matt
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Hell, Bill Bell lived in Chicago for YEARS while writing ATWT, DAYS, & Y&R. I believe that Irna Philips always lived in Chicago. Stories about her frequent telephone calls to the ATWT studios immediately after live airings are LEGENDARY.

Secretary: "Hello. As the World Turns."
Irna: "Not today, it didn't!"
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Supergirlx2
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"I love working with Kristian. She's wonderful and fantastic." ~ DC

LuvingLumi
Aug 9 2013, 09:34 AM
SocRMum1
Aug 9 2013, 09:32 AM
Great interview - very interesting read!

I was surprised to learn the writers don't have to live in LA. I just assumed they had to be near the studio for meetings, etc...but of course in today's world people can meet anytime, anywhere via conference calls, Skype, etc.
Didn't JER live on the East Coast or something? I read once upon a time that he was rarely at the studio, he didn't want to meet with the actors or anything.....he wanted the story to be his without influencing from anyone in Burbank
that bolded part is pretty much not an option these days.
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SocRMum1
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Much prefers sweevil, snarky EJ over Father Figure Fucktard Eejiot.

In a weird way I can see a head writer getting away with it more than the script writers. I guess I just always imagined them sitting in a room together and divvying up who is going to do what.

Then again...given that there are times I'd almost swear none of them have the first idea what the others have written or will be writing I guess this makes more sense.
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Matt
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Script writers don't get to decide what episodes they get to write. The Head Writer(s) is in charge of all of that. He/She assigns which breakdowns the individual breakdown writers handle as well as which scripts the individual script writers do. Certain script writers excel with different types of episode (some excel at comedy, some history, some deep character based scenes, some deep action episodes) and the skill comes in knowing which episodes need to be assigned to which script writer (in addition to taking into account which writers work the fastest & how many scripts a writer can take on and meet deadlines with quality material while also negotiating vacations etc.) In the grand scheme of things, a so-so writer who is fast & consistently meets their deadlines (which little need of rewrites) can often be far more valuable than a hugely talented script writer who frequently fails to adhere to breakdown guidelines, puts too much of a personal flourish in their scripts, and whose material is constantly late (which then holds up the rest of production, costing money).
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KAM


Matt
Aug 9 2013, 11:25 AM
Script writers don't get to decide what episodes they get to write. The Head Writer(s) is in charge of all of that. He/She assigns which breakdowns the individual breakdown writers handle as well as which scripts the individual script writers do. Certain script writers excel with different types of episode (some excel at comedy, some history, some deep character based scenes, some deep action episodes) and the skill comes in knowing which episodes need to be assigned to which script writer (in addition to taking into account which writers work the fastest & how many scripts a writer can take on and meet deadlines with quality material while also negotiating vacations etc.) In the grand scheme of things, a so-so writer who is fast & consistently meets their deadlines (which little need of rewrites) can often be far more valuable than a hugely talented script writer who frequently fails to adhere to breakdown guidelines, puts too much of a personal flourish in their scripts, and whose material is constantly late (which then holds up the rest of production, costing money).
Thanks, Matt. The interview and your commentary are both very interesting.

I'm with SocRMum1, I didn't realize that the script writers could be completely long distance all the time. Unfortunately, it explains a lot about the weakness in the development of so many soap stories. IMO, JER's apparent refusal to interact with the show he was writing was reflected in the worst aspects of his S/Ls. If he had actually sat there through the week's filming and watched the actors doing the same things over and over again and then turn out of character on a dime, maybe we would have seen better shows. Maybe not. With Reilly, who knows? A force unto himself.

But what about TomSell? Are they on set?
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Graceland
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What episode was submitted, then nominated, and then won at this year's Emmy Awards?

Anyone know what was the first episode aired that was written by the (new) current head writers?
Edited by Graceland, Aug 9 2013, 06:13 PM.
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Supergirlx2
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"I love working with Kristian. She's wonderful and fantastic." ~ DC

KAM
Aug 9 2013, 05:30 PM
Matt
Aug 9 2013, 11:25 AM
Script writers don't get to decide what episodes they get to write. The Head Writer(s) is in charge of all of that. He/She assigns which breakdowns the individual breakdown writers handle as well as which scripts the individual script writers do. Certain script writers excel with different types of episode (some excel at comedy, some history, some deep character based scenes, some deep action episodes) and the skill comes in knowing which episodes need to be assigned to which script writer (in addition to taking into account which writers work the fastest & how many scripts a writer can take on and meet deadlines with quality material while also negotiating vacations etc.) In the grand scheme of things, a so-so writer who is fast & consistently meets their deadlines (which little need of rewrites) can often be far more valuable than a hugely talented script writer who frequently fails to adhere to breakdown guidelines, puts too much of a personal flourish in their scripts, and whose material is constantly late (which then holds up the rest of production, costing money).
Thanks, Matt. The interview and your commentary are both very interesting.

I'm with SocRMum1, I didn't realize that the script writers could be completely long distance all the time. Unfortunately, it explains a lot about the weakness in the development of so many soap stories. IMO, JER's apparent refusal to interact with the show he was writing was reflected in the worst aspects of his S/Ls. If he had actually sat there through the week's filming and watched the actors doing the same things over and over again and then turn out of character on a dime, maybe we would have seen better shows. Maybe not. With Reilly, who knows? A force unto himself.

But what about TomSell? Are they on set?
i wouldn't be surprised if Tomlin was. When he was EP, he was apparently on set quite frequently and telling certain actors how they were supposed to play their scenes.
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Supergirlx2
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"I love working with Kristian. She's wonderful and fantastic." ~ DC

Graceland
Aug 9 2013, 06:13 PM
What episode was submitted, then nominated, and then won at this year's Emmy Awards?

Anyone know what was the first episode aired that was written by the (new) current head writers?
which "first episode" do you want? the first episode where they were credited, or the first episode where their stories started airing? I ask for the clarification because TomSell took over in the midst of the Daysaster. The idea/concept of the Daysaster was MarDar's, however TomSell rewrote part of it.
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Graceland
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Their stories. :)
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Matt
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Personally, I don't know why the hell writers would actually want to be on set. Having the writers around all of the time just seems like a recipe for disaster, IMO.
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thepadange


Graceland
Aug 9 2013, 06:13 PM
What episode was submitted, then nominated, and then won at this year's Emmy Awards?

2 Episodes. Aired: August 13, 2012 and November 8, 2012
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JarlenaLante
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Thanks for posting---interesting behind the scenes article on an aspect of the industry we don't get to hear about often.

One example I know of a Head Writer not living in the same city as their show is GH. Ron Carlivati still lives in New York City, and its taped in LA. However, Executive Producer Frank Valentini does live in LA and is on the set all the time.
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