Screen Skills Ireland Releases Podcasts on LA Writers’ Room Placements

Monday, December 16th, 2019

Screen Skills Ireland has added two new episodes to its ongoing podcast series, which explores the importance of skills development in the screen industry and different models for upskilling, as well as the variety of career pathways into the industry.

Previous episodes in the series have explored the industry landscape more broadly, featuring guests from our Responsible Production event and our annual Screen Industry Education Forum. The new episodes focus on a particular skills development initiative: the LA Writers’ Room Placements, a week long programme that enables Irish writers to experience real U.S. writers’ rooms and receive mentorship from leading industry professionals. The placements aim to enable the writers to experience the U.S. process of storytelling for TV, in order to provide valuable insights and fresh approaches for them as they take forward their own projects.

The writers’ rooms this year included Supergirl, a superhero series from DC Comics with showrunners Jessica Queller (Gilmore Girls, Gossip Girl) and Robert Rovner (Private Practice, Crossing Jordan); and S.W.A.T, a crime drama series on the CBS network with showrunners Shawn Ryan (The Shield, Timeless) and Aaron Rashon Thomas (The Get Down, Sleepy Hollow). The mentorship meetings throughout the week included writer/producer Javier Grillo-Marxauch (Lost, Dark Crystal Age Of Resistance, Cowboy Bebop); and showrunner Mike Royce (One Day At A Time, Everybody Loves Raymond, Men Of A Certain Age, Enlisted) at Sony Studios.

The first of these two new episodes explores the development of the placements with director and organiser, Des Doyle. It also includes interviews with this year’s cohort of writers, Nick Kelly, Mary McGuckian and Dathaí Keane, as they discuss what they learned from the placements, the differences between the writing process in Ireland and the U.S., and how they plan to apply what they learned in their future work.

The second episode features an extended interview with Black 47 screenwriter Pierce Ryan, who took part in the 2018 placements. Pierce discusses his creative process, the phenomenon that was Black 47, and his experience of writers’ rooms in LA.

Listen to the podcasts below: