I spent yesterday as writer-on-the-set for filming of my bylined episode of The Forgotten. A lot of time is spent in the writers' room swapping ideas and working up stories, but every now and again you have to shut the door and write one. And that's as much insider leakage as I'm prepared to offer... the omerta of the writers' room prevails.
It was a long day on the Warners lot, but a fast-moving and productive one. It took me a couple of hours to pick up the rhythm and to fully get my head around having a role in the process, after a career-so-far in which the writer onset has always been essentially a visitor. When I showed up there was even a chair with my name on it. Well, not my name, exactly. But it said 'Writer'.
The episode's director is fellow-Brit Bill Eagles and the producer is another fellow-Brit, Matthew Carlisle. My first contact with Matthew was back last year when he was producer on Eleventh Hour; our DP is also Eleventh Hour's David Stockton.
In fact, what I found yesterday is that a large number of The Forgotten's department heads and crew worked on that show. I know it because they made a point of seeking me out to tell me so. Not an easy show to make, they all agree, but everyone seems to regard it - and working with Rufus and Marley - with unusual affection.
And I see traces of it everywhere. The traffic cone that protects Danny Cannon's parking spot in Warner Village still has the show's name stencilled on it. The location scout for my Forgotten episode included a loft used in filming Olfactus. On the way back from the tech scout, Matthew and unit production manager John Scherer pointed out the freezer plant used in Containment.
But that was then, and this is now. I understand that Human Target now occupies our old offices on the Warners Ranch. And me - well, I'm in a place that I didn't even imagine two years ago, still learning new stuff and still buzzed by the wonder of seeing it made.
And free food, when you're shooting.