On my amazing visit to the NCIS: Los Angeles set in 2013, I was met at the Paramount set by Erin Broadhurst who was designated as our official escort for the day. Little did I know at the time that Erin would eventually leave the offices of Shane Brennan and become a member of one of the most highly respected writing teams on TV today. Erin made the time spent on set a special one, with an introduction to the dream team, and a tour of the set and the Paramount studio lot. Last year it was announced that Erin would be joining the writing staff and by the end of season five the burgeoning scriptwriter was putting on the finishing touches of her first episode “Praesidium”, co-written with R. Scott Gemmill and debuting tonight on CBS.
wikiDeeks was excited when Erin agreed to talk to us about her experience on her first NCIS: Los Angeles script and it sounds like she had a great time working through the process. First we wanted to take a step back and find out what it was like making the transition from the administrative side and into the writers’ den….
Being responsible for note taking, creative, research was definitely a fun change from the writers den, and moving toward where I’d like my career to be. Being creative and helping other people be creative is fun, but it’s still stressful in its own way (deadlines, etc.). The administrative side can be stressful because that’s what keeps everything moving forward and you’re the point person for that. On the flip side of that, the fun part is that you get to see the nuts and bolts of how a TV show gets made and that everyone’s has an important role.
Do you have one specific mentor on the writing team?
Sounds cliché, but all of them are mentors in their own way. Everyone has experiences and stories to share and is open to talking about them. I’ve worked with Joe Wilson since Season 6 of NCIS before we both moved on to NCISLA. What I really love is the unexpected mentoring moments that happen. Some of the best writing related chats with Shane Brennan have happened very spontaneously.
What’s it like being one of the few female writers on the team? As a woman do you bring a different perspective to the group?
Being a woman, I definitely think I bring a new perspective. I’m very much an advocate of women helping one another out in all areas of life, and there’s even a little shout-out to female mentorship in the episode.
On my first day as writers’ assistant, I saw Samantha and Jordana gathered near my new desk, talking. I got so excited about seeing my fellow female colleagues in one place that I rounded the corner and exclaimed “Girl Power!” with my fist in the air. What I didn’t see is that Shane was around that corner as well. It was super embarrassing, but I think I got my viewpoint across pretty clearly.
Which is your favorite character to write or which character do you find easiest to write and why?
That’s a hard one! If I HAD to pick one, I’d say that I really loved writing Hetty on this one because she is feeling helpless but has to remain strong and vigilant for the sake of the team.
What was the most fun about working on this episode?
I’ve worked much of the cast and crew since I started with the show, so it was so exciting to working with them in a creative capacity. I’ve known Dennis Smith since my NCIS days and so actually getting to work together on my script (with him) was amazing…. also writing with R. Scott Gemmill, who is hilarious.
Do you know how many scripts you will be writing at the beginning of the season or do you find out over the course of the year? Will you have another script this season that we can look forward to?
I’m not sure at this point, but I’d love the opportunity to write again this season. Until then, I’ll keep working on my own projects after hours and cranking away on my anonymous NCIS:LA Fan Fiction….I mean coming up with new ideas for the show.
What would you say is your style of writing? Are you strong on in-depth case studies, bromance banter, mysteries or romantic situations, and which do you enjoy the most?
Ooh I feel like this should be a BuzzFeed quiz, like which Breakfast Food are you! When I was writing the episode, and even in my brainstorming, I tended to veer toward crafting a story based on something going on in the headlines or something that happened in history. I also really like working on those action comedy moments where our team is in a serious situation but they are still able to find a second to be lighthearted.
Thanks go out to Erin for taking the time to answer some of our questions regarding her transition into the writer’s world of NCIS: Los Angeles. We’re looking forward to her next creative endeavor, which will hopefully be sometime later this year. We wish Erin all the best! Make sure you some back tomorrow for my review of “Praesidium”. Only on wikiDeeks!
Diane Volpe is a Contributing Editor at wikiDeeks.com. Follow her on Twitter: @phillydi