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Go Girl's writer's blog: Episode nine


Episode 9

Rachel Lang

I'm cheating here because I didn't write episode 9, but Gavin is a bit busy with a new show this week.  (It's called This Is Not My Life and is for TV2, and they start shooting next week.  It should be on next year.  But because it's a First Series, it will no doubt be challenging in all sorts of ways.) 

Anyway around ep 9, Gavin was on the long slog where the end of the scripts was in sight, but not really.  Scripts, as it turns out, aren't really finished when they're published or even when they're shot.  They go on clinging on like biddy bids, even after the cut of the episode, when there are often extra bits of dialogue (ADR) to tidy things up, or make things clear. 

It's been good catching up with these episodes, because when this was shot, things were um, busy.  I was also working on Another Show, which I can't mention, because it's on Another Channel.  But anyway, there were drafts of scripts and edits of episodes lobbing in like missiles.

Watching episode 9 the other night with number 1 son made me remember a couple of things.  The first was that a lot of our early episodes came in Under - ie, they were too short, so we had to write extra scenes to fill the time. 

This was something of a shock, because the usual problem is being Over.  But by the time we got to eps 9, 10 and 11, the scripts were stonkingly large; rather like phone books, small forests were being felled to make them.

Director Britta Johnstone arrived after working on Another Show, the one which shall remain nameless, to receive her three phone books.

(We usually shoot episodes in blocks of 2 - but even I, astoundingly bad at maths, can see that 13 cannot be neatly divided by two.)

So there needed to be one block which would be three episodes.  And Director Britta was the woman who copped that heavy load.

By this point in the shoot it had been raining endlessly for months in the City of Snails and the sunny North Shore was a chilly wet bog, so initial new series excitement had seriously worn off.   And in the glamorous world of TV, the basic crew day is ten hours long, so it's not surprising that people get shagged.  

Director Britta walked into this, while also trying to get her head round the phone books.  Lucky her!

But sitting back and watching on the telly, you can't really tell any of that.  Having worked on a few series now, I've realised that series are like babies - the second one is the one to have: it's generally easier, and you've forgotten the pain and sleepless nights you had with the first. 

So yes, it wasn't easy, but in the end it doesn't matter.  What you see on screen is all that matters.

And Director Britta did a great job with the monster block.  This is because she is unflappably brilliant (even though if you ever meet her, she would never say that because she is also very modest).  And for the first time because of her touches, the scripts started coming in Over.

I just love what Director Britta does with a musical montage, and this is my favourite bit of episode 9, where Character Britta does her song at the engagement party.

The song was written by Kate McD's husband, Mike Hall, with lyrics by Gavin (who secretly wanted to be a song writer, but no one would  have him).  The song intercuts Cody getting it on with Mr Maddox, Amy getting it on with Kev and then the sad remains of the engagement party, where Britta is singing to no one, except Wanda, who has one or two issues.

But more of her next week!


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