"I Realized I Was Eric"
H: I don't think it does. ["See what a witty and incisive interviewer I am?" -- Heathen]
JA: Or hopefully they're all good, and people won't care.
H: Yeah, they're all pretty good. Ha. I don't think I've made it a secret that I love the show. I feel no shame [mid-ramble, the mind goes blank...what to say...what to ask...I've only had one Diet Coke today...I need laundry money...Should I ask them if they have change for a five? Shit...] Um, so is it always this laid-back and comfortable around here?
LM: There was a time when we did work. The board [gestures to a mostly blank whiteboard on the wall] was much fuller.
JA: We're done shooting and we're finishing up the editing now.
H: When do you wrap completely?
JA: A week from Wednesday [so, Feb. 6]. Since we have the offices until the end of February, everyone comes in every day, as if we're writing some kind of spec movie script, which I don't think is actually happening for any of us.
Jenni Konner: It's a hard habit to break.
JM: We were considerably busier when we were shooting. It's been a good staff, and a good place to work.
[At this point, a truck backs out of a nearby parking lot, beeping a poisonous din that blocks out some audio on my tape -- inconveniently, you're missing the part where they sang a special Ode to Heathen, fashioned me an Emmy™ out of salad, and gave me Charlie Hunnam as a token of their esteem. So, sorry you missed the fun -- take it up with the truck.]
H: It seems like you're all so comfortable with each other. When you write, do you just sit back and bounce ideas off each other, or is it a more solitary process?
KB: It's a good combination of both, where we all work on story a bit together and then the writer goes off, writes it alone, comes back, everyone gives notes, and then the writer goes off and the back-and-forth starts over again.
JK: We're not, like, all in this room twelve hours a day.
H: Do you storyboard everything, figuring out the general stories and then assigning them to specific writers?
JA: In pre-production, we try to have some sense of what the arc of the episodes is going to be, but then most of that goes out the window based on what's working or not working. We try to get most of the stories down before we start -- we have a list of potential stories, and as people are breaking their episodes, they say, "Oh, I can steal that from the list." And then people go off and write. Our intention is not to table too much, because then we have to sit in a room for hours and hours, which none of us really likes doing. I prefer to read drafts, give notes and have the other writers give notes. At some point we'll probably sit as a group and punch it up. It's the opposite of how most of the other comedy shows do it and I guess it's mostly due to our lack of attention span [with meetings].