Ira is the ultimate insider. As the Writer’s Room Assistant of Rogue, he’s intimately involved in the show’s creation and has exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the set and the stars. Every week in this blog, he’ll share interviews, production photos, and insider scoops you won’t find anywhere else.
But first we wanted to hear a little more about him. Here’s an introduction, in his own words.
Sundown. West Hollywood rooftop. Drinks with the writers and producers of Rogue. As the newly minted Writer’s Room Assistant, I should be enjoying this moment – instead I’m stressing about whether it’s polite for me to order another beer on the showrunner’s tab. I go for it, despite the imaginary glares I will receive from him all night long for doing so. A producer leans in and tells me that if everything goes well, the plan is to make me a writer on season two. I decide to ignore the fact that she’s a couple spritzers deep and take that as a genuine overture. My feeling of superiority over my struggling writer friends lasts for about thirty seconds before our Exec Producer yells for me. He has his arm around our waiter, and asks me if I know who this is. I do not. The waiter proceeds to tell our group that he was the Writers Room Assistant on the first season of The Sopranos. Screw it, I’m having another beer.
Disclaimer: In order to protect privacy, storylines, and my job, you will receive an honest, yet incomplete, view into the writer’s room and on-set production of Rogue.
Entry #1 — Journey Into the Abyss
I applied to the Rogue Writer’s Room position after several friends of mine sent me the identical job posting on the same day. They’re asking for a procedural drama writing sample — instead, I send what I have: an absurdist comedy. I’m sure they won’t even read it. They did not.
Before my interview I had a buddy of mine at ICM pass me the show’s pilot. I figure I’ll casually drop into the conversation that I’ve already read the thing – advantage Ira. I pull into the parking lot of the Pacific Design Center about 20 minutes before my interview, only to get an email from my friend with the updated version of the pilot, as well as the entire series bible. Dear God. I frantically read them both at the same time — one out of each eye. I’m now cutting it pretty close – and this building is huge. I start running — the clacking from my dress shoes echo as I sprint down the empty corridors. But I make it on time.
They bring me in to meet with the Creator/Head Writer, Matthew Parkhill (brilliant and handsome – apparently God does give with both hands). Interview is going well. The Exec Producer, Nick Hamm, joins in. Interview now feels like an interrogation — but I manage to keep my wits about me. I have this thing locked up. “You’ll hear from us by Friday.” Friday comes and goes. Then Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday… crap. Then finally the call: “Congrats, you’re the Writer’s Room Assistant.” From the decision delay though, I’m going to assume that I was the third, fourth, or fifth choice on their list. I quickly remind myself that Brett Hull was drafted in the sixth round, and Tom Brady in the ninth—so yes, world class talent is occasionally undervalued.