Over the next week, story springboards pour in from writers other than Jack Hanrahan and Eleanor Burian-Mohr; writers I hadn’t worked with yet. Durnie King, Jeff Rose, Roger Scott and Mike Moore rounded out my cadre of writers.
As I read each springboard and made notes about the ones I liked, I gave them the respect and time they deserved. I remember when I was a freelance writer chirping to get script assignments. It’s highly competitive and highly stressful. As a freelancer you put your best efforts into it, then sit and wait, totally on edge until you hopefully get the greenlight to move to writing a treatment based on your approved story springboard.
A lot of the story springboards were approved, and writers gleefully moved to writing treatments. Part of the reason for the high approval rate was that most of the writers had
written for Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats during the series’ previous sixty-five episode run. So they were able to submit what Lori and I were looking for.
To be honest, I didn’t know what the process was after I submitted springboards to Lori. For this twenty-one episode run of the series she was serving as ‘Creative Supervisor’. I was sure Lori was in the trenches, on the front line. I doubt Jean Chalopin, Bruno Bianchi or the other top execs had time to read the story springboards that came from Lori. I figured she sat with Jean for a couple hours and gave him one or two sentence pitches for each springboard and he would approve the ones he liked.
Things clicked and clacked along and we had a dozen or so full scripts being written when it occurred to me that this was a different kind of series…at least for me. And the difference was compelling, engaging and ironic, all at the same time.