"Ms. Gionfridda, one of my favorite Season 5 LOCI episodes is "Vacancy," where Vincent is seemingly winking at the audience with his take on actors & the method acting approach. Was that your intent, and if so, did VDO enjoy doing those scenes?
Post by nomoreexcuses on Mar 14, 2009 13:43:27 GMT -5
Wow, what a great opportunity.
1. Dick Wolf has often remarked that L&O storylines are "ripped from the headlines" of The New York Post. It seems to me that the most complex and interesting episodes don't originate from the tabloids but rather from the Metro, National, and Business sections of The New York Times. Which sources do you, personally, find most fertile for L&O stories? Why?
2. You wrote the episode "Masquerade" for LOCI which was based on the Jon Benet Ramsey story and you were the executive story editor for Season 6's "Rocket Man" and "Bombshell" which were also tabloid-type episodes. Since the details of the real new stories were covered to death in the press, really how creative can the writers get with them? Are they more difficult to make fresh than other kinds of stories? Why do them at all?
3. What does a story editor/executive story editor do?
Thank you! nme
Last Edit: Mar 14, 2009 13:45:06 GMT -5 by nomoreexcuses
Post by nomoreexcuses on Mar 14, 2009 14:51:53 GMT -5
I agree. That was a good question, DonnaJo. "Vacancy" was maybe the cleverest LOCI ep ever written. All of the actors seemed to be having so much fun with it. I wonder if Vincent D'Onofrio suggested the story.
Last Edit: Mar 14, 2009 14:53:47 GMT -5 by nomoreexcuses
Post by annabelleleigh on Mar 14, 2009 15:43:02 GMT -5
The story for "Vacancy" was pulled from an actual passage in "Respect for Acting" (the book which Goren uses to get a confession in the last scene of the episode). In it renown acting teacher and author Uta Hagen discusses the potential disaster that could result from a Method actor so immersing himself in his character that he loses control.
I think it's the most interesting (and yes, clever) script Gina Gionfriddo wrote for CI and I also would like to hear the full story on how the episode came to be -- and how it was developed with and for the so-famously Method man, Vincent D'Onofrio.
Post by mothernight2 on Mar 15, 2009 11:30:06 GMT -5
This is a great opportunity. Thanks very much to the moderators for making it happen.
I'm somewhat familiar with Gina Gionfriddo's play writing. I saw a production of U.S. Drag several years ago and I attended a staged reading of After Ashley. So I've also been interested in her television career for the L&O shows.
- What drives you to write for the theater when the big audiences and money are in television and film?
- How much, if any, influence does the TV scriptwriter have over the casting, direction or editing of her scenarios? At either LOCI or L&O original have you ever been surprised by the post-edited episode in that it varied significantly from your original vision?
- Has writing plays made you a better TV scriptwriter? Has writing scripts for L&O (and LOCI) made you a better playwright? If either or both, in what way specifically?
- I also would like to learn more about "table readings." How much input do the stars (VDO, Erbe, Sisto, Anderson, Roache, etc) have or want at the first reading? Can you describe an episode of either show when an actor argued against certain dialogue because he or she didn't think it fit his or her character? What happened?
- The TV characters you write for were mostly developed by someone else. Thinking about your experiences both at LOCI and L&O which characters do you personally relate to the most (if any)? Which characters are easiest to write, or which are a bit more difficult. In either instance, why?
- The L&O series seem to cast a lot of the same guest stars and supporting actors, at least over time. Are there guest actors you especially enjoy working with? Is there a particular guest star you think really nailed one of your characters? How did she or he do that in your opinion?
I have so many more questions but I'll stop here and hope maybe one or two of mine will make the cut. I can't wait to read the interview.
Thank you SO MUCH Ms. Gionfriddo for agreeing to take time from your obviously busy career to communicate with us fans.
Great questions on work & work motivations - I look forward to hearing the answers.
I always like to look into the person also; if my questions are intrusive; please ignor them - but I like to know what people who have worked hard for their success like and what they seek out for relaxation.
What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working? Favorite music? Favorite food to eat? To prepare? What is your favorite scent & why? If you like animals - what one (s) and why? Do you tend to have friends who are of like mind - if so; which characteristic attracts you? - if you have a diversity ..... what is their common thread that allows them to be called a friend? What type of shoe do you wear most often? ( you can hold back the brand if you like & go for type if you like). What is the thing in your home that you like the most (non-human)? Do you blackberry? If so, do you like it ? Do you think as humans we are growing into a better type of person overall - or are we about the same as we find ourselves throughout history?
Thank you for your time !
Last Edit: Mar 15, 2009 15:07:14 GMT -5 by Metella
Post by annabelleleigh on Mar 16, 2009 8:50:05 GMT -5
For Gina Gionfriddo:
Of the 76 people who have written for the mothership over the years, about a fifth (16) have been women. Writing credits for less than a quarter of the episodes are attributed to women.
Of the 22 writers employed over time for CI, more than half -- 13 -- have been been women. About 65% of all the CI episodes are credited to women writers.
Please comment on whether you believe that the gender disparity in the two shows' writing staffs has made a difference in their respective development.
-- In the development of the main protagonists? (Goren in particular but also Jack McCoy and all of the female ADAs.) -- In the variety of women characters in the stories? -- In the choice of stories and the issues each series has pursued?
You are the sole author of your plays but in TV you work with collaborators. At CI you wrote with both Rene Balcer and Warren Leight. At L&O your writing partner is Richard Sweren.
Were there/are there any interesting distinctions among these collaborations? In how you work(ed) together or in the kind of stories that attract(ed) your various partners? If so, please elaborate. What are the advantages and disadvantages of writing with a partner?
Post by nomoreexcuses on Mar 16, 2009 13:06:09 GMT -5
I have another one and I really hope Ms. Gionfriddo can answer it. I don't think I'm the only one interested in this topic.
Why aren't there crossover episodes between LOCI and L&O original? With all these L&O writers and producers now running both detective teams at LOCI, and the head guy at L&O and a couple of the writers (including Gina Gionfriddo) part of the original creative team at LOCI, why isn't that a future possibility --especially with NBC also airing LOCI starting in June?
Would Ms. Gionfriddo be interested in developing a story and/or writing the script for such a crossover episode? Has she ever proposed such a thing to her boss since arriving at L&O?
My apologies if I'm asking too many questions. I realize I'm new here and also fairly new to LOCI but I'm so excited about this interview!
Last Edit: Mar 16, 2009 13:08:11 GMT -5 by nomoreexcuses
Post by annabelleleigh on Mar 17, 2009 9:22:24 GMT -5
Or for that matter, why hasn't there been another intra-series crossover? Not since the award-nominated "In The Wee Small Hours" Parts 1 and 2 from Rene Balcer and Stephanie Sengupta have fans been treated to such fun.
But back to a CI-mothership crossover: NME is right . The personnel now running (and writing for) both shows should bring the stars into perfect alignment for a fabulous two-parter:
Part 1: Major Case gets involved in an L&O case because investigation reveals a mind-blowing crime that affects the entire city. Part 2 concludes with revealing testimony in a brilliant trial that ends with a big legal twist.
Certainly Gina Gionfriddo and Richard Sweren are the ideal team for such a crossover.
I'd also add that a crossover last year between "CSI" and "Without A Trace" paid off in promotion and ratings. Aren't two of Team Goldblum former "CSI" writers? Wouldn't they support a crossover?
Maybe all of the above is more a question for Rene Balcer -- but I'd still like to know if a juicy two-part CI-L&O crossover is a writing challenge Ms. Gionfriddo would like to take on.