This week on the 3rd & Fairfax podcast from the Writers Guild of America, the guests are Robert and Michelle King, who talk about their shows The Good Wife and The Good Fight, as well as other good things.
I've known Robert and Michelle for a couple of decades. In fact I served on a couple of Writers Guild committees with Robert (the editorial board and the committee to select candidates for the Guild's governing board), and was also business partners with him in an online venture that about a dozen Writers Guild members started, called the PAGE BBS -- back in the days when "bulletin board services" predated online chat groups which were just coming into prominence. It was an online meeting place for professional writers, not just WGA members -- indeed, the acronym stood for The Professional Authors Group Enterprise. (We had decided on a different name, but for some reason, PAGE, popped into my head just before the final approval vote. Everyone loved it -- except the guy who had suggested the other name -- and it was passed.)
My funniest memory of the time with PAGE is that as we were developing the site before it went online, we did a lot of testing, and Robert was always our guinea pig. That was because he was basically a technical Luddite, and we knew that if Robert could understand how to maneuver throughout the site, anyone could. To put this in perspective, Robert at the time was working more in feature films than creating TV shows, and very successfully so: he'd written the movies, Clean Slate, Red Corner, Speechless, Cutthroat Island and a lot more -- and for all that success, the way he typed his screenplays bewildered the rest of us, to the point of hysterics. It wasn't that he didn't use the normal touch-typing with all 10 fingers-- he didn't even use the old "hunt-and-peck" style, where you use both your two index fingers to tap across the keyboard. No, Robert typed all these major studio movies with a single index finger on his right hand. Single letter-by-single letter. It was hilarious to watch in action. But the screenplay results he ended up with were sure awfully good.
Eventually, Robert moved into television, wrote some TV movies, and then his wife Michelle collaborated with him to develop the TV series, In Justice. Here's the interview.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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