Sera Gamble Highlights the Importance of Writers' Rooms - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Sera Gamble Highlights the Importance of Writers’ Rooms

August 16, 2023 by  

Sera Gamble WGA strike interview

John McNamara and Sera Gamble on the picket line. (Photo credit: Sera Gamble/Instagram.)

Sera Gamble has been writing for television for nearly two decades—including running shows like SUPERNATURAL, THE MAGICIANS, and YOU—and as she pickets during the ongoing WGA strike, her hope for the future is clear.

“We have to protect the next generation of writers,” she tells Give Me My Remote. “That’s something that is on my mind every time I’m on the picket line. We’re lucky enough to have a union that’s fighting for us, so we have to show that we’re unified.”

Gamble’s experience has led her to network television, cable, and streaming shows. “I’ve had the full spectrum of experience as a one-hour writer,” she says with a laugh. 

As a showrunner, she’s doing what she can to ensure the next generation gets the platform to learn, too. “I really feel like it’s my job to tell them everything I know about the best way to do it, so that the show will be great, and so that it can be responsibly produced,” she explains. “And, for that reason, I really have been fighting to protect writers’ rooms in the way in the way they’re meant to be, in that you have the writers together, creating the stories, giving feedback on each episode, and then going to set to actively produce their own episodes.”

With many modern streaming shows, a small group of writers get together and break the season-long arc. Scripts are turned in and then production starts, with only a showrunner and occasionally another writer staying on to guide the series through filming. Gamble—along with most showrunners—is pushing back against that during this strike, in the hopes writers will be kept on to actively produce their own episode…something that helps both the writer in question and the show itself.

“You can’t show up to set without seeing one bizarre thing, where you run in just in time to keep it from being in the frame,” she says. “But I have had conversations with actors and with directors that have changed the course of the season. They point something out, or maybe even just have questions about it, and it made me think more deeply about a storyline and I’d go back to the [writers’] room [and it would impact things].”

“A writer’s job on set is to represent the intent of the script—and not just the script, but the whole season,” Gamble continues. “The writers have been in the room, they know why these decisions have been made. When you walk on a set, you’re surrounded by craftspeople and artists. And they do their best work when they have context. The director does their best to cram their head full of a season of context in one episode, but that’s what the writer is there for—telling you why this is the way it is, so you can do your best work.”

With the WGA strike well past the 100-day mark, Gamble also encourages fans to utilize social media “to express your support to the Writers Guild and to SAG.”

There are a number of funds that have been set up to support the support staff and crew, because the downstream effect of this is so many people are out of work,” she says. “I actually think if you live in Los Angeles, you need to kind of be aware of that every small business owner is being impacted by this. The best outcome is for us to negotiate hard now, get a great deal, and put everybody back to work. In the meantime, please donate, please support local businesses in Los Angeles.”


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While the hope is to get a good deal ASAP, the strike did allow for an unexpected silver lining: a reunion between the writers and cast of THE MAGICIANS.

“[THE MAGICIANS co-showrunner] John [McNamara] called me and was like, ‘Do you want to go in on an ice cream truck?’ And I was like, ‘Yes, I want ice cream at ten in the morning,’” she says with a laugh. “But this is the first time so many of the writers and the actors who worked on THE MAGICIANS have been together—our show ended in March 2020. The last thing I did in person before we all went home for the pandemic was the very last playback for the series finale. So it’s been really very emotional to strike with these people, walk with them, because I spent years of my life [working on the show]. I just took a picture of a whole row of MAGICIANS villains and it made me so happy!”


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