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Game of Thrones: GRRM Calls Out AMPTP: "Mini-Rooms Are Abominations"

In a recent post, George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones) pushed back on the AMPTP, calling mini-rooms "abominations" that hurt young writers.

Over the weekend, we checked in with bestselling author George R.R. Martin ("Game of Thrones" universe), who shared updates on the second season of AMC's Dark Winds, Peacock's Wild Cards, HBO/Max's A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight, and HBO's "Game of Thrones" spinoff House of the Dragon in light of the  WGA/AMPTP writers' strike. But this time around, GRRM is using his most recent Not A Blog post ("Writers On Set") to call out a practice that the WGA is hoping to eliminate in a new agreement with the AMPTP. "The way it works now, a show gets put in development, the showrunner assembles a 'mini-room,' made up of a couple of senior writers and a couple newcomers, they meet for a month or two, beat out the season, break down the episodes, go off and write scripts, reassemble, get notes, give notes, rewrite, rinse and repeat… and finally turn into the scripts," GRRM writes. "And show is greenlit (or not, some shows never get past the room) and sent into production. The showrunner and his second, maybe his second and his third, take it from there. The writer producers." Looking back upon his time writing for a mid-80s series revival of The Twilight Zone, GRRM makes an incredibly impactful argument that allowing writers to follow a series throughout the process is one of the best ways to give new writers the full experience of how productions work and how their words influence them.

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The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and guest George R.R. Martin during Tuesday's October 25, 2022 show. Photo: Scott Kowalchyk/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

By allowing AMPTP to continue to have their cost-cutting & creative-controlling ways, writers will continue to feel more and more disenfranchised from their own work (with GRRM making the argument that having writers on set during production should be a given). "Mini-rooms are abominations, and the refusal of the AMPTP to pay writers to stay with their shows through production — as part of the JOB, for which they need to be paid, not as a tourist — is not only wrong, it is incredibly short sighted," GRRM writes near the end of his post. "If the Story Editors of 2023 are not allowed to get any production experience, where do the studios think the Showrunners of 2033 are going to come from? If nothing else, the WGA needs to win that on that issue. No matter how long it may take."

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GRRM Updates Dark Winds S02, HOTD S02, Wild Cards & More

Here's a look back at what GRRM had to share regarding his upcoming projects and the WGA/AMPTP writers' strike:

AMC's "Dark Winds" Season 2: Good news! The second season "wrapped several months ago," and post-production is done on five of the six episodes ("… and will soon be done on the last"). GRRM believes the season will hit screens this summer, but no decision on a third season would be made until after the writers' strike.

Peacock's "Wild Cards": Not-So-Good-News (for Now), with GRRM writing that the streaming service has passed on the project: "A pity. We will try to place it elsewhere, but not until the strike is over."

HBO/Max's "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight": As expected with a series this early in the development stage, GRRM reports that the writers' room on the GOT prequel is closed, and the writers are currently "on the picket lines."

HBO's "House of the Dragon" Season 2: Along with Amazon's The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, HOTD has also been in the spotlight as production in London continues on. GRRM shares that the scripts "were all finished months ago, long before the strike began." Since that time, the author shares that every episode's script went through "four or five drafts and numerous rounds of revisions, to address HBO notes, my notes, budget concerns, etc." Stating that "there will be no further revisions,"  GRRM added that "the writers have done their jobs; the rest is in the hands of the directors, cast, and crew… and of course the dragons." HBO is one of a number of companies that are requiring showrunners & writer-producers to report to work to cover their non-writing responsibilities. The WGA argues that writing responsibilities are ongoing throughout a production; thus, putting them in violation of WGA strike rules.

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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