Friday, October 7, 2011

CM Set Report Chat w/Sharon Lee Watson 10-6

SLW: Hi everyone, it's Sharon. Can't wait for your questions.

LaTXCVI: Sharon, congratulations on a terrific first screenplay for the show where you were credited. How'd you come up with the idea behind Dorado Falls?

SLW: Thanks. I've always been interested in Capgras Syndrome but had never been able to use it in a story before. Criminal Minds seemed like the perfect place for it and a Navy Seal unsub turned the disease into something deadly.

TwistedCistern: What are the chief differences between writing for Criminal Minds and for other shows you have written for?

SLW: I wrote for the Unit and Lie to Me before Criminal Minds. On both of those series, I was part of establishing the format and characters more. On Criminal Minds, I'm joining a successful show in season 7 so it's more about not messing it up!

criminalmusings: my friend Danni who couldn't attend would like to know which of the writers (besides Rick) has the Doctor Who obsession

SLW: I do! I've loved Dr. who since I was a kid.

gchan: hi Sharon! :) great episode! the Morgan/Prentiss scene in the beginning & end were great! will we get to see her training w/ Morgan? (even just a few glimpces)

SLW: possibly ☺

zanneJ: Which character is the easiest for you to write, and which is the most difficult?

SLW: It's hard to say which is easiest or hardest, but so far it's fun writing Reid and Garcia because they tend to have lighter personas on the show.

zanneJ: How did Luke had prosopagnosia as well as Capgras Syndrome, wouldn't he have been unable to recognize his own face in the mirror?

SLW: Good question. He didn't exactly have prosopagnosia (face blindness). The people looked like his family members but he believed they were imposters. As for the mirror, it was purposely a grimy, distorted mirror so that conceivably, he wouldn't have the same problem when he looked at himself.

jillian: I can't wait to see all the cases this year with the team finally back together. How long will the team take to get back to 100%?

SLW: We'll probably deal with this for awhile. It'll take time for everyone to cope, just like in real life.

thisiscalmanditsdoctorwho: I loved the way you worked Prentiss' trauma into the episode as a parallel with the unsub. Will we learn more about Prentiss' time away and/or its lasting effects on her in future episodes?

SLW: I'd love to learn more about Prentiss' time away myself so yes, hopefully we will explore it.

weallhaveanelephantsmemory: Each character had an about equal role in the episode, which was great. But how hard it is to keep a balanced dynamic, rather than end up focusing on one or two characters/their dynamic?

SLW: It's tricky! There's not a lot of room in the script and you want to give each character a voice and a role in the case. But that said, we do tend to pick one or two characters in each episode to focus a personal story on.

KrisyPie: How do you prepare yourself to write about something so dark?

SLW: I get in a warm and cozy place and turn on all the lights.

thisiscalmanditsdoctorwho: i really loved seeing Rossi's military past and expertise in negotiating put to good use in this episode. Can we expect to see more of the team members' particular skills emphasized this season (Morgan's bomb squad experience or Reid's skills with a map, for example?)

SLW: You'll definitely see more of that. My next episode centers around Reid and we will see his map skills and more.

Explodingegg: How'd you get into screen writing?

SLW: I actually got into it the roundabout way, by attending med school first. I had always been interested in writing, though, and managed to get an agent when I was a resident.

doradochat: We have now seen the inside of Rossi, Prentiss, Hotch & Garcia's homes. Any chance we will go home with Morgan, JJ or Reid this season?

SLW: We'll go home with JJ in episode 707. Will and Henry will return as well.

LaTXCVI: You're also listed as an executive producer. What do you find rewarding about each of your roles - EP/screenwriter - on the show?

SLW: As a producer, it's a lot of fun to be involved in things other than just the writing, such as being involved with the filming and editing of each episode.

paramount: There doesn't seem to be the same comraderie between Morgan and Reid that there has been in the past. Is this something that will come back?

SLW: It will definitely be back. Wait about 6 days!!

thisiscalmanditsdoctorwho: How similar was the finished version of "Dorado Falls" to the original script? What got changed, added, or left out?

SLW: The final version is actually very close to the original script.

thisiscalmanditsdoctorwho: Are you on set constantly during filming? What is your role during that time?

SLW: Yes, the writer of each episode is on set from beginning to end. Our role is to answer questions the director or cast may have and to make sure the intent of each scene in the script is clear.

rossorito: When will you be writing next?

SLW: I'll be writing episode 711 which airs Jan 18.

coolranchdoritofalls: How often do you draw from real-life experiences when writing episodes?

SLW: Surprisingly often. Real-life conversations with friends and family often end up in scripts.

doritooooooos: In a past episode, we saw Kevin wanting to go off to live on a farm with Garcia and expand their relationship. In future episodes will we be exploring the Garcia/Kevin dynamic? Side question, Garcia and Morgan will still be their normal flirty funny selves aswell?

SLW: All of that will be addressed in episode 713!

jillian: How often do you write an episode? Do you get help from other writers?

SLW: Currently, I write every 8th episode. I get a lot of help from the other writers in the story breaking process. We all give extensive notes on everyone's outlines and scripts.

doradochat: What is your favorite episode of CM from a past season?

SLW: I really loved Lauren from last season and also Normal from season 4 but I'm a fan of too many episodes to name them all.

zanneJ: When you first came aboard, did you speak to each cast member to ask them more about what they felt about their characters and where they would like to go with them?

SLW: The writers spoke as a group to each cast member.

matia: how many hours do you work in a day

jessi: How long does it takes to write an episode?

SLW: The hours in a day vary from 9 hrs to all nighters when a script is due. We have two weeks to write an episode but still have other duties on the show during the daytime

thisiscalmanditsdoctorwho: Do you have a working titled for 7.11?

SLW: True Genius

doritoooessss: how do writers decide which jokes make it on screen and which get cut

SLW: If we laugh when we see it :)

OneTrueThree: Who is your dream guest star?

SLW: Robert Patrick!

interpol: Will we see any new romances blossom this season?

SLW: Yes, next question.

gchan: will there be more epic team get togethers like the cooking lessons @ Rossi`s? (by the way, i`m kind of sad we didn`t get to see the team actually cooking in that episode. it would have been cute!)

SLW: I hope so. Those are always fun!

avf: You loved Normal, Robert Patrickl is your dream guest star, may I then assume you're a fellow X-Phile?

SLW: Yes! A major one. Wouldn't it be awesome to get Mulder and Scully to guest star???

SLW: Thank you so much for your questions. I had a great time! Hope to do this again soon!!


  1. I love Sharon Lee Watson! I hope to see more from her. Great episode. Great writing. She is one of my favorites so far!

  2. I too loved Sharon Lee Watson's episode.
    And I'm delighted to see that her next episode is a Reid one. The title itself 'True Genius' sounds really promising, just like the thought of seeing more of Reid's skills. I have always been hoping for a Reid centric episode that would deal with his genius, make full use of his brain and his scientific background.

  3. CriminalMinds "Dorado falls" Thank you Sharon Lee Watson for this first episode ... Hope those to come as good :)
    very good, awsome! nice team moments, true characters, good story, a lot of profiling, great Unsub (I watch also the unit, and happy to find here the actor, he is perfect for this role!)
    Welcome to the CriminalMinds family :)
    I love DoctorWho too :)
    I'm impatient to watch your next episode!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.