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14 July 2014
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Interviews | Michale Piller
Recruiting fans to write

How loving Star Trek helps writers

Picture I'll tell you something. My experience running the writing staff of Star Trek was that people that knew the universe, who grew up with it, who really, really loved the show, the ideas behind the show, and Roddenberry's idea of the future, were far more successful as writers for all the series that I've worked on, than the professional writers.

This is a rule, there are exceptions. I mean, Ira Behr, Jerry Taylor, these are all professional writers that I brought in to, to help craft the series, and they were wonderful people. But Ron Moore and Rene Echevarria and Brannon Braga, these are all people that came out of nowhere, because we were looking for people who understood the Star Trek universe.

We got ideas, we got scripts and we got writers. We were the only show on television, to my knowledge, that accepted speculative scripts from non-pro writers. And that's where the new generation of people running the franchise have all come from. Part of the job of the Head Writer, the Executive Producer part of me, was to find the talent that would take the franchise forward, when I was finished with my job. And those talents came out of that speculative slush pile.

One out of a hundred scripts might provide a clue to an episode or an introduction to a writer, but it was worth it, because we got wonderful talent from that.

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