Working On 'CSI' Can Be Intimidating, Says Sarah Goldfinger

By Carolina
February 9, 2006 - 11:56 AM

Writer Sarah Goldfinger recently called working for CSI "intimidating."

The 29 year old writer and producer started out as a staff writer for the show in its humble beginnings, and now, after six seasons, has adopted the philosophy shared by everyone involved in the show: it doesn't get better than CSI. "There's nowhere to go but down. I love the ride, though. At the moment, it feels pretty good."

An episode of CSI is generally 44 minutes long, but the work that goes in to it is much more complicated than it seems, she revealed. "If it takes a week to break the story, a week to write the story, a week to prep the episode (i.e. get the director acquainted with the material, cast the roles for the guest cast, find locations, get the right props, etc.), then almost two weeks to shoot it, then another week or so to edit the film and do special effects in post production, that means every episode takes, at a minimum, six weeks to make from start to finish."

"We air 24 episodes a season. And, we try to give everyone vacation in the spring, which is why the audience has to suffer through summer re-runs," she added. "So, obviously, everything is always overlapping, and there is no time for a cog to get caught in the machine."

Goldfinger's first episode, "Got Murder?", saw the story of a woman who came back to her family after being gone for years, but later turned up dead. The writer admitted she got the idea from the newspapers. The B plot, in which two car salesmen go at each other, came from her real-life experiences. "I had recently bought a car and watched the competition among salesmen. It was ruthless and brutal."

The writer most recently penned down "Nesting Dolls," one of the most emotionally charged episodes of season 5. To be a writer and producer of television's number one show at such a young age doesn't faze her. "It's just luck," she said. "I'm not qualified to do anything else (other than write). I can't live without it. If I weren't writing this, I'd be writing something else."

Visit the Sun Gazette to read the rest of the article, in which Goldfinger reveals how she made it to Hollywood from the East Coast.

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