From The Writers' Room Featuring Geek Actually

Rachel Stuhler on Writing Geek Actually Episode 2 “The Invisible Woman”

I love the title for episode two because there’s more than one invisible woman. The obvious choice is Taneesha, who’s trying to find her place at Starwisp Games and starting to feel a little like Sue Storm. But there’s also Michelle, the editor extraordinaire, whose job it is to make her authors look fantastic while taking no credit for herself, and Christina, whose film crew position requires her to basically blend in with the set dressing. It’s a feeling we’ve all had at one time or another.

Invisible Woman also marks our first real introduction to Christina, the only major character without a dedicated scene in episode one. I wanted to take on this part of the story because I feel a particular kinship with Christina; I started working on film sets when I was 19 and continued until a year after I’d sold my first script. It’s a world I know well, and despite how much Hollywood permeates popular culture, most people aren’t aware of how the business itself works.

The hours can be ridiculously long, up to fifteen or sixteen hours a day. You eat and breathe the show you’re on, and sleep becomes a thing you do on weekends. Christina considers herself lazy, but she still shows up on time, she still takes every assignment given to her. She wouldn’t have lasted long on any set if she didn’t.

Christina is an interesting counterpoint to Taneesha, who desperately wants more work. Neesha wants the opportunity to show her new company she’s a badass coder, but Starwisp treats her like a piece of furniture they acquired during their merger with Maniac. Where Christina spends her days trying to blend in with the background to avoid more work, Taneesha is actively seeking out new tasks to little effect.

The thread that runs through this episode is control. Taneesha wants to control her own destiny, Christina bristles at any authority, and Michelle wants to control… Well, just about everything. And as with life, just when we feel we’ve achieved any measure of it, we discover we’re really in control of very little.

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