Interview With Aaron Harberts
Aaron Harberts was marked for success from a young age. As a child, he was creating and inventing new worlds and characters all the time. His imagination ultimately led him to Los Angeles, the hub for the entertainment industry. He has had a long career writing in Hollywood and has worked a variety of genres. His writing has a unique clarity and his passion for his craft is evident in his approach and writing style. As a writer, showrunner and producer he has worked on many popular shows like Pepper Dennis, Roswell, Revenge, Reign, and Pushing Daises. The multidimensional writer has tackled complex moral questions, promoted diversity, inspired others, and created new worlds through his creativity and inventiveness.
The story of Aaron Harberts is what other screenwriters hope to achieve when they embark on their careers. As a seasoned veteran of Hollywood, Aaron is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to breaking into the industry and how difficult the process can be for new writers. Alongside his writing and producing partner, Gretchen Berg, Aaron is continuing to make strides in the entertainment world. So what makes Aaron tick? Read on to find out more about the accomplished writer and producer.
What motivates you every day? When we're working on a series, I'm motivated by getting to tell stories that touch people. And that hopefully allows people to recognize parts of themselves in those stories. Also, the incredible actors and craftspeople who are constantly taking our work and making it their own-- they take it to the next level.
What is your favorite thing about working in your industry? I love the people. I find that the industry gets a bad wrap for being populated with diva's and egomaniacs. I like the people that we work with. Also, being able to create out of thin air and then watch it on TV months later.
What is one piece of advice that you would give to other writers looking to break into the industry? Get comfortable with re-writing. This is a collaborative medium and your first draft is just a first draft, so be as enthusiastic writing the second draft as you are writing the first one.
Describe your typical day? When we're (Aaron and his writing and producing partner Gretchen Berg) developing shows, our days are spent looking at books and other source material. We are doing a lot of research. Also taking meetings and formulating pitches. If we're writers on a staff, every day is different, but that entails being in the writer's room and breaking stories. Also producing on set and meeting with the production heads. There is no set routine, every day and project is different. The variety of the gig makes it nice.
What is something that people would be surprised to learn about you? I am decently fluent in Spanish and I make all my friends birthday cakes.
What's the last thing you watched on TV or in the movie theater and why did you choose to watch it? The latest episode of Vanderpump Rules and the movie Roma. I love Vanderpump Rules because it is a complete escape from the kind of writing and TV that we make-- it allows me to turn off my brain and relax. I watched Roma because I enjoy foreign films and love that Alfonso Cuaron sort of made his version a Fellini movie.
What is your definition of success? Having loyal, funny, and honest friends.
About Aaron Harberts
Aaron Harberts is a successful Hollywood writer, with humble Midwest roots. Harberts was born in Waterloo, Iowa and grew up in a religious household in a rural part of the country where life moved a lot slower. His father was a minister and his childhood revolved around time spent at the church. He spent a majority of his childhood in Richmond Indiana and then moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, later returning to the Midwest to attend college.
Harberts has talked about his experience growing up as a pastor's kid, and how Sundays spent in pews gave him the time and place where he would daydream and create fantastical storylines and accompanying characters. His love for storytelling was nurtured in a place where stories and messages are often told to reach a wide audience. Harberts, in some ways, would follow in his father's storytelling footsteps, crafting messages and conveying meaning through writing and words.
Today, Harberts is one half of the Berg and Harberts writing team. He met Gretchen Berg during a creative writing class in college while attending Northwestern University. While the two didn't have a super close relationship during school, they connected after college in LA as two writers with similar dreams and aspirations. As freshmen to a new industry, they were trying to break into the screenwriting business in Hollywood and found that their talents when combined created the ultimate writing duo.
Berg and Harberts found early career success in several popular television shows. Beverly Hills 90210 was where they first set out to prove their talents as screenwriters. The show did well and had a ten-season run. They later collaborated on the shows Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies. The two branched out and even started their own series called Pepper Dennis.
In 2001, the duo moved to the big screen and did rewrites for the film Valentine but returned to the small screen by working on Roswell, which was their priority at the time. The American drama, Revenge was one of their more popular shows and they worked on the show in 2011 both taking on the role of executive producer.
Berg and Harberts work has earned awards that reflect their creativity and hard work. These include the Peabody Award Nomination, Saturn Award, Logo's NewNowNext Award, and a GLAAD Award Nomination. Berg and Harberts is a well-versed writing duo that has a wide range of experience in the entertainment industry. From producing, to writing, to being the showrunners, the team has vast experience and expertise in what they do. It's no surprise that they are keeping their creative streak alive and are currently working on multiple projects that are currently being kept under wraps.