We reached out to writer Scott Kassel to get the inside scoop on Every Other Weekend.
How did you come to get involved with Front Seat Chronicles? What piqued your interest about the series?
When the producers of the series first mentioned the project to me I was immediately intrigued by the simplicity and the power of the concept—two people in a location everyone can relate to, sharing a powerful and transformative moment. Virtually everyone has had their own “front seat chronicle” at some point, and hopefully these pieces will resonate with the viewers.
With practically 50% of all marriages failing in the US, I imagine child custody is a common topic. What drew you to the subject matter?
My parents divorced when I was very young, so I have first-hand experience with the topic. Now, as an adult, many of my friends are going through the same thing as parents. More than the failure of a marriage, what interested me most was the fallout of divorce and how it affects parents and children who are going through such a turbulent life experience. I’ve realized as I’ve gotten older that the situation can be just as difficult and painful for parents as it is for children.
In your opinion, what’s the most common mistake separating parents make? (another way of phrasing it – What could parents do differently?)
Divorce is difficult enough without a child feeling like they’re caught in the middle of a war between their two heroes. I think one of the most common mistakes parents make is allowing conflict with their estranged spouse to creep into their child’s consciousness. While some conflict may be impossible to hide, I think it’s important that parents present a united front and agree to co-parent in the most effective way possible. By letting their children know that the divorce in no way diminishes their love for them, that they still care for one another, and that none of their marital issues are their children’s fault, parents can help smooth this difficult transition.
What would you suggest for non-custodial father’s to pay attention to in regards to the emotional needs of their child(ren)?
Try to be as involved as your child’s life as possible. Frequent phone calls, coming to ballgames, concerts, important events and the like. Looking back, I think my dad did a great job of that when I was growing up and I’d like to give him a big shout out for that! Love you, dad!
Does your familiarity with the subject matter prepare you to be a better father you think? When you become one of course.
I think my personal experiences will definitely shape my approach to parenting and relationships in general. I hope to be the kind of father that is involved in every aspect of my children’s lives.
What was it like watching your episode the first time? Any thoughts on the overall process?
Seeing your work brought to life is always a great feeling. The actors and director did a great job expressing my ideas in an honest, open way, and they actually created a couple of great moments that I hadn’t even envisioned when I originally wrote the script. Overall, this was a great process and I’m happy to have been a part of it.