Writer Del Reisman on the craft of writing – TelevisionAcademy.com/Interviews


Talk a little bit about the craft of writing. How do you how did you approach an individual episode? Did you make an outline? For myself. Yes. Yes. I mean I didn’t I didn’t want to plunge into it and just try to invent because because time was important when you’re writing and into an original screenplay, let’s say You can sit down at the typewriter at the computer and you can improvise you can do it this way You can go that way. There isn’t time when you’re writing an episode. So you really need an outline You can change it while you’re writing screenplay, but you’ve got to have a sense of direction You’ve got to know where you’re going Do you write one act at a time or do you write the whole thing and then rewrite what I what I would do? Which is a little bit crazy Is there were key scenes in an episode key dramatic scenes, they might come at the second act Curtain, you know? they might come with the first time they might come in the middle and I would sit down because I was all excited about those scenes. I would write those scenes knowing full Well that when I started writing from page one, I would probably have to change them but I wanted to get that out first and Then I would write and see how I would go back and write in sequence Did you act out the roles as you weren’t writing pretty well pretty well But I didn’t do what Rod Serling did I didn’t dictate I couldn’t do that but I would I would play it off in my mind or you know, shout at the wall or something and See you alone at the typewriter. Yes. Yes. Yeah. Can you talk about the process of editing that? The script how did you know when you you had an OP or or when the story was complete on my own work? the best way to do that is to take a look at the last scenes that you wrote which are usually the last scenes of the teleplay because you are so Comfortable with the characters when you finish them when you’re writing those last scenes and then you go back to the first pages when you first introduce those characters and you better rewrite because you’ve learned more about The characters than when you began So you want to be sure? That the characters are as fully realized as you had them at the end So you always go back and take a look at those first few scenes in the in the first act Editing in in television frequently met you have to cut the thing down to size because remember you have X number of minutes So with a one-hour script you would not want to hand in more than fifty three fifty four pages for a one-hour show That would be you know, then everybody gets too nervous on the show moonlighting a few years ago Glenn Gordon, Karen I’m told would would send 85 page scripts down to the set because the Actors were biting cues and going fast and the pace was heavy, but most of the show’s most the one-hour shows The pace was rather deliberate and you so you you editing meant a lot of cutting

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