"The script is clearly the most significant element of any film. Everything else is important but if the story doesn't' work, all of the charisma of the star, the talent of the director, the skills of everybody associated with, are for naught."
About This Interview
In his six-hour interview, Del Reisman (1924-2011) looks back on his early years growing up as a "studio brat" observing his mother at work as a secretary at Universal Studios in the 1930s. He describes his entry in television as a reader on the anthology series Four Star Playhouse. He details his most prolific period in television as an associate producer/ story editor on such television series as the "live," daily color anthology Matinee Theater, the prestigious ninety-minute anthology Playhouse 90, the classic filmed anthology The Twilight Zone, the popular crime series The Untouchables, the western series Rawhide, and the drama The Man and the City. He discusses his work as story consultant on the nighttime soap opera Peyton Place, for which he wrote the cliffhanging final episode (the series was canceled without a finale). He also talks about his later work as a freelance writer of such 1970s series as The Streets of San Francisco and Little House on the Prairie. Finally, Reisman describes his long service to the Writers Guild of America, West for which he ultimately served as President from 1991-93. Other subjects he discusses include the Hollywood blacklist and the McCarthy era, as well as his work (at the WGA) to restore the credits of blacklisted writers of feature films made in the 1950s-60s. Gary Rutkowski conducted the interview at the Writer's Guild of America, West in Los Angeles, CA on October 28, 2003.