"I think that everything that you do should somehow be authentic. There should be a connection to the world around. I've done 13 Oscar shows now and I've tried to connect as much as possible, the Oscar show with the emotional happening in the world … to try to find what that emotional connection is and see if we can graft that onto the movies."
About This Interview
In his two-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Gilbert Cates (1934-2011) talks about getting hired as an NBC guide at Rockefeller Center. He describes the excitement of working in "live" television in the 1950s, and outlines his roles as director and producer on several game shows. He discusses his work as an associate producer on Dotto, the game show that ignited the "quiz show scandals." He describes how the show's less-than-fair practices were exposed and talks about the general nature of fixing game shows during the era. Cates discusses projects that he produced and directed in the 1960s, including the pilot for the music-variety series Hootenany, International Showtime (in which he filmed international circus acts), and Electric Showcase (including a show done at the 1965 World's Fair). He recalls his transition to producing Broadway shows, including "I Never Sang for My Father," which he later filmed as a feature film with Melvyn Douglas and Gene Hackman. He comments on directing several TV movies, including Arthur Miller's "After the Fall," and details his long association as producer of The Academy Awards broadcasts. He touches on the challenges of mounting the "live" broadcast and recounts several memorable moments from the shows he's produced. He also talks about the creation of the Geffen Playhouse, where he served as Producing Director. Gary Rutkowski conducted the interview at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood, CA on March 13, 2007.