Internet Screenwriters Network

Q&A by Bob Shayne and Rita

Ref 163. Hi Bob!

I've been wondering. When you  wrote Simon and Simon episodes did you find yourself using personal  characteristics of Gerald MacRaney and Jameson Parker to create or help the story line? Is this a good idea? Do actors like that? The reason I ask is because sometimes I find discovering some trait an actor leads me to  good idea. For example, I used Gerald MacRaney's love of the outdoors to  dream up an idea for a film about a fairly current issue. Well I have to  record now so.. Bye for now and thanks again.

Response to Ref. 163: Dear Rita,

Yes. If you're aware of  personal characteristics of an actor, it sounds like a good idea to me to use them in the writing if that's the actor you want to attract. He or she may not be as aware of those characteristics as you are, but as they say, it couldn't hurt. I loved writing for Gerald McRaney because he always delivered each line the way I heard it in my head when I wrote it. Jameson  Parker, on the other hand, always found some odd approach to each line  that I didn't expect. For years I was annoyed by that, but eventually I  came to suspect that nobody notices these things except for the person who wrote the line. Using traits you get from actors to lead yourself to good  ideas for characters also sounds like a good idea to me even if that actor never sees the part. Anything that helps your creativity sounds good to me. - Bob

Bob Shayne wrote for Simon & Simon, including such episodes as "The Dead Letter File", "Ashes to  Ashes and None Too Soon", "Emerald's Are Not a Girl's Best Friend", and  "Manna From Heaven".

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