Dwight Hemion

Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In the two-and-a-half-hour solo portion of his Archive interview, Dwight Hemion (1926–2008) talks about his early television career at ABC in the late 1940s. He discusses in detail the beginnings of the ABC network and his early directing work on the television series The Rootie Kazootie Club and The Tonight Show with Steve Allen. He discusses his collaboration with Gary Smith on Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall and their subsequent company collaborations in producing and directing television musical variety specials. Hemion finishes the solo portion of the interview discussing the stars of these specials, particularly Barbra Streisand. In the joint portion of their Archive interview, Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion recall their long running partnership and the founding of their production company. They discuss their working relationship, and how they complemented each other as producing and directing partners. They conclude by mentioning some of their proudest company achievements and stars they've enjoyed working with over the years. Michael Rosen conducted the interviews on July 9, 2001 in Hollywood, CA.

"I’ve had the opportunity of working with probably more stars then anyone else. I don’t know anybody who’s had that unique experience of being with so many different talented people. I just hope that I got from most of them a positive thought. And that they thought of me in a positive way."

Highlights
Dwight Hemion on directing Christmas in Washington
01:52
Dwight Hemion on the first year of directing Tonight with Steve Allen, and on the show's transition from local to national
03:12
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on choosing projects to work on and on their production company
03:17
Dwight Hemion on directing Barbra Streisand's first special, My Name is Barbra
04:08
Dwight Hemion on winning Emmy Awards
02:25
Dwight Hemion on how he'd like to be remembered
01:53
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on his hobbies growing up, including music, movies, and listening to radio
On going to work for ABC as a gofer; on the scene at ABC when he was a gofer in the 1950s; on his first jobs, assistant directing and directing sports telecasts for ABC

Chapter 2

On directing early live boxing telecasts and on how he came to direct The Steve Allen Show and Tonight; on his early impressions of Steve Allen as host of Tonight; on the first year of directing Tonight with Steve Allen, and on the show's transition from local to national
On the logistics and challenges of directing Tonight with Steve Allen live and on the show traveling to Florida; on directing The Rootie Kazootie Club
On directing Timex All-Star Jazz Show; on directing The Perry Como Show; on directing various specials and how he came to direct My Name is Barbra for Barbra Streisand

Chapter 3

On directing Barbra Streisand's first special, My Name is Barbra; on directing Barbra Streisand's Color Me Barbra special
On directing the Frank Sinatra Specials; on starting his production company with Gary Smith; on producing and directing The Kraft Music Hall
On the logistics and the camera equipment of shooting The Kraft Music Hall and other specials

Chapter 4

On his television directing style and on the basic duties of a television director; on various people he worked with in his career; on directing Disney's American Teacher Awards
On directing Christmas in Washington; on directing the Television Academy Hall of Fame; on directing The People's Choice Awards
On directing specials for Ann-Margret; on favorite projects he worked on; on working with technical people as a director

Chapter 5

On winning Emmy Awards; on advice to an aspiring director; on then-recent projects and how he'd like to be remembered

Chapter 7

On forming their partnership at Perry Como's The Kraft Music Hall; on the importance of Gary's art design background and on their communication with each other; on choosing projects to work on and on their production company
On the highlights of their partnership including the special Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass; on working together as producing partners and on coming up with ideas; on dealing with pressure and working with luminaries like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr.

Chapter 8

On how performers like Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand regarded the medium of television; on the atmosphere on the set of their productions and how they collaborate on set; on the elements of a successful producing and directing partnership and on why theirs worked
On staffing their projects and keeping their collaborations fresh; on their proudest company achievements, including Rockette: A Holiday Tribute to Radio City Music Hall; on performers they enjoyed working with over the years, including Bette Davis
Shows

Barbra Streisand Specials

View Show Page
Dwight Hemion on directing various specials and how he came to direct My Name is Barbra for Barbra Streisand
04:24
Dwight Hemion on directing Barbra Streisand's first special, My Name is Barbra
04:08
Dwight Hemion on directing Barbra Streisand's Color Me Barbra special
07:11

Christmas in Washington

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Dwight Hemion on directing Christmas in Washington
01:52

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

View Show Page
Dwight Hemion on winning Emmy Awards
02:23
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on dealing with performers like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. and on winning Emmy Awards
05:39

Frank Sinatra Specials

View Show Page
Dwight Hemion on directing the Frank Sinatra Specials
06:55
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on dealing with performers like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. and on winning Emmy Awards
05:39

Kraft Music Hall, The

View Show Page
Dwight Hemion on producing and directing The Kraft Music Hall
04:25
Dwight Hemion on the logistics and the camera equipment of shooting The Kraft Music Hall and other specials
04:58
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on forming their partnership at Perry Como's The Kraft Music Hall
05:20

People's Choice Awards

View Show Page
Dwight Hemion on directing The People's Choice Awards
01:32

Perry Como Show, The

View Show Page
Dwight Hemion on directing The Perry Como Show
06:53

Rootie Kazootie Club, The

View Show Page
Dwight Hemion on directing The Rootie Kazootie Club
01:51

Steve Allen Show, The (1953-54)

View Show Page
Dwight Hemion on directing early live boxing telecasts and on how he came to direct The Steve Allen Show and Tonight
02:53

Tonight

View Show Page
Dwight Hemion on directing early live boxing telecasts and on how he came to direct The Steve Allen Show and Tonight
02:53
Dwight Hemion on his early impressions of Steve Allen as host of Tonight and on directing Tonight
04:02
Dwight Hemion on the first year of directing Tonight with Steve Allen, and on the show's transition from local to national
03:12
Dwight Hemion on the logistics and challenges of directing Tonight with Steve Allen live and on the show traveling to Florida
03:54
Topics

Advice

View Topic
Dwight Hemion on advice to an aspiring director
02:40

Emmy Awards

View Topic
Dwight Hemion on winning Emmy Awards
02:25
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on dealing with performers like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. and on winning Emmy Awards
05:39

Television Industry

View Topic
Dwight Hemion on advice to an aspiring director
02:40
Professions

Directors

View Profession
Dwight Hemion on his television directing style
04:26
Dwight Hemion on the basic duties of a television director
03:58
Dwight Hemion on working with technical people as a director
01:20
Dwight Hemion on advice to an aspiring director
02:40
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on the importance of Gary's art design background and on their communication with each other
02:24
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on choosing projects to work on and on their production company
03:17
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on dealing with performers like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr.
05:39
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on dealing with pressure when working on a project
02:33
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on working together as producing partners and on coming up with ideas
05:16
Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion on the atmosphere on the set of their productions and how they collaborate on set
07:01
Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion on the elements of a successful producing and directing partnership and on why theirs worked
03:16
Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion on staffing their projects
02:56
Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion on keeping their collaborations fresh
04:12

Producers

View Profession
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on working together as producing partners and on coming up with ideas
05:16
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on dealing with pressure when working on a project
02:33
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on dealing with performers like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr.
05:39
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on choosing projects to work on and on their production company
03:17
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on the importance of Gary's art design background and on their communication with each other
02:24
Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion on the atmosphere on the set of their productions and how they collaborate on set
07:01
Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion on the elements of a successful producing and directing partnership and on why theirs worked
03:16
Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion on staffing their projects
02:56
Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion on keeping their collaborations fresh
04:12
Genres

Awards Shows

View Genre
Dwight Hemion on directing Disney's American Teacher Awards
01:42
Dwight Hemion on directing the Television Academy Hall of Fame
02:26
Dwight Hemion on winning Emmy Awards
02:23

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

View Genre
Dwight Hemion on directing Timex All-Star Jazz Show
00:49
Dwight Hemion on producing and directing Kraft Music Hall
04:25
Dwight Hemion on directing the Barbra Streisand Specials
11:19
Dwight Hemion on directing the Frank Sinatra Specials
06:55
Dwight Hemion on directing The Kraft Music Hall
09:25
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on the highlights of their partnership including the special Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
04:25

Sports

View Genre
Dwight Hemion on his first jobs, assistant directing and directing sports telecasts for ABC
07:17
Dwight Hemion on directing early live boxing telecasts and on how he came to direct The Steve Allen Show and Tonight
02:53

Talk Shows

View Genre
Dwight Hemion on directing early live boxing telecasts and on how he came to direct The Steve Allen Show and Tonight
02:53
People

Steve Allen

View Interview Page
Dwight Hemion on his early impressions of Steve Allen as host of Tonight and on directing Tonight
04:02

Ann-Margret

View Person Page
Dwight Hemion on directing specials for Ann-Margret
02:21

Jack Burns

View Person Page
Dwight Hemion on Jack Burns
00:21

Perry Como

View Person Page
Dwight Hemion on directing The Perry Como Show
06:53

Bette Davis

View Person Page
Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion on performers they enjoyed working with over the years, including Bette Davis
03:25

Sammy Davis, Jr.

View Person Page
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on dealing with performers like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr.
05:39

Ian Fraser

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Dwight Hemion on Ian Fraser, Jack Parnell, and Marty Farrell
01:48

Buz Kohan

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Dwight Hemion on Buz Kohan
01:15

Frank Sinatra

View Person Page
Dwight Hemion on directing the Frank Sinatra Specials
06:55
Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith on dealing with performers like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr.
05:39
Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion on how performers like Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand regarded the medium of television
03:56

Gary Smith

View Interview Page
Dwight Hemion on starting his production company with Gary Smith
01:40

Barbra Streisand

View Person Page
Dwight Hemion on directing Barbra Streisand's first special, My Name is Barbra
04:08
Dwight Hemion on directing Barbra Streisand's Color Me Barbra special
07:10
Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion on how performers like Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand regarded the medium of television
03:56

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