...Camille Marchetta, Author/Television Writer
Camille Marchetta was behind some of the words that the American TV Fans fell all over themselves for during the 80s. Camille worked on some of the greatest Television Dramas in the history of the medium.
She is currently finishing work on a new novel but took some time from her busy schedule to give us her Two Cents & Five Answers!
Two Cents: Would you please tell the TwoCents readers a little about yourself and what roles you had a part in on TV shows such as "Dallas" and "Dynasty".
Camille Marchetta: After graduating from college, I worked for a while as a secretary in New York at NBC and ABC. On a trip to London, I fell in love with the city, went looking for a job, got one with a literary agency, became a director of the company, and stayed for nine years. By then, I was determined to write and so I moved on to Los Angeles, where friends had already started careers as television script writers. It took a while and a lot of perseverance, but eventually I was hired to write a television film (which never got made), a script for a short-lived series called "Lucan", and then one for the "Dallas" miniseries. The producers liked it, and I was asked to join the staff as a story editor, which meant that I worked with the executive story editor (one rung higher on the ladder) and the producer developing ideas, as well as writing and overseeing scripts. I remained with the show until it became a mega-success with the "Who Shot J.R.?" episode. A few years and some projects later, I signed on as a producer to write the "Bible" and develop stories for "Dynasty" in its ’84-’85 season, when it finally crept past "Dallas" in the ratings and became #1.
TC: Many say shows such as "Dallas" and "Dynasty" led the way for shows such as "Melrose Place", "Beverly Hills 90210" in the 90s as well as the newer versions such as "Watch Over Me" and "Fashion House". Was there the sense on the set at the time, that you were going to be trend setters?
CM: I don’t recall being particularly aware of that or concerned about it. My focus was to try to make the episodes of the series I was working on as interesting and entertaining as possible. But of course it was very exciting when they became such big hits. And inevitable that others would try to duplicate their success, though I never thought of "Melrose Place" or "Beverly Hills 90210:" as being the same kind of show (though they were produced by the same company as produced "Dynasty"). "The OC" seemed to me to be more directly related.
TC: What do you spend your time working on these days?
CM: I’ve been writing novels. In fact, my newest, "The River, By Moonlight" will be published shortly. When it is, notice will appear on my website: www.camillemarchetta.com.
TC: What fun websites do you visit or tv shows do you watch for your own entertainment?
CM: I love iTunes and download a lot of music and radio shows to catch when it’s convenient for me to listen. I’ve seen some things on YouTube I found unbelievably brilliant. As for television, I was addicted to "24" but the story seemed to run out of steam this past season, so I’m not sure I’ll watch next. And "House" may be getting a little too cranky for me. I find "Lost" interesting. And there’s an English series called "MI-5" that I think is great … it’s in reruns on A&E right now.
TC: What do you consider the proudest moment you've had in your entertainment career?
CM: I can’t narrow it down to one moment. But it was pretty terrific when both "Dallas" and "Dynasty" reached #1, knowing I helped to make it happen.
*Two Cents Bonus Question*
TC: If someone were to climb off a desert island and only have time to watch five movies to learn what American cinema is all about, what five movies would you show them?
CM: It’s hard to choose just five, but, if I have to: Buster Keaton’s "Young Sherlock"; Orson Welles’ "Citizen Kane"; Alfred Hitchcock’s "North By Northwest"; Billy Wilder’s "Some Like it Hot"; and Francis Ford Coppola’s "Apocalypse Now."
MAJOR thanks to Camille for giving us her TwoCents today! You can find her books on Amazon HERE.
[photo of Camille Marchetta and Joan Collins on "Dallas" set - courtsey of Marchetta]