"It is important for a production manager to treat everybody the way he wants to be treated. And never, ever be late on the set. Being on time to me is vital, but treating co-workers the way you want to be treated is one of the most important things in the world and I always have lived by that."
About This Interview
In his two-hour Archive interview, Abby Singer (1917-2014) talks about his early career as an assistant director in feature films and television shows, including The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, Ford Television Theater and The Virginian. He describes what has become known as "the Abby Singer Shot" -- universal code for the penultimate shot of a production day. He recalls his time as a production manager on The Doris Day Show, Gunsmoke, St. Elsewhere, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda, The Bob Newhart Show, and Hill Street Blues, among many others. He outlines his transition to becoming a production executive, and explains his responsibilities during a typical work week. Singer speaks of dealing with the varied personalities one finds on set, how he coped with everyone from stars to limousine drivers, and his philosophy of working with people -- which has served him well during his 40+ years in the business. He recounts being honored by his peers in the Directors Guild of America and gives advice to aspiring production managers. Stephen J. Abramson conducted the interview on September 19, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.