"The trick is not to have a style, but to be able to do any style."
About This Interview
In his over three-hour Archive interview, Albert Heschong (1919-2001) speaks at length about the craft of art direction for television, and details his own background in theatrical productions. He recalls his first foray into television at ABC in New York, where he worked on such productions as Pulitzer Prize Playhouse, Celanese Theater and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, for which he created the interior of a space-traveling ship. He also discusses his work on the respected anthology series U.S. Steel Hour, recalling individual teleplays including "Hedda Gabler," "The Last Notch" and "No Time For Sergeants." He then explains his career transition to CBS in Los Angeles, where he was assigned to the famed anthology series Climax! and Playhouse 90. He discusses the Playhouse 90 teleplay for which he won an Emmy, "Requiem for a Heavyweight." Mr. Heschong next talks about his work on the popular western shows Gunsmoke and Wild, Wild West and the many special effects and technical tricks they employed. He explains his involvement in the production design of the CBS Affiliate Conventions during the 1960's and 1970's, and the elaborate lengths they went to in their décor. Mr. Heschong recalls working on dozens of television movies in the 1970's and 1980's, including one memorable location shoot in Denver, Colorado that nearly pushed his problem solving skills to the limit. Finally, he discusses his most recent work, prior to his retirement in the early 1990's, including the pilots for Hawaii Five-0, Major Dad and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Henry Colman conducted the interview in Encino, CA on June 13, 2000.