Badgerwood: Television Producer Richard Schwartz

Badgerwood: Television Producer Richard Schwartz


My name is Richard Schwartz. I’m television producer with Olive Bridge Entertainment. “Miss it! Miss it! Miss -well, that took a turn…” We develop and produce scripted and
unscripted television shows and feature films. “That’s not a suit, it’s a sausage
casing!” I’ve been fortunate. I’ve been able to work for for and with people who were huge idols
of mine growing up. “That’s where I was going…” “Mulholland Drive…” I got to work for David Lynch. “In Late Night with Conan O’Brien!” And then I got to work for Conan O’Brien and his late night show was formative in my comedy sensibility. “I’ve actually got Parkinson’s…” “Either way…” And then most recently with Michael J. Fox who you know, was mine, and I think everyone’s
favorite actor you know, for a long stretch of the
eighties and nineties. “There’s no one who doesn’t love you.” “Harris!” “Dazzle Novak: Moonbeam City Police.” We also just got a Comedy Central animated show picked up. I grew up in the suburbs outside of Chicago,
but Madison was always a special place for me. My mom had attended school there the
sixties. My older sister went to school there. I
made it a point to look far and wide in schools across the
country. Every place I’d look, I kept comparing it to Madison in my head: in terms of the campus, in terms of the academics, in terms of
social life, in terms of the sports, and nothing could stack up against this,
sort of Madison ideal that I had in my mind. The instruction in Madison was hugely influential in what I do today. I mean, I remember going up to Bascom Hill, and my history
classes, and my political science classes have them talk about that phrase, “sifting and winnowing,” and that’s essentially what I’m doing my
job. I work in development, and television production and
there’s a lot of sifting to get to the truth of ideas. “So, who’s winning the sports today?” “Just sports. No ‘the’.” Whether it’s a sort of philosophy or a television sitcom, “They’re playing… the Miami.” “The Miami what?” “Sound Machine!” It sort of all comes back to you that ideal, in a way. and so even though I’m not conscious that I’m
sifting or winnowing on a day-by-day basis, I do you think that
sort of perspective has been influential in my daily work. “This game better be over in twenty minutes!” “Why?” “They want to watch ‘Good Wife’.” “THE Good Wife!” One of my strongest takeaways
from going to a school like Wisconsin is it’s such a strong liberal arts school. I didn’t go to a film school. I didn’t focus in, you know, communications, but I got practical
experience in and around Madison, and I also studied the letters and
sciences, and history, and political science. And I really think that taught me how to think, and how to be a critical thinker, and to me, that takes you so much further
than learning certain, sort of, the vocational matters at a
technical school or some of the film schools that get so much press out here and have these pedigrees. I really do think going to such a strong liberal arts school like Wisconsin is directly responsible for me being out
here.

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