The Screenplay of The Blue Shepherd Has Spanish Roots

Vintage Spanish TV

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The screenplay of The Blue Shepherd has its roots in Televisión Española. In 1986 I began writing gags for a quiz show, then I wrote the sketches for the show and then I wrote sitcom pilots. I had a mentor, Sergio Schaaff. He taught me about television — he wanted a joke every fifteen seconds! Over fifteen years later I took him  what was then an early script of  The Blue Shepherd. I’m not sure if he read it, but when I went to retrieve it he looked at me like I was crazy: “Do you really think people will be interested in a story about a shepherd?”

This was the man who hired me to write for his top rated quiz show, Si Lo Se No Vengo (If I’d Known I wouldn’t Have Come) solely on the basis of an original sitcom I had written, “Rita and Anorexia”  (based on a sitcom character I had grown up with called “Rhoda”).  When I hand delivered my sitcom to Sergi’s buddy at Spanish TV, it turned out his wife was from my home town! Not only did Sergi hire me on the spot, he PUT me on the spot! He would give me a room and a pile of paper and  pens and close the door and say, “Write!” He was my boss.  He would talk to me at work. We would bat around ideas. I would try to get him to tell me what he thought people really wanted to watch on TV. Once he said, “Susana! If I knew that I’d be a millionaire!”   

Sergi Schaaff

 

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