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Interviewed: Dick DeBartolo talks about writing for MAD Mag
The Paris Review interviewed long-time MAD Magazine writer Dick DeBartolo about his long career starting in 1962.
As you watch a movie, are you keeping count of the gags and writing ideas down?
Yeah, and after I see the movie, I write a whole outline of it, and then I go through it again and I mark up the panels—the must-have panels. Those either carry the story, or the audience had a big reaction to that scene, which means you really have to include it because people are going to remember that particular scene. And then I’ll tell the editor, I can do a nice five pages on this because I have thirty good panels.
Do you see a movie more than once?
Really? That surprises me.
To tell you the truth, I usually take a tape recorder to the movies—an audio-tape recorder—because sometimes, especially in a James Bond movie for instance, it’s very hard to remember the sequence in which things happen. We also realize that sometimes other people can’t remember that, either. So occasionally, for speed, we’ll rearrange the movie or leave out a couple of key scenes and just cover it with dialogue.