The Horror Zine
Gerald Sanford

On This Month's Special Page:

Screenwriter extraordinaire Gerald Sanford answers questions about his long and exciting career


Joe McKinney
Ramsey Campbell
Joe R. Lansdale
Thorne & Cross
Christian A. Larsen
Simon Clark
Earl Hamner
Stephen Jones

Q. You have had a very exciting career, beginning in 1963 with the very successful TV show Dr. Kildare. How did you break into show business?

A. HARD WORK….In the local DRUGSTORE where, at fifteen years old, I worked counting  prescription pills, delivering  beer on my bike,  and visiting the CASH REGISTER to make certain the REGISTER didn’t get caught with the missing $$$!

Q. During that time, how have you seen the industry change?

A. Writing a MOVIE pays more than counting pills.

Q. What is the process of writing for a television show? Do you start with a group, tossing ideas around, or is this something you begin as a solitary endeavor?

A. You can start with a small group of writers. But must write alone.

Q. Most horror fans think of Night Gallery when they think of you. How were you able to move from writing episodes for, say, The Virginian into writing the mystery/horror/suspense genre of Night Gallery?

A. I really don’t think of those things, nor in that way. I’m a writer, and am thrilled at the thought of writing my story. That’s it! You walk down the street one night, glancing at the dimly lit windows in the apartment buildings. And you dream of what’s going on in those apartments. And how can I become a part of it? A part of their STORY. A part of their characters. Their very life!

Q. Did you work closely with Rod Serling?

A. Rod was good to work with. But better move fast, and tell a story that sends chills in your pants!

Q. You have also been a producer for such shows as Knight Rider and the like. For the layperson, can you explain the difference between writing, directing, and producing?

A. “WRITING” is talent. “DIRECTING & PRODUCING” are moving the PLAYERS about without knocking them off the table.

Q. There is another aspect of your career that rabid Star Trek fans would love to know. You wrote the Star Trek Deep Space 9 episode “A Man Alone” in 1993. Any inside information you’d like to share about Star Trek?

A: Sorry, but sharing “INSIDE INFORMATION” is like passing a bite of left-over pasta. Chances are it’ll either slip from the fork, or from your mouth.

Q. You have worked with many well-known actors, including Dennis Hopper in the film Keepers.  Are you on the sets when your work has reached the point of being filmed? Who are your favorite actors with which to work?

A.  DENNIS was a GEM! You’re on the SET from beginning to end. Or certainly SHOULD BE! As for ‘FAVORITE ACTORS’ They come with ‘FAVORITE SCRIPTS’! Trust me!

Q. Besides The Keeper, you have written for four other films. How does the writing process differ from films and television shows?

A. Forget about the ‘WRITING PROCESS’! Really. There’s no ‘PROCESS’ to it. Only “HARD WORK”, “THE THRILL OF HEARING YOUR WORDS”, the AWE of hearing great actors working your “great words.”

Q. Do you have anything you'd like to tell our audience?

A. I write much better than I walk the alley-ways of my life. But then...none of us is perfect.






About Gerald Sanford

Gerald Sanford

Gerald Sanford is a writer who co-wrote the story of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “A Man Alone” with Michael Piller.

He also wrote episodes of popular television series such as Night Gallery, The F.B.I., Barnaby Jones, CHiPs, T.J. Hooker and Knight Rider.

He began his screenwriting career in 1963 with the television show Dr. Kildare, and wrote a script for a film (The Keeper) as recently as 2004. He has six credits as Producer, and has even worked on three animated scripts.

You can see Gerald Sanford’s extensive screenwriting history on IMDb HERE