Dwight Hemion, Television Artist.Posted: January 31, 2008
Adam Bernstein writes a good obituary of TV producer and director Dwight Hemion in today’s Washington Post.
In the 60s and 70s, it seemed that if a TV musical special displayed intelligence, respect for the viewer, superb musical values, and beautiful visual values, it was almost guaranteed to have the names of Hemion and his partner Gary Smith attached to it. Sometimes he achieved his results through a deceptive simplicity. His Sinatra: A Man and His Music special and its sequel, Sinatra: A Man and His Music Part II, dared to present Sinatra against a white sweep, singing with the band on camera behind him, conducted by Nelson Riddle or Gordon Jenkins. You could hear Hemion saying to you, “Nothing could be better than this.”
Here’s a complete list of Hemion’s credits. He was nominated for 47 Emmys–more than any person in television history, in any category.
A clip from Color Me Barbra (the second Streisand special) at YouTube gives you a taste of his work. If you have the patience to sit through Barbra’s two minute introduction (not directed by Hemion)—and I can understand if you don’t—she gives you a glimpse into Hemion’s process. If you’d prefer to skip that, just advance to around 2:16. The clip is non-embeddable, which means I can’t present it to you within this post, but if you click here, you can see it.
Be someplace where you won’t mind if goosebumps start sprouting and tears start falling…