'Mad Men' creator spills success secrets in Paris

10th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner said Wednesday as he gave a "masterclass" in Paris that despite not having a contract he wanted to carry on doing the cult series about a 1960s New York advertising agency.

"I would like to continue doing the show until I feel the story no longer needs to be told," he told the audience, but he declined to discuss if US cable network AMC had yet offered him a contract for a fifth season.

Weiner, who was Tuesday awarded a prestigious cultural honour by Paris city hall, was in the French capital along with Christina Hendricks and John Slattery, two stars from the series that has scooped numerous awards.

Weiner presented his "masterclass" at the Forum des Images, best known internationally as the movie centre that launched the world's first film festival for movies made on or for mobile phones.

He told an audience of several hundred that the iconic US actor Humphrey Bogart was an inspiration for him because he kept battling against rejection and did not get a proper talking part in a movie until he was 42 years old.

Weiner said he himself had spent five years sitting at home watching television and writing before he got a break.

"You're in a fantasy world. You're delusional or you wouldn't do it," he said as he discussed his work with the aid of clips from the series projected onto a giant screen.

When the now 45-year-old writer finished the first script for "Mad Men" -- which he drafted in his free time while writing for other television series -- he said he felt he had "finally delivered."

But he still had to fight to get it made and to convince AMC, which told him that the series "had no foreign potential," to back it.

The show written by Weiner, who has also scripted episodes of the mafia series "Sopranos," is hugely popular across the world. It has won the best drama series award at the US Emmy Awards for the last three years.

The Forum des Images holds regular masterclasses by movie directors and last year launched an annual international television series festival.

© 2011 AFP

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