Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Mad Men:

An Inventory of the Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Weiner, Matthew, 1965-
Title: Mad Men Collection
Dates: 1912-2016 (bulk 1957-2014)
Extent: 189 document boxes, 4 serial boxes, 31 oversize boxes (osb) (79.38 linear feet), 9 oversize folders (osf), 1 bound volume (bv), 99 computer disks
Abstract: The Mad Men Collection documents the work of Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner and his writing and production team behind the scenes of the acclaimed television drama. Scripts, production materials, and publicity materials date from 2001 to 2016, while clippings, magazines, and other materials collected for research primarily date from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. Also present in the collection are four boxes of scripts and production materials from Weiner’s 2013 feature film Are You Here.
Call Number: Film Collection FI-05249
Language: English, with publicity materials in French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and Swedish
Access: Open for research. Researchers must create an online Research Account and agree to the Materials Use Policy before using archival materials. To request access to electronic files, please email Reference. Documents containing personal information are restricted due to privacy concerns during the lifetime of individuals mentioned in the documents; in many instances, these documents have been replaced with redacted photocopies.
Use Policies: Ransom Center collections may contain material with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in the collections without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the Ransom Center and The University of Texas at Austin assume no responsibility.
Restrictions on Use: Certain restrictions apply to the use of electronic files. Researchers must agree to the Materials Use Policy for Electronic Files before accessing them. Original computer disks and forensic disk images are restricted. Copying electronic files, including screenshots and printouts, is not permitted. Authorization for publication is given on behalf of the University of Texas as the owner of the collection and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder which must be obtained by the researcher. For more information please see the Ransom Center's Open Access and Use Policies.



Preferred Citation Mad Men Collection (Film Collection FI-05249). Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin.
Acquisition: Gift, 2016-2017 (16-08-008-G, 16-12-001-G, 16-12-010-G, 16-12-016-G, 17-01-006-G)
Processed by: Ancelyn Krivak, 2017-2018
Repository:

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin,


Matthew Weiner was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on June 29, 1965. He moved to Los Angeles with his parents and three siblings in 1975, where he attended the Harvard School for Boys. Weiner graduated from Wesleyan University in 1987 with a degree in Philosophy, Literature, and History, and went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Southern California’s School of Film and Television. In the years following film school, Weiner wrote scripts, appeared as a contestant on the television game show Jeopardy, and shot an independent film titled What Do You Do All Day? (1996). His television writing career began in 1997 when he was hired for the last season of the situation comedy The Naked Truth; this was followed by a three-season stint on another situation comedy, Becker. While he was writing for Becker, Weiner wrote an early version of the pilot script for Mad Men. In 2002, he sent the script as a writing sample to David Chase, creator, showrunner, and head writer of The Sopranos. Chase hired Weiner to work as a writer and producer for the final two seasons of that show. Weiner’s writing for The Sopranos was nominated for two Emmys, and he won two Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series in his capacity as one of the show’s producers. During the final season of The Sopranos, Weiner’s Mad Men pilot script was picked up for filming by AMC Networks. In 2006, during a three-month pause in filming for The Sopranos, Weiner wrote, cast, and supervised the production of Mad Men’s pilot on location in New York City. Based on the strength of that first yet to be broadcast episode, AMC made a deal to bring in Lionsgate Entertainment as a production partner for the show, and filming for the remainder of the first season began in Los Angeles in 2007 immediately following production of The Sopranos’s final episodes.
As showrunner, executive producer, and head writer of Mad Men until its series finale in 2015, Matthew Weiner presided over one of television’s most critically acclaimed dramas, winning three Emmy awards for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, four Emmys for Outstanding Drama, six Writer’s Guild of America awards, and two BAFTA awards. Weiner was also nominated for three Director’s Guild of America awards for Mad Men episodes he directed. Mad Men had a transformative effect on AMC, a cable channel previously devoted to reruns of classic films, establishing it as a home for high-quality scripted drama that could compete with premium channels such as HBO and Showtime. The show and its characters quickly became touchstones of popular culture, inspiring fashion and interior design collections, internet memes, and parody videos. During its run on television, Mad Men became a subject of college courses, critical essays, and books analyzing the philosophy of the show, the psychological motivations of its characters, and the social and political history of its setting. Weiner’s extensive publicity efforts for Mad Men in interviews and at events made him as public a figure as the actors in the cast, raising the profile of a new species of auteur, the television showrunner, to that of celebrity.
While in between seasons of Mad Men, Weiner directed a second feature film, Are You Here (2013), a comedy starring Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, and Amy Poehler. After the series finale of Mad Men, Weiner turned to fiction writing, publishing his first novel, Heather, the Totality, in 2017. Weiner lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Linda Brettler, an architect. They have four sons: Marten Holden Weiner, who played Glen Bishop on Mad Men; Charles; Arlo; and Ellis.

IMDb. "Matthew Weiner." Accessed October 17, 2017. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1980806/.
McNamara, Mary. "Critic's Notebook: Now that 'Mad Men' has changed the TV landscape, what does it all mean?" Los Angeles Times, May 8, 2015, http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/la-et-st-critics-notebook-mad-men-final-season-20150510-column.html.
Raftery, Liz. "Mad Men: The Untold Oral History of the Pilot." TV Guide, July 18, 2017, http://www.tvguide.com/news/mad-men-oral-history-pilot-facts/.
Witchel, Alex. "'Mad Men' Has Its Moment." New York Times, June 22, 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/22/magazine/22madmen-t.html?_r=2&hp&oref=slogin&oref=slogin.

The Mad Men Collection documents the work of Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner and his writing and production team behind the scenes of the television drama acclaimed for its insightful writing and meticulous recreation of period detail. The collection encompasses scripts, outlines, notes, correspondence, memos, casting materials, costume sketches, costume inspiration boards and lookbooks, call sheets, shooting schedules, clearance reports, photographs, set plans, storyboards, clippings, maps, schedules, magazines, newspapers, publicity artwork, press kits and publicity brochures, promotional materials, invitations, awards, proof pages, props, and costumes. Scripts, production materials, and publicity materials date from 2001 to 2016 and in addition to printed copies of these documents, in many instances, the electronic files associated with these documents are also present in the collection. Clippings, magazines, and other materials collected for research primarily date from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. Also present in the collection are four boxes of scripts and production materials from Weiner’s 2013 feature film Are You Here. Matthew Weiner donated a collection of manuscript materials and a small selection of props; Mad Men’s production company, Lionsgate Entertainment, donated a separate collection of costumes and props.
The collection is divided in two series: Series I. Mad Men, 1912-2016 and Series II. Are You Here, 2005-2012. Series I is further divided in four subseries. Subseries A. Scripts, 2001-2014 contains script binders, drafts, outlines, notes, and electronic files for individual episodes of Mad Men. Materials in this subseries are arranged in order of season, and within seasons in order of episode. Season One episodes are numbered 101-113, Season Two episodes are numbered 201-213, and so on for each season. In a few instances episodes were filmed in a different order than they were broadcast on television. Materials for these episodes are described in the container list according to the order they were broadcast on television, but the materials themselves may be labeled with a different episode number or with two episode numbers (for example, S109/P108, indicating that it was the ninth episode of Season One to be broadcast but the eighth episode to be filmed). Some online content providers assign different episode numbers to Mad Men Seasons Five and Six because the first and second episodes of those seasons are combined in one two-hour long episode; the finding aid uses separate episode numbers for parts one and two of "A Little Kiss" and "The Doorway" and therefore lists thirteen episodes for Seasons Five and Six rather than twelve.
Within individual episodes, script materials are arranged chronologically from earliest to latest. The Mad Men writing team typically began to plan an episode with an outline, followed by writer’s first and second drafts, then possibly a concept meeting draft; pre-production draft; tone meeting draft; and white, blue, pink, yellow, green, and goldenrod production drafts, although not every episode went through all of the drafts listed above. Revised outlines and Matthew Weiner’s script rewrites are also present for some episodes. The final shooting script (usually referred to as a "fully collated" script), the script supervisor’s shooting scripts with log pages recording the shots for each take, and as broadcast scripts are available for some, but not all, episodes. Many drafts contain handwritten annotations by Matthew Weiner and others; annotated drafts are noted as such in the container list. Some drafts, revised pages, and outlines created for individual episodes are in the form of electronic files; they may or may not duplicate materials present in manuscript form. If an episode has corresponding electronic files, an entry for the files is included in the container list within the material associated with that episode and includes a brief description, the number of files, the file formats, and the timestamp. Other electronic files relate to entire seasons of the show rather than to individual episodes, including files maintained by the script coordinator and writer’s room staff. Entries for these files are included in the container list at the beginning of each season before materials associated with individual episodes, and include a brief description, the number of files, the file formats, and the timestamp.
In addition to loose drafts, outlines, and notes, there are one or more script binders present for each episode. Most episodes have binders that belonged to Matthew Weiner and the script coordinator. Matthew Weiner’s binders typically contain a final shooting script and a variety of production materials including casting notes, call sheets, shooting schedules, pre-timing estimates, and for episodes directed by Weiner, set plans and storyboards. The script coordinator binder often contains a comprehensive set of script drafts from writer’s first draft to final production draft. In addition to the Matthew Weiner and script coordinator binders, there are also script binders kept by head of research Allison Mann during Seasons Six and Seven. These contain script drafts annotated with Mann’s research notes. The content of the binders varies from episode to episode, and with the exception of binders for Episodes 103 and 113, materials have been removed from the original three-ring binders due to preservation concerns. The binder contents have been foldered in their original order with the original divider tabs.
Subseries B. Research, 1912-2014 is arranged chronologically by season, with general research materials that are not identified with any particular season filed at the end. Research materials for Seasons One through Three were originally filed together and remain in that arrangement. Research binders, typically consisting of photocopied materials relating to popular culture or advertising history during a particular year or span of years, are filed at the beginning of each season (materials have been removed from the original three-ring binders due to preservation concerns and foldered in their original order). Following the binders for each individual season, research files contain photocopies, clippings, correspondence, and notes on topics of interest to the show’s writers. Materials from the files are foldered together alphabetically, with original folder titles noted in parentheses after the letter or span of letters in the container list. The original order of these research files has been retained; however, in some instances folders contain materials related to subjects other than those indicated by the folder title. For this reason, researchers interested in topics related to a particular season are strongly encouraged to browse through all of the research files for that season.
In addition to research binders and files, the collection contains a large number of vintage periodicals collected for research purposes. These magazines and newspapers are listed alphabetically by title (and chronologically within each title) at the end of Subseries B. Many of the magazines are annotated with sticky notes flagging articles of interest to the research team and noting ideas for specific characters sparked by the content of the magazine. Annotated issues are noted as such in the container list. Some of the magazines collected for research have a musty odor, are coated with dirt and grime, and/or contain brittle paper that tears easily. Researchers should wear nitrile gloves and exercise care when handling these materials, and those with sensitivity to mold may wish to wear a mask.
Some photographs and articles collected as research materials for particular seasons are in the form of electronic files. If a season has corresponding electronic files, entries for these files are included in the container list within the research files associated with that season and include a brief description, the number of files, the file formats, and the timestamp.
Subseries C. Production, 2002-2014 contains a small selection of production materials including casting notes; costume sketches, character inspiration boards and costume lookbooks; production photographs, including costume, hair, and makeup tests; set plans; and production binders. Production binders for Episode 101 and Season Three contain a variety of production materials, including calendars, call sheets, clearance reports, schedules, and correspondence regarding casting, post-production, and publicity campaigns. Materials have been removed from the original three-ring binders due to preservation concerns and foldered in their original order. Notable in this series are Matthew Weiner’s notes dating from before production through Season Seven, which record both script and general production ideas, and the author trading cards with pictures of Charles Dickens, Arthur Miller, Eugene O’Neill, and Tennessee Williams that Weiner carried in his pocket for inspiration during the show’s production.
Many production materials are in the form of electronic files, including administrative, art department, and casting files; behind the scenes production photographs; and photographs and inventories of props. Entries for these files are included in the container list within the production subseries and include a brief description, the number of files, the file formats, and the timestamp.
Subseries D. Publicity, 2007-2016 comprises a variety of materials including awards, clippings, invitations, key art for publicity campaigns, magazines and newspapers, photographs, press kits, and publicity brochures. Also in this series are proofs of the book Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men, published by Taschen in 2016, and a variety of promotional materials associated with the show, such as wall calendars, a static-cling play set called Desktop Mad Men, and a notepad made of cocktail napkins. Some publicity materials are in the form of electronic files, including publicity artwork and photographs, and files related to events and exhibitions. Entries for these files are included in the container list within the publicity subseries and include a brief description, the number of files, the file formats, and the timestamp.
Subseries E. Related Scripts and Other Writings, 2011-2013, undated, contains scripts that are related to Mad Men in some way, such as the script for The Simpsons’s Mad Men parody "The Man in the Blue Flannel Pants," which featured Matthew Weiner as a guest voice.
Series II. Are You Here, 2005-2012 contains scripts and production materials for Matthew Weiner’s second feature film, Are You Here, which was filmed in North Carolina in 2012 in between the production of Seasons Five and Six of Mad Men. Materials include script drafts, a binder with shooting script and production materials, casting files, set plans, and storyboards. The working title of the film was You Are Here and all of the scripts and production materials in the collection refer to the film by that title.
Correspondence in the Mad Men Collection primarily consists of printouts of emails. All individuals copied on a given email are indexed as correspondents at the end of this finding aid. In addition to Matthew Weiner, correspondents include executive producer Scott Hornbacher; writers including Lisa Albert, Kater Gordon, Brett Johnson, Jonathan Igla, André and Maria Jacquemetton, Erin Levy, and Carly Wray; head of research Allison Mann and other members of the research team; Weiner’s assistants; and members of the executive staff at AMC Networks and Lionsgate Entertainment. Due to privacy concerns, most email addresses have been redacted from the correspondence. Original documents containing restricted email addresses have been replaced with redacted photocopies.
Many of the casting documents in the collection contain private information including Social Security numbers, home addresses, and personal phone numbers. These documents are restricted during the lifetime of the individuals mentioned. In most instances, a redacted photocopy of a sample page is provided as an example of the format and type of information used during production; however, due to the volume of these documents in the collection, it is not possible to provide redacted photocopies of all the restricted pages. A small number of electronic files found in the collections contain personal information such as Social Security and Tax Identification numbers; these files are restricted during the lifetime of the individuals mentioned.
A small group of scripts, research, and publicity materials for Episode 113 was made available for research in 2016 in a preliminary inventory. This finding aid incorporates the materials described in that preliminary inventory and supersedes it.

281 books used by Matthew Weiner and other Mad Men staff were transferred to the Ransom Center Library. These books are cataloged online in The University of Texas Library Catalog.
19 commercial compact disc recordings and 3 commercial digital video disc recordings were transferred to the Ransom Center Library and will be cataloged online in The University of Texas Library Catalog.
71 costume items, including 19 complete costumes, and 259 props were transferred to the Center’s Costumes and Personal Effects Collection and are described in the Center’s Personal Effects and Objects database.
Over 300 unpublished, non-commercial compact discs were transferred to the Center's Sound Recordings Collection and will be described separately in the Center’s Sound Recordings Database, available in the Center’s Reading and Viewing Room.
Over 3400 unpublished, non-commercial video recordings were transferred to the Center's Moving Image Collection and will be described separately in the Center’s Moving Image Database, available in the Center’s Reading and Viewing Room Included with these materials are over 3000 DVDs of dailies and preliminary cuts that will be preserved and described in the database.
99 disks were transferred to the Center’s Electronic Records Collection. They are described in this finding aid and are available to patrons in the Center’s Reading and Viewing Room.

People

Weiner, Matthew.

Organizations

Lions Gate Entertainment (Firm).

Subjects

Advertising agencies--Fiction.
Advertising executives--Fiction.
Motion picture producers and directors--United States.
Motion pictures--United States.
Screenplays.
Screenwriters.
Television producers and directors--United States.
Television scripts.
Television series--United States.
Television writers.

Document Types

Awards.
Clippings.
Correspondence.
Digital images.
Electronic documents.
Notebooks.
Photographs.
Screenplays.
Scripts.
Serials (publications).
Sketches.
Storyboards.