Picture Play Magazine (Sep 1917 - Feb 1918)

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The Observer 253 but always settling, and always pointing to improvement. Because of the fluctuating quality of its product, the quick change of values in its personnel, and the high speed which is its natural gait, the film business will never reach an entirely quiet, bed-rock foundation, unless it filters into a general rut, but it is hurrying on its way to the ultimate in betterment. The most significant change of recent days is that of Thomas H. Ince and Mack Sennett, who have moved from Triangle to Paramount. Both of these men are pioneers in pictures. They constitute a part of the central body responsible for the advancements and improvements which have resulted in the present form of photo-play comedy and drama. Mack Sennett created Keystone comedies. His work was patterned after many times, but never duplicated. Directors making excellent comedies under Sennett's supervision could not make them away from the Keystone lot. They resembled Sennett's work, but they lacked his scintillating twang, and were more or less flat. The story of Thomas Ince has been told too often to add anything to it here. From a primitive start he developed one of the greatest organizations and plants in the moving-picture world. As a producing unit he stood in the first rank in the industry, and had very little company. It is remarkable that two men, Ince and Sennett, should in themselves combine practically all of the necessary elements for a big film-manufacturing organization. But they do. With Ince to supply the drama, society, comic, Western, and otherwise, and Sennett to furnish the comedies, a well-balanced program may be maintained. Paramount has effected an arrangement with Ince and Sennett, and we look for continued good work from them. They have given much to pictures, and mean a great deal to the industry. PEOPLE connected with the moving-picture business constantly meet outsiders who believe that they have good film stories in their heads, but are afraid to put them on paper and submit them to companies for acceptance for fear their ideas will be stolen and their scripts j returned. Somewhere in the dark past there is, no doubt, a reason for this fear. It is too definite in its form to have developed out of thin air. But, also, it is too highly developed and too rabid to apply in the present day. Producers are not devoting their institutions and thoughts to staging plays which cost them nothing, nor are scenario departments organized groups of story bandits. Reliable companies would not for a minute tolerate the practices which are bringing so much mental woe to amateur writers, especially when they are paying high salaries to their staffs to secure original plots. It is possible that unstable, cheap film companies, generally known as "flyby-nights," will lift a part or the whole of a submitted story, but this action is not so much a blot upon the motion-picture industry as it is evidence here of a deplorable condition existing in some degree in every other business. Don't class a lion with a jackal because their haunts may be the same, and, on the other hand, don't expect a glittering, weak sister in the world of film companies to measure up to the high moral and financial virtues of a tried and proved concern. If you patronize a poor restaurant, you must expect to watch your hat and The Stolen Scenario Question