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Hollywood — First TDays on the Movie Lot " It does," asserted the chief publicist. " It does, and I'm telling you. The public wants to think it's real." " But, good Lord ! our stuff will never reach the cinema public," we protested. "We are going to make etchings. Thirty or forty proofs to each plate. They will be exhibited in picture-galleries and such places. Bought by collectors ..." " That makes no difference," said the chief publicist. He gloomed at us over his cigar; his thick neck seemed to swell in the effort to find a way out. I suppose that the backing of Von Sternberg was too weighty to permit him to throw us forthwith into the street. " Now see here," he said at last, " if we give you permission to draw, will you promise not to draw the backs of the sets ? " "But what is the use?" we remonstrated. "We might give you the promise, but we could go off and draw them from memory afterward. And look here. The M.G.M. and the United Artists have given us permission to draw on their lots, and they haven't said a thing about not drawing the backs of the sets. And, of course, we shall mention the lot on which the drawings were made. ..." Even then we had the utmost difficulty in persuading him that our sketches would not send the public flocking away in disgust from the cinemas. Poor Publicity Department! It was already in a predicament; the public had recently shown a decrease of interest in the pictures. Warners' had just brought out their first movietone production, and now we were threatening to give the legitimate pictures their knock-down blow. Or, at least, he treated the subject as seriously as though we were. But the thought that we might give artistic publicity to the M.G.M. and to the United Artists and withhold it from the Paramount disturbed his sense of professional rivalry. He was in a cleft stick. Be the consequences what they might, he could not afford to loiter behind his rivals. So at last he said :