Star-dust in Hollywood (1930)

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Star-dust in Hollywood doing Sam's story next, and they want me to use Eugene. I'll tell you straight I'd rather have you. His back view isn't half as expressive as yours, and he can't walk friendly as you do. . . ." " Yes, I know," answered the star. " But I've just bought a house, and I got to keep on paying for it. And here we are within a fortnight of finishing up this darned story and no new one in sight yet. I tell you, Joe, I'm getting worried. I just don't hear of anybody who's got a part that will suit me. . . ." Undoubtedly we came in on a different footing. The Publicity Department soon ceased to shepherd us. " Well, I guess you know your way out," Mr Dick would say cheerily. The stars soon stopped putting on their publicity manners. We were able to draw our sketches at ease and to watch the slow development of Von Sternberg's play, The Docks of New York, Day after day we studied the director hammering the thing into shape. Von Sternberg, as we have said, was one of the younger men. He belonged to some half a dozen in Hollywood who, before the devastating intrusion of the talkies, were getting a grip on the problems of the moving picture and were struggling to shape it into a definite artistic means of ex- pression. The complexities of the problem are probably unsuspected by the public. A film is a series of pictures that tells a story, as a book is a series of paragraphs with a similar intent. Most people, like most readers, are content to watch a film, or read a book, for its story alone. Unconsciously they may admire the compositions or settings, but they will waste little thought on them. The better the film is the less they may think of the presentation; if really good it should seem to grow quite naturally from the story. Their curiosity is not roused by the problem of how that excellency of presentation is [104]