Talking pictures : how they are made and how to appreciate them (1937)

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The Director that each scene joins smoothly with the previous scene. Directors come from many vocations. Clarence Brown was an automobile engineer; Sam Wood, a real estate salesman; George Cukor, a stage director; Frank Capra, an engineer; Gregory La Cava, a cartoonist; Mitchell Leisen, an architect; William K. Howard, a salesman. The overwhelming majority, however, were actors. D. W. Griffith, Cecil B. DeAlille, Robert Z. Leonard, Jack Conway, Harry Beaumont, Charles Brabin, the late Richard Boleslawski, and W. S. Van Dyke were all actors originally. Just below actors in point of numbers are ex- cameramen and ex-assistant directors. Ex-cameramen include Mervyn LeRoy, Victor Fleming, and Sidney Franklin. Humberstone and Taggart are named among those who rose from the post of assistant director. Directors are master salesmen. They convince the players by various psychological methods that their in- terpretation of the emotion required for a particular scene is correct. Some stars respond better when han- dled by certain directors than by others. For this reason a star will often have the same director for four or five consecutive pictures. New players of apparent potentialities but compara- tively little actual creative experience place the heaviest strain on a director's ability. Cecil B. DeAlille once cast a beautiful unknown girl to play the lead in an important picture. The girl had no professional experience except brief employment in a small stock company. She had a beautiful face, an even, sunny disposition, and a lovely smile. [157]