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

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Talking Pictures man. They both provide perfect training for positions either as director or associate producer. So valuable is an assistant director to a director that the two usually work in "double harness/' A director will often have the same assistant for years. They grow so attuned to each other that sometimes incidents arise which suggest mental telepathy. This dialogue actually occurred between a director and an assistant director: Director: "I decided last night we would use a Chip- pendale dining set instead of the one I looked at yes- terday." Assistant: "It's here." Director: "I also decided that it would be better to have a Japanese houseboy than that colored maid." Assistant: "He's on the set and made up." These three men, the director, the unit manager, and the assistant director, are the channel through which most of the money flows into the making of a picture. It has been stated earlier that preparation of a picture requires one half of the total time; photography one sixth; and completion one third. But in the direction and photographic third occurs the major portion of the expense. Here costly settings, gowns, properties and well-paid actors and technicians are concentrated. False judgment can cause heavy financial loss at this point. To avoid this, and to get the finest dramatic and emotional effects for the least expenditure, is the joint problem of the director and his two immediate associates. [ 162 ]