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

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The Stage Is Set nail polish, nail files, razors, razor blades (more often used for cutting film tests than the star's beard!), thread (ten kinds, colors, sizes), needles, darning cotton, head- ache powders, collodion, coffee, tea, rouge, cold cream, lipstick, copper wire, picture wire, drinking glasses, cups, and almost anything else which may be requested. The property man is the company representatiye from a huge four-story building with an inventory of three hundred and fifty thousand articles. He goes to head- quarters night and morning for special properties. A trained interior decorator carefully adjusts window curtains. Under the orders of the art director she has selected and arranged the furniture, either antique or modern, and completed the set with curtains, pictures, hangings, vases, china, and silver. The woman in a white uniform is the studio nurse. She is on call in the studio hospital for actual profes- sional services, and she gives technical advice about any scene concerned with hospitals, nursing, or medicine. The assistant director controls the physical assem- bling of all this detail. Close by the chair of the di- rector is a young man with an open copy of the scenario and a poised pencil. He is the set secretary. As in- terior and exterior scenes are sometimes photographed weeks apart, it is his job to see that an actor wearing a black hat and carrying gloves does not step to a closed doorway and later enter the room with a gray hat and no gloves. Under this secretary system such errors are today almost impossible. The secretary keeps careful notes on each scene, even to the size and num- ber of the dots in the leading man's tie. [171]