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

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18 "LIGHTS! CAMERA!" The set is ready. All technicians are at their posts. For a final adjustment of wardrobe and make-up, the stars scatter to their portable dressing rooms which are approximately eight feet square and have in them make- up tables, proper lights, and couches for rest between scenes. The director confers with his assistant, who checks the details of the day with his chief. The assistant has already placed the cameras in the position indi- cated by the director the night before. "Stand-ins," minor players who in size and coloration resemble the stars, have been before the hot lights for at least half an hour. The cinematographer has completed the illu- mination for the first scene. If the scene is a hotel lobby and requires a crowd of forty bellboys, maids, guests, and clerks, the assistant has already rehearsed his "back- ground action/' the natural movements customary in such a setting. The director, satisfied that everything is in readiness, glances over his notes. Most directors make notes on cards, envelopes, or sheets of paper. Some keep all their plans in their minds. But if notes are made, they indi- cate clearly the director's personality. One man, highly methodical, makes a neat chart that [175]