Talking pictures : how they are made, how to appreciate them (c. 1937)

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I Talking Pictures Thirty years ago a few hundred thousand feet of film were sufficient for a struggling "plaything," looked upon with contempt by people of the stage and not viewed with enthusiasm by its own adherents. Most of these cynically considered it a passing fad from which they could make a few thousand dollars and then get out. Today the industry in America alone requires two billion feet of film a year. Thirty years ago if a film cost two thousand dollars to make, producers threw up their hands in horror. Today to spend two million dollars to make an ade- quate film presentation of Gone with the Wind is con- sidered a normal expenditure. Today in the United States alone 28,000 persons are employed in the production of moving pictures and nearly 300,000 in their distribution and exhibition. More than 150 different industries are stimulated by Ameri- can motion picture expenditures, representing an amount of $200,000,000 a year. The motion picture is rated by many observers as being among the first ten single commodity industries of the United States. It pays the government over $100,000,000 in taxes annually, spends $30,000,000 for insurance, and advertises to an amount of $77,000,000 a year in the United States and $33,000,000 annually in other parts of the world. 1 These figures are not offered with any idea of arti- ficially stimulating the importance of the film industry in the minds of those who read them. The figures given, and others, are available in standard books of statistics. 1 Statistics supplied by Association of Motion Picture Producers. [22]