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

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A Single-minded Community The constant demand of the film industry for more different trained hands than any other industry, art, or vocation is something the casual observer of filmdom never seems able to grasp at first sight. When one thinks of motion picture making, his mind flashes to actors, directors, and writers, but numerically they are only a fraction of the whole. One year one house painter made a contribution considered far more significant than any single "bit" of acting and direction or writing. He invented a type of enamel paint which looked as if it had a hard surface, but it was really porous, and sound could pass through it. This eliminated bad sound recording effects when sounds "bounced" off the old type flat enamel. "Windjammers" went off the high seas years ago, with the arrival of the modern steamship. But every studio has its expert sailors who can rig and sail sailing vessels of every description from a small schooner to a great brigantine of the early eighteenth century. Actors and actresses, however, comprise less than 8 per cent of the so-called motion picture colony of Hollywood. Acting offers fewer immediate oppor- tunities to the ambitious than its related vocations. Paper hangers, cosmeticians, hairdressers, sculptors, mechanics, or chemists are more frequently needed than actors themselves. But, because a Robert Taylor, a Fernand Gravet, a Jean Muir, or a Deanna Durbin appears out of thou- sands, every good-looking young man or young woman in the country seems to think that the quickest road to film fortune is through a nice figure, beautiful teeth, and a lovely smile. [27] ;