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

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A Single-minded Community salesman can display on a tabic before us a dozen com- plicated pieces of glass, the total value of which will be many thousands of dollars. In an enormous twelve-story building, some thirty thousand different costumes of every known historical period are stored. And this collection, the largest, is partially duplicated in smaller ones held by individual studios. In street scenes like these, in unique collections of almost every description, in the great variety of peoples representing practically every nationality, Hollywood differs from every other city in the world. In any city in which films are made—London, Berlin, Paris, Bom- bay—similar materials are in greater or lesser degree available, but only in Hollywood is there such a pro- fusion of the strange, distinctive, fantastically varied impedimenta of picture making. Having flown over the city, having walked through its streets, and having had a kaleidoscopic view of its life, we are now better prepared to study the actual work of a studio. Where shall we start? With some outstanding star? Not at all. We hear much about stars and certainly they are the most visible evidences of picture making, but much must happen before they can step before the cameras with their contributions, and before we can meet them. Be- fore the start of a picture, the first thing to be sought is a story. Stories, appealing, interesting, enthralling stories, rare examples of human life caught at high tide, stories rang- [33]