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

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Talking Pictures rights. It then developed that before these could be obtained, the play must have a New York stage pro- duction, so the play was backed by the company which later produced the screen version. Both were inter- esting milestones in theatrical history. The keeper of the story files in the largest of the American studios boasts that no one has ever named an author whose full dossier she does not have in one of her steel cabinets. And no one has ever succeeded in naming even short stories published in obscure maga- zines of small circulation of which she does not have a record. In this one library alone there are two mil- lion stories carefully filed. Attached to each story is a short synopsis prepared by the reader and his report on its availability for pic- ture use. There is also an elaborate cross index listing the plot structure, the dramatic possibilities, and the characteristic comic or tragic elements of the story. A study is made of the characters in the story and their relation to the available stars and featured players. Suppose we should want a report on the desirability of filming one of the various plays of Shakespeare. Within two minutes this woman could and would place in our hands a carefully typed file card (the same kind of card a grocery store manager might use to keep track of an inventory of canned beans and smoked ham), listing every play Shakespeare wrote and referring to a separate file which has a synopsis of each play and a reader's report concerning its essential screen values. This was tried once on a distinguished British novelist who came to America to convert Charles Dickens' [38]