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

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The Story Is Selected connection between the "man at the top" and the direc- tors, busy at their work of creation on the stages. In- asmuch as he seldom gets publicity and is much less known to the public than the director, the function of the associate producer is rarely understood by persons not actually engaged in film making. The associate producer is the one man in the studio who follows the picture through every stage, from the initial purchase of the story, to the shipping of the last prints to "exchanges" conveniently placed at key geo- graphical points, from which they are rented to theatres for exhibition. An associate producer must be a combination of a shrewd business man and a sensitive creative artist. He must be sensitive to the enthusiasms of his writers, his directors, and his stars, and yet he must remain conscious that pictures have to be made within a cost limit, that great literary classics cannot continue to be made if their cost is so great that their theatrical exhibition does not return the investment. Usually an associate producer has several pictures in preparation or production at one time. Because his work is so similar to that of the editor of a large newspaper, his contribution never gets the attention, praise, or credit it rightfully deserves. The most popular job in a studio is that of a director. The director is not responsible for every tile in our mosaic; but he does control the artistic values of more of them than any other single individual in the studio. His work is definitely, often spectacularly, creative. That the differences between the director and the [49]