When the movies were young (1925)

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At the Studio 93 never used a script and he rehearsed in sequence the scenes of every story until each scene dovetailed smoothly, and the acting was O. K. He worked out his story using his actors as chessmen. He knew what he wanted and the camera never began to grind until every little detail satisfied him. There was some incentive for an actor to do his best. More was asked of us than to be just a "type," and the women couldn't get by with just "pretty looks." We worked hard, but we liked it. With equal grace we all played leads one day and decorated the back drop the next. On a day when there would be no work whatever for you, you'd reluctantly depart. Sometimes Mr. Griffith almost had to drive the non-working actors out of the studio. The place was small and he needed room. Sometimes when rehearsing a picture he liked a lot, it would be as late as 3 p.m. before a fainting, lunchless lot of actors would hear those welcome words, "All right, everybody, get your lunches and make up." Then Bobbie Harron would circulate the Childs' menu card and the thirty-cent allotment would be checked off. Roast beef or a ham-and-egg sandwich, pie, tea, coffee, or milk usually nourished us. And it was a funny thing, that no matter how rich one was, or how one might have longed for some- thing different, even might have been ill and needed some- thing special, none of us ever dreamed of spending a nickel of his own. While the actors ate and made up, and the carpenters were getting the set ready, Mr. Griffith, accompanied by three or four or five or six actors not on the working list that afternoon, would depart for a restaurant near by. But no woman was ever invited to these parties. This social arrangement obtained only on days when a new picture was