Record #306

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Record of meeting
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Second meeting between producers and directors at AMPAS conference. Proceedings are getting progressively more acrimonious.


Directors (2), Producers (5), Production costs (13), Supervisors (2) Show all keywords…



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AMPAS. 1927. AMPAS Conference, Production Economy Meeting between Producers and Directors, 07-22-1927: World Markets in Production Planning: Mr Lasky [extract]: "I think, if I may take a moment, I would like to tell you how the producers go about arriving at their budget so you can see what it means. I can do it very briefly, I think. The sales department and the Executives in New York, who are the experienced men, because they have the world market, and they know all that the studios know. They analyze the business and analyze year by year the return on various types of pictures by various stars. They study the motion picture theatres of the world and they analyze and find that certain pictures, if successful, can undoubtedly get so many dollars. We will call the picture "A" the type of picture made by a certain type of star, and "B" the type of picture made by another type of star, and they will gross so many thousands of dollars, and they figure that a picture should gross two and one-quarter times the net of its cost, so if a picture can earn $500,000.00 that has to be figured on the basis of two and one-quarter or two and one-half times the net cost. That is all done very scientifically and very carefully, and it is sent out to us. I assure you that the budget is always figured very carefully and figured to the last dollar. ... When that picture comes out here, somebody has to be responsible. It is all right for you to say you are alone responsible, but you cannot be. The supervisor system came about because I used to assume the responsibility for all of it, and finally one day I joined with me another man, a man right here, my friend Frank Woods, who is here tonight, a veteran in the business. We were responsible for that word [i.e.. "supervisor"]. And as time went on and production increased we found the business was beginning to get away from us and so we hired one after another, men of different types, directors and playwrights, and for lack of a better word, we called them supervisors. That is how it began and that is history and that is a fact. ... The point is, those men were the eyes of the management." [transcript p.43]

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