Record #3237

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Reel 4
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Books and Plays
see also 04-0921 to 04-0921

Memorandum between the Authors' League of America, the Dramatists Guild of the Authors League, the Authors Guild of the Authors League and the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, Inc. MPPDA. Attached is a copy of the form used to notify companies of the rejection of an unsuitable book or play by a company.


Adaptations from books (14), Screenwriting/screenwriters (4) Show all keywords…


Long Description:

A copy of the Authors League agreement of December 15, 1927, together with minutes of a meeting between their representative and AMPP personnel 08-21-1928, discussing plagiarism inconclusively, and suggesting the establishment of a bureau that would submit synopses to the producers -- effectively taking over the role of authors' agents and potentially eliminating sections of studio scenario departments -- obviously another instance of the attempt to organize and standardize, running into competition with individual enterprise -- anyway, it obviously came to nothing. There was also some discussion around authors' complaints that their stories were rewritten and distorted:"With reference to the distorting of stories for production on the screen, reply was made to Mr. Scott's criticism that this was a condition which always has existed and always will exist, and cannot be avoided; that the exigencies of production as well as the demands of the public, censorship conditions, footage, etc., necessitate radical changes. Such changes are handled as intelligently as possible according to the opinion of each individual producer. The producers present expressed themselves as being fully sympathetic toward the feeling of the authors with reference to story changes, but could see no solution in sight, although the thought was expressed that with the service bureau established and the building up of a closer relationship between authors and producers, the authors in many instances would cooperate more closely with the producers in preparing for actual production." What might be noted here is the implication that procedures are gradually changing, as scenario writing -- in the wake of sound at least to some extent -- becomes more recognizably an activity related to other forms of writing, and less separate and merely plot-oriented. That means that it's going to involve different people in the scenario-production process -- including writers of other kinds of fiction, instead of just specialists.

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