A VISIT TO A STUDIO
THE job of producing a motion picture is even more complicated than that of writing a novel or a drama, or staging a play. First, there must be a written story which the camera will change from words into pictures. It is true, of course, that words do now play a part in motion pictures, but it is possible to produce good motion pictures with few or no words. One cannot, however, have motion pictures without pictures. So, when the story is changed into a scenario, the director still has a number of problems--working with the art director; coöperating with the costume director; obtaining proper locations, satisfactory motion-picture equipment, an adequate cast, and competent cameramen; and being able to assemble the motion picture skillfully once it has been filmed.
The production of a satisfactory motion picture is a difficult task, and because of its difficulty, such an achievement deserves great praise. Indeed, one of the reasons why we have so few good motion pictures is because we have so few truly capable writers, directors, art directors, and actors. The uncertainty of getting an author's thoughts on the screen satisfactorily was illustrated by Dreiser's great disappointment with the film version of An American Tragedy, while Sinclair Lewis thought that a splendid job had been done with Arrowsmith.