FIRST SCHOOL OF DIRECTORS: SPECIALIZATION OF CRAFTS
IF the trust war opened the floodgates of competition in movie making, the ensuing deluge during the pre-war years carried the motion picture into new technical and artistic channels. Competition forced producers to strive for a distinctive quality in their work that would defeat rivalry. The innovations of D. W. Griffith in particular, and of the foreign producers in general, further quickened the qualitative development of the film.
The efforts of this period were focused on the task of raising the standards of moviecraft: every element of movie making was improved and new elements were added. Direction, photography, acting, writing, and criticism, no longer professions of low reputation, were now rationally adapted to the possibilities of the medium. In construction methods there was a definite shift away from the rigidity of the preceding era. The unique nature of the screen medium was more thoroughly explored, related crafts became better understood, and the expressiveness of the film was intensified. These years of discovery, marked by self-consciousness, saw the art of movie making recognized in its full significance.
In the making of pictures the tack of the preceding era was continued. Despite the swift commercial expansion of the industry and its effects on distribution and exhibition methods, the tactics of production were still largely those of a small enterprise. As studios expanded and budgets increased, however, movie craftsmen grew more and more self-conscious of their personal contributions and began to regard themselves as artists. Their ambitions waxed and