The Soviet Film Industry

By Paul Babitsky; John Rimberg | Go to book overview

APPENDIX II
Decrees and Directives Affecting Studio Operation and Scenario Writing

A.
DECREE "ON THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE ORGANIZATION OF FILM PRODUCTION" [MARCH 23, 1938] 1

The Council of People's Commissars has found that [in movie work] there are very bad defects which cause regular failure to meet the film production schedule, mismanagement, squandering of state funds, a large number of rejects, an increase in cost, and a slowdown of film production. . . .

One of the main defects in the work of movie studios is the incorrect system of making plans on the basis of haphazard advance orders for scenarios and the practice and planning of the so­called "tentative units" [themes without title or scenario], a practice detrimental to state interests. . . . The lack of a carefully worked out technological production process. . . and the commencement of filming without approved plans and estimates for direction, montage and sets cause wasteful expenditure of state funds (unnecessary shots, unnecessary trips for costly shooting on location, unnecessary payment for actors' idle time, unnecessary costuming, etc.). As a rule plans and estimates for sets have been drawn up when production was already under way or had been finished. The present system of financing film production by means of deducting a percentage of the rental receipts for films released earlier has for a long time enabled studios to conceal huge expenditures in excess of the budget as well as losses from work stoppages

____________________
1
Ob uluchshenii organizatsii proizvodstva kinokartin, Izvestiya, March 24, 1938.

-295-

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