Making the Movies by Ernest A. Dench
New York, The Macmillan company, published 1915 (now in the Public Domain)
Have I committed an indiscretion in writing this book? I must plead not guilty if I should thus be accused.
Various writers on stagecraft who have opposed taking you behind the scenes argue that to give the show away has proved disastrous in the case of spectacular theatrical productions and trick vaudeville stunts. They are right in their own way, but why should they draw comparisons with an art which has set a new precedent in the entertainment world?
Setting free the various secrets of motion picture producing may disillusion you in some things, but it will reveal the significant fact that motion pictures do not depend for success upon their powers to mystify.
The fact has been partly revealed before, for magazines and newspapers have supplied occasional articles on the fascinating subject of the "movies."
Has the popularity of the photoplay diminished since this began? No, a thousand times no.
Consider with this the attitude of the largest American film producing concern. In California they have a town devoted exclusively to the producing of motion pictures. It has been named Universal City. They have made it one of the attractions of California; you have only to refer to the literature of the Santa Fe Railroad to discover this for yourself. Two thousand persons visit it daily. If you are sufficiently interested in motion pictures you are welcomed to the gates of this curious town, and are shown over by a guide so that you can see photoplays being put on.
When an entertainment can do this much and still maintain its vast hold on you it just goes to prove that the photoplay exists on its merits alone. Nothing else counts. A great and glorious victory, to be sure.
I therefore think I have been justified in writing "Making the Movies." It is one of the first attempts to cover the fascinating subject under one roof, so to speak.
P.S. The author has to thank the editors of Motion Picture Magazine and Picture Play Weekly for reproducing several articles which originally appeared in their publications.
Making the Movies - Contents