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Positive and negative aspects of working as a film director in the studio system

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Positive and negative aspects of working as a film director in the studio system. The efficient organization of the distribution and exhibition operations of the studios was matched by the actual film production. The studio kept everybody under contract including producers, directors, actors etc. They were usually under 7 year contracts. The studio owned distribution and exhibition system, due to its vertical integration, ensured the profitability of the film productions. This gave a great opportunity for the producers and the directors to make great movies and experiment with new methods. Under the studio system, because of its contract system all personal needed for the production of a film existed as a pool of resources, upon which the studios can draw anytime. ...read more.


For example Michael Curtiz, who made Casablanca in 1942, directed on average, five films a year for Warner Bros. Another advantage of directing under the studio system is the relatively short period of time it took for the production compared to independent productions and present day film productions. What took 3-4 months to produce during the studio era now takes approximately 1 year to complete. As Billy Wilder once said, "in the old days we used to spend time making our pictures; these days we spend it making deals." Not to mention the cost of production that has sky rocketed since the studio era. The cost of a picture has gone up from $400,000 to 20 million Dollars since then, just for the production. ...read more.


Smith Goes to Washington". It was with producer Harry Cohn, head of Columbia Studios, that Capra made his most classic films. Despite all the good things the studio system had to offer, there were some drawbacks too. The artists and directors felt that the studios were controlling their lives too much. Therefore artists began to unite against the studios. In 1919 Griffith who directed "Birth of a nation" was asked to become a part of a daring plan to liberate the screen artisan from the suffocating embrace of studio control. Artists were completely dependent on these studios for better or worse. Griffith, as huge a figure as he was, accomplished his great works like a maverick with a mission. This group went on and formed the United Artists. It is said that, President of Metro Pictures, Richard A. Rowland, was quoted as saying, "So the lunatics have taken over the asylum!" ...read more.

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