Merton of the Movies MGM

This 1947 production, a remake of the 1924 movie of the same name and of Make Me a Star, was a star vehicle for comic Red Skelton. Some baby boomers may remember Skelton as a television funnyman, yet in the days before the small screen, Skelton had a substantial movie career. In this film, he plays the Merton Gill character, but this time he is an usher from Illinois who has just arrived in Hollywood. He befriends an extra girl and gains access to a movie studio where he is cast for a comedic...

Postmodern And Postfilm School Writers

For the first half of the twentieth century, writers in Hollywood generally came from other fields, such as writing novels or stage plays, and found themselves writing for the screen unexpectedly and without any previous screenwriting experience. In the second half of the filmmaking century, the films feature modern-day screenwriters, who are generally graduates of film schools, unaware of any form of writing other than for the screen. Paris When It Sizzles (Paramount, 1964) Ah, once again Bill...

Locating A Job Lead

Finding a job in Hollywood can happen at any time during your professional and personal entertainment industry life. Combing the employment ads of the trades and the online job sites is mandatory, but you might also land a lead (and maybe the job itself), through word of mouth or by just being at the right place at the right time. Remember that showing up is 95 percent of the game. By just being in the Hollywood environment you may absorb information about an assistant who is leaving to go on...

Creative Execs CE

This is a highly sought after mid-level position. The individual usually works closely with a production executive or studio head, becoming the eyes and ears of the upper echelon, as the execs are too busy to plow through all the material being submitted. The fear of passing haphazardly on the next Star Wars puts the CE in a delicate place. The CE should read and evaluate every script or project he or she obtains. Creative execs are sometimes referred to as unsung heroes in the moviemaking...

Good Morning Babylon Said Mr Chaplin

Two films produced within five years of one another capture Hollywood in her childhood years. These two films, Good Morning, Babylon and Chaplin, give insight into what it was like to work in the industry at that time. Both of them emphasize the joy and glory of working in Hollywood. The year is 1915. Let's back up for a moment, to understand the importance of that indelible year in the history of Hollywood. Good Morning, Babylon Vestron, 1987 It was in 1915 that director D. W. Griffith made...

Story Editor

The story editor head of the story department supervises readers and becomes the point person that the staff and freelance readers pick up materials from and hand in coverage to. The story editor desk is the hub of the development department. This individual also reads scripts that are being considered for production, and may be called upon by upper management to do story notes, that is, give feedback on the story. The feedback will influence the suits into buying...