Would There Have Been?

Big Magilla
Site Admin
Posts: 16210
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:22 pm
Location: Jersey Shore

Re: Would There Have Been?

Postby Big Magilla » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:26 pm


Driver - stars didn't usually have drivers - studios had drivers which they assigned to stars when making a film. Wealthy actors and actresses may have had their own for their off-set activities. Could have been black, although in the 1920s would more likely have been white, possibly European. Think Charles Boyer in Red-Headed Woman.

Writer - yes, female writers were in vogue then. They were often in residence at the studios and could be on the set to tweak the story, but they did not have the influence that playwrights had over plays. There was no dialogue. The inter-titles were generally applied after the film was completed by someone other than the scenarist.

Studio observer - that would be the producer.

Costumer - Usually male, not female back then.

Assistant to the lead actor - actors did not have assistants, a prominent one may have had a secretary,but producers and directors had assistants, albeit usually male. Actresses would have had female secretaries and maids. Actors and actresses would both have had stand-ins, and there were always supporting players and extras of both sexes around.

There are lots of old movies about actors falling in love with actresses' secretaries, maids or stand-ins.

Show People is a good example of the way it was done back then, but so is Singin' in the Rain which looks at the end of the silent era as well as the dawn of the talkies.

Posts: 2810
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 1:12 pm
Location: Greg

Re: Would There Have Been?

Postby Greg » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:18 pm

Frances Marion was a famous early female screenwriter, winning Oscars in the 1930s for The Big House and The Champ, who was allowed on set, even occasionally directing, and did not need to use a male pseudonym.

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 12689
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 12:22 am
Location: Springfield, MO

Would There Have Been?

Postby OscarGuy » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:04 pm

As I have said before, I'm working on a project and I had to create six characters for. I have questions about whether any of these types, genders, or races of people would actually exist in Hollywood in 1926.

Not sure they had drivers back then, especially for stars. I'm adding one even if it wouldn't have been commonplace. My question is, would such an individual have been black?

Would a writer (screenwriter, or title writer), have been allowed on set and, if so, would it be possible for that individual to have been a woman (under a pseudonym for certain) and have been on set?

Would the studio have an executive or some other individual on set to act as an observer and make sure things are going well?

Would a prominent actor of the day, especially a lead actor, have had a personal assistant who was allowed on set and would tend to his every need? If so, I'm definitely using this one to introduce a forbidden affair between the actor and the assistant.

When were women allowed to be costume designers/costumers and/or makeup artists?

How early did studios erect multiple sets on a single sound stage? Would they have struck one and then put up another? or would they have conceivably had multiple sets constructed across the stage to swap between for scenes?

I'm certain I know some of these questions, but I also want to add as much authenticity to it all as possible.

Ideally, I'm trying to make sure there's broad representation in these characters. My current character list is:

Driver - Black male
Writer - White female
Studio Observer - White male
Costumer - White female
Makeup artist - White female
Assistant (to the lead actor) - White male

I'm also considering swapping out the costumer for an Black female actress to add a bit more diversity.
Wesley Lovell
"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin

Return to “The First Century”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest