March – May 1993

Credit for the making of a motion picture has often been bestowed on the one individual whose contributions appear the most comprehensive, usually the film director. However, unlike the writing of a novel or the painting of a picture which are solitary achievements, motion picture production requres the intellectual, emotional, and physical commitment of artists and technicians in a collaborative creative process.

A movie’s life begins as a book, a story, an adaptation from another medium or as an original idea conceived as a film. A screenwriter works with one of these written representations transforming it into a visual and auditory interpretation. Production executives secure the finances and assemble a team of technicians and artists who move the idea from the pre-production through production to the post-production stages. An equal partner with the screenwriter and the producer in these formative phases is the film director whose ultimate responsibility is to envision and produce a film that is both entertaining and enlightening. Among the others assembled will be the storyboard artist, production designer, actors, make-up expert, cinematographer, film editor, and legions of assistants or associates, all who add their conceptual, artistic and technical talents.

The materials displayed in this exhibition were selected from the Libraries’ extensive manuscript collections on film production, augmented by printed sources from the general collections. These examples illustrate how a motion picture is developed, produced, marketed and distributed. They offer a glimpse of the magic of iflmmaking as art and as commercial enterprise.

This exhibition was prepared by Richard M. Kolbet and Judith L. Macy. Technical advice and assistance was provided by Pam Spitzmueller. Special acknowledgement is given to Susan Hansen, Jody Beenk, Julie Bennett, Barbara Cannon, and Trisha Russell.