How We Got Movie Stars

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by Stephen Schochet

Films start has no history, no movie stars and no sound. A popular product in 1890 was two girls getting naked on the shore of the lake. Even before the clothes on their last came the train came to block your view. In the next scene was swimming. Three minutes of film was a hit across the country. The old farmer has become a big fan of all pay to see it repeatedly. Once the theater director came and said, “Tell the old timer every day to sit and watch the same thing over and over again ..” “Well, son, the other day, I hope the train will be late!”

Many of the early performers were quite pleased with the film not to be identified, suggesting that the flashes we were a novelty that could damage their reputation on the legitimate stage. They often will work all day. Their job was to hammer nails, painting set, take trash and heavy lifting equipment. There were no trailers, benefits, glamor and big mansions. Casting director can find a newspaper boy in the street and hire him as lead actor for five dollars a day. Lady in the evening often get jobs simply because they made their classrooms. In most cases, studios will hire young people under the age of girls who did not need make-up, which in those days, after Max Factor will melt under the hot lights. Nobody knows their real identity audience, the film gives the movie its corresponding nicknames such as “tramp” or “cowboy.” A growing curiosity surrounding the identity of actors leads to the birth of film magazines, such as scripts in 1911. New publication conducted a survey to ask what stories will screen people want to see. It was romantic? Crime? The response was overwhelming fans were more interested in learning more about the mysterious dark figure. But, fearing that their players will demand huge salaries producers still refused to say who they are.

One of the most important theater owners was a former manager of a clothing store from Oshkosh, Wisconsin named Carl Laemmle, the founder of Universal Studios is possible. By 1909 he had been sick with the purchase of films by Thomas Edison or European suppliers. He came to the conclusion that it is easier and cheaper to produce their films. Laemmle listened to every night, as his supporters will leave the theater, many actors will be talking excitedly on the screen. If he will pay the image, it will sell, creating a star.

He wasted no time in hiring an actress for twenty years, named Florence Lawrence, publicly known as the girl Biograph, named after the studio he worked. One story was four feet ten Laemmle midnight raid of the office of Biograph, where he performed his new charge travels through the shoulder. He opened his own name and pay $ 250 a week in the fan magazines again, and then arranged for her mysteriously disappear. “My competitors will do anything to destroy me They kidnapped poor Florence, perhaps even kill him.” He told the press.

For Americans, the next few weeks, then the saga in the newspapers, there were several false reports of foul play. One account says Florence was killed by a tram. Then, as before Carl Laemmle, Florence “miraculously” appeared in St. Louis was surrounded him, clothes stolen from the fans (some employees). And so Florence Lawrence won a huge text. Movies marquee with his name began to sell like hot cakes.

Laemmle quickly became discouraged by movie stars, he created a large salary, that followed predictable. Universal eventually become a factory of terror, in which the actors play a mother and Invisible Man can be easily replaced if they asked for too much money. Mogul often tried to get out of show business. Vaudeville producer Florenz Zigfield time was associated with the cash desperately and sent a messenger with Universal to provide some dresses Carl Laemmle oven for five thousand dollars. I’m not interested. Do not despair, Ziegfeld requested a personal meeting. “Mr. Laemmle, how to buy a studio?” At small forward tycoon named a price that was in the millions. “I see, and it let me talk to my lawyers to hear from me within a few weeks ..” Ziegfeld rises to leave, but paused in the doorway. “Oh, how I love dresses left over from the earlier show. Trying to get rid of them for ten thousand dollars.” “Yes, of course”, Laemmle said. Ziegfeld left a lot of his money and buy the studio has never been used.

As for Lawrence, fame is fleeting. A few years after her breakthrough public, she worked on the film, when a fire broke out on set. A young woman bravely risked their lives to save one of her fellow actors, and the incident left her temporarily paralyzed. Unable to work, she looked painfully silent-film growth of new sirens, Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson and the like. By the time she went no one will hire. She arrived in the dark and tragically committed suicide years later at age 52. But during her appearance in St. Louis in 1910, Florence Lawrence, the star of the first film in the world, attracts more than a president who came to town a week earlier.

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