Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Writers in Hollywood ... Has anything changed?


Famous authors
Raymond Chandler is one of my favorite writers. To this day, he is well known for his novels and screenplays, but many don’t realize he also wrote magazine articles on writing and the popular culture. The following two links lead to prior posts referencing Chandler’s articles.







Here are a few excerpts from an article he wrote in 1945, titled, “Writers in Hollywood.”

Raymond Chandler
“Hollywood is easy to hate, easy to sneer at, easy to lampoon. Some of the best lampooning has been done by people who have never been through a studio gate, some of the best sneering by egocentric geniuses who departed huffily - not forgetting to collect their last pay check – leaving behind them nothing but the exquisite aroma of their personalities and a botched job for the tired hacks to clean up.”

“…writers are employed to write screenplays on the theory that, being writers, they have a particular gift and training for the job, and are then prevented from doing it with any independence or finality whatsoever, on the theory that, being merely writers, they know nothing about making pictures, and of course if they don't know how to make pictures, they couldn't possibly know how to write them. It takes a producer to tell them that.”

“I hold no brief for Hollywood. I have worked there a little over two years, which is far from enough to make me an authority, but more than enough to make me feel pretty thoroughly bored. That should not be so. An industry with such vast resources and such magic techniques should not become dull so soon … The making of a picture ought surely to be a rather fascinating adventure. It is not; it is an endless contention of tawdry egos, some of them powerful, almost all of them vociferous, and almost none of them capable of anything much more creative than credit-stealing and self-promotion.”

If you’re interested in writing or movies, you’ll find this article fascinating. Although written sixty-five years ago, it still rings true.

This link will take you to the full article in the Atlantic Monthly archives.

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