The Directors Notebook (Christian Drama Director 1)

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The cuts were sometimes rough, but the movies were always interesting. In this way, the characters thoughts and desires are the visual focus rather than the circumstances regarding the physical scene. Next, he would work with writers to develop the story that he was envisioning. Then, he would help writers construct a script. Finally, he would leave the script with artists and allow them to create artistic depictions and renderings of each scene. DeMille achieved international recognition for his unique use of lighting and color tint in his film The Cheat. Notably, DeMille created the parting of the red seas scene in his The Ten Commandments without the use of digital effects.

One of the most expensive special effects in film history, the scene was created by pouring , gallons of water into a tank and playing the clip backward. Aside from his Biblical and historical epics which are concerned with how man relates to God, some of DeMille's films contained themes of "neo-naturalism" which portray the conflict between the laws of man and the laws of nature. He preferred to impress the audience rather than "push the artistic and intellectual boundaries of film". DeMille discovered the possibilities of the "bathroom" or "boudoir" in film without being "vulgar" or "cheap".

Sothern 's early influence on DeMille's work can be seen in DeMille's perfectionism. His first three films were Westerns, and he filmed many Westerns throughout his career. However, throughout his career, he filmed comedies, periodic and contemporary romances, dramas, fantasies, propaganda, Biblical spectacles, musical comedies, suspense, and war films.

At least one DeMille film can represent each film genre.

DeMille was particularly adept at directing and managing large crowds in his films. Martin Scorcese related that DeMille had the skill to maintain control of not only the lead actors in a frame but the many extras in the frame as well. A number of these displays were thought to be staged, however, as an exercise in discipline. This occurred with Victor Mature in Samson and Delilah.

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Mature refused to wrestle Jackie the Lion, even though DeMille had just tussled with the lion, proving that he was tame. DeMille told the actor that he was "one hundred percent yellow". As DeMille's career progressed, he increasingly relied on artist Dan Sayre Groesbeck's concept, costume, and storyboard art. Groesbeck's art was circulated on set to give actors and crew members a better understanding of DeMille's vision.

His art was even shown at Paramount meetings when pitching new films.

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Postdramatic Theatre and Form

DeMille adored the art of Groesbeck, even hanging it above his fireaplace, but film staff found it difficult to convert his art into three-dimensional sets. As DeMille continued to rely on Groesbeck, the nervous energy of his early films transformed into more steady compositions of his later films.


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While beautiful, this made the films appear more old-fashioned. Any problems on the set were often fixed by writers in the office rather than on the set. DeMille did not believe a large movie set was the place to dicuss minor character or line issues. Robinson with saving his career following his eclipse in the Hollywood blacklist. DeMille's film contained a number of similar themes throughout his career.

However, the films of his silent era were often thematically different than the films of his sound era. His silent era films often included the "battle of the sexes" theme due to the era of women's suffrage and the enlarging role of women in society. According to Simon Louvish, these films reflected DeMille's inner thoughts and opinions about marriage and human sexuality. His first several films were western and he began a chain of films.

Instead of portraying the danger and anarchy of the West, he portrayed the opportunity and redemption found in Western America. DeMille was one of the first directors to become a celebrity in his own right. In that respect, he was better than any of us. Selznick wrote: "There has appeared only one Cecil B. He is one of the most extraordinarily able showmen of modern times. However much I may dislike some of his pictures, it would be very silly of me, as a producer of commercial motion pictures, to demean for an instant his unparalleled skill as a maker of mass entertainment. I'm ready for my closeup.

In the s, DeMille continued to please the public. He averaged one film a year; most of them centered on historical figures or Bible stories. His first attempt at a drama set within a semi-documentary frame was The Greatest Show on Earth , a saga of circus performers released in His experiment gained him a nomination for best director and won an Academy Award for Best Picture that year. Publically episcopalian, DeMille drew on his Christian and Jewish heritage to convey a message of tolerance.

Ford despised DeMille for what he saw as "hollow" biblical epics meant to promote DeMille's reputation during the politically turbulent s. He went before the Paramount board of directors, which was mostly Jewish-American. The members rejected his proposal, even though his last two films, Samson and Delilah and The Greatest Show on Earth , had been record-breaking hits. We have just lived through a war where our people were systematically executed.

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Here we have a man who made a film praising the Jewish people, that tells of Samson, one of the legends of our Scripture. Now he wants to make the life of Moses. We should get down on our knees to Cecil and say "Thank you! DeMille did not have an exact budget proposal for the project [] , and it promised to be the most costly in U. Still, the members unanimously approved it. Known as the father of the Hollywood motion picture industry, Cecil B.

DeMille made seventy films including several box-office hits. DeMille is one of the most commercially successful film directors in history. However, his final films maintained that DeMille was still respected by his audiences.

DeMille of the digital era" due to his classical and medieval epics. Despite the critcism Cecil B.

DeMille often gets for his films, he was the aesthetic inspiration of many directors and films due to his early influence during the crucial development of the film industry. Mankiewicz , and George Stevens to try producing epics. DeMille has influenced the work of several well known directors. Alfred Hitchcock cited DeMille's film Forbidden Fruit as an influence of his work and one of his top ten favorite films. For his contribution to the motion picture and radio industry, DeMille has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The first, for radio contributions, is located at Hollywood Blvd.

The second star is located at Vine Street. The Golden Globe 's annual Cecil B. DeMille Award recognizes lifetime achievement in the film industry. DeMille Award winner. DeMille is held at the Academy Film Archive and includes home movies, outtakes, and never-before-seen test footage. DeAldrin", as a humorous nod to DeMille. DeMille made seventy features. The first twenty-four of his silent films were made in the first three years of his career Consequently, most of DeMille's pre films no longer belong to Paramount.

Filmography obtained from Fifty Hollywood Directors. DeMille frequently made cameos as himself in other Paramount films. Additionally, he often starred in prologues and special trailers that he created for his films, having an opportunity to personally address the audience. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Ashfield, Massachusetts , U.

Hollywood , California, U. Constance Adams DeMille m. Play media. His family's Dutch surname, originally spelled de Mil , became de Mille when William deMille Cecil's grandfather added an "e" for "visual symmetry". He bought the rights to the novel in , but abandoned the project in pre-production. Autobiography of Cecil B.

New York: Prentice Hall , New York: Da Capo Press. Dictionary of North Carolina Biography: Vol. Retrieved July 2, Retrieved April 21, DeMille, "Founder Of Hollywood " ". DeMille plays".

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Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved: December 8, New York Dramatic Mirror , May 14, DeMille's Hollywood. Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky. Kentucky New Era. Retrieved April 29, The Montreal Gazette. January 22, Leiden: Brill. Retrieved June 20, Public Media Group of Southern California.

Retrieved May 30, DeMille Archives, ". Tom Perry Special Collections. Brigham Young University.