Jump to: navigation, search

Exhibitors Herald (06/Nov/1920) - Hugh Ford Back in U.S. After Directing Two Paramount Films in England




Ford Back in U. S. After Directing Two Paramount Films in England

Locations Abroad Are Ideal for Motion Picture Production, He Says, Although "Photographic Days Are Scarce"

Hugh Ford has returned to New York from England after inaugurating the production work at Famous Players-Lasky British Producers, Ltd., studio in London. During his six months stay he directed two specials, the Drury Lane melodrama "The Great Day," by George Simms and Louis N. Parker, and "The Call of Youth," by Henry Arthur Jones. The cast in each picture was entirely British.

Mr. Ford had many interesting things to say about his work in the London studio. "The weather was rather uncertain," he said. "Photographic days, as we know them in this country, are scarce. This makes it necessary for a director to add another week to the time it would normally take him to make a picture and he has to gauge his work in such a manner that each day he is in a position to take either exteriors or in-interiors, switching from one to the other according to the weather.

Must Develop Talent

"It will be necessary to develop British talent. Heretofore the cinema has been looked upon as a side line by the leading actors of the day. Possibly this is because of the slow development of the British producing companies on account of the war. This will have to be remedied and can be if they develop their own producing units. At the same time, new talent can be developed.

"The locations available are ideal. It is possible for a company to go on location to the South of France or to the Alps with no more trouble than to go from New York to Florida. The natural beauty of Britain cannot be overlooked.

Difficult to Get Extras

"Getting started was good, hard work. It was particularly difficult to get the talent for the extra work, which was only accomplished after making a tour of the plays the night before and engaging them for the next day. We received great cooperation from the labor employed to assist us in designing, decorating, building and lighting of sets. I believe that with a combination of British thoroughness and American ingenuity the pictures will exceed our expectations."

As an example of the smoothness with which the London studio is working. "The Great Day," the first production, took nine weeks to make while the second production took only four weeks. Mr. Ford took with him a complete equipment of lights because lighting had not been developed to any great extent.

Young Remains Abroad

Donald Crisp passed Hugh Ford at sea on his way over to take up the producing where Mr. Ford left off. Major Bell will take over the work of Milton Hoffman who will return to the States in a short time. Joseph Boyle, who has been assisting Mr. Ford for over two years, accompanied him on the trip home but it was necessary because of the scarcity of cameramen to leave Hal Young on the other side for a few months to develop new cameramen.

Mr. Ford has produced many stage successes in both London and Paris. His first picture was "The Eternal City" with Pauline Frederick, which was taken in England and Rome for Famous Players-Lasky Corporation. All of his life has been spent in theatricals.