The first chapter concentrates on a small group of men employed as studio head-producers. It argues that they were the Henry Fords of the industry, responsible for turning Hollywood into an effective modern entertainment machine. People like Irving Thalberg, David O. Selznick, and Darryl Zanuck arrived on the scene in the early 1920s and successfully reshaped the studio from an informal workplace to a well-thought-out operation with function-specific divisions and tasks. Their newly fashioned Hollywood lots served as intermediary spaces, accommodating the demands of profit seeking corporate executives as well as artists. The chapter shows how, on a day-to-day basis, head producers translated the demands and visions of each group to the other. It demonstrates how these producers served as brokers, embodying the contradictions of the system while closely supervising the production process of every picture and the studio as a whole.
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