In doing research for an upcoming article, I was pleased to find this editorial from Film Daily's 1942 Yearbook, Page 108. While some of the points may seem of their time, there are many that still hold water today.
Responding to a FILM DAILY invitation to freely express opinions on three major components of the industry, newspaper, wire service and magazine film critics and syndicate columists and commentators from all over the country made numerous suggestions for the betterment of the motion picture industry. Forum questionnaire was in three parts, "If I Were a Producer," "If I Were an Exhibitor" and "If I Were and Advertising-Publicity Director."
A digest of the critical suggestions, in the order of their frequency, is reprinted below:
* Make fewer and better pictures. More "A" and fewer "B" subjects.
* Include less propaganda and war material and less flag waving and would concentrate on lighter screen fare-- comedies and some musicals.
* Put more reliance on experienced directors and writers.
* Make surveys to determine the desires of patrons.
* When casting, diversify roles and stop changing characters to fit actors.
* Adhere more closely to published works when filming.
* Remake fewer old pictures.
* Shorten features when material does not call for length.
* Produce fewer musicals.
* Stop exaggerating stage possibilities in musical sets.
* Make more better-type shorts.
* Seek new personalities for supporting as well as star roles.
* Produce more biographical films.
* Arrange for sufficient footage at the beginning and the end of features to enable patrons to read cast credits, and would use less time for other production credits.
* Be more original and not follow "cycles."
* Use more color.
* Aim features for definite population groups instead of trying to please all with each feature.
* Excercise more care with Latin-American films and
* Be fairer with characterizations of newpapermen and men in other professions.
* Eliminate games and giveaways.
* Use more good shorts.
* Survey the film tastes of their locality.
* Eliminate advertising films.
* Watch out fo patrons' comfort.
* Use more showmanship in management and advertising.
* Avoid over-selling.
* Use fewer trailers.
* Dispense with pop corn and candy machines.
* Shorten programs.
* Enter community affairs.
* Use more newsreels (some called for fewer news reels and several compained of the sameness of news reels).
* Run best features at choice evening hours.
* Balance programs.
* Regulate sound for volume and clarity.
* Revive old pictures.
* Extend runs on good films.
* List starting times of features accurately.
* Use flesh in orchestras or on stage.
* Use only good shorts, and
* Raise house lights between programs.
* Work closer with motion picture editors giving them local items, exclusive stuff less and better-- shorter and better written material; more fresh items for smaller town newspaper.
* Improve press books.
* De-emphasize sex.
* Improve mats.
* Use more ad space in newspapers.
* Use some institutional ads and publicity copy, and
* Campaign to bring back former movie fans.