“ The immediate need of motion pictures,” said Thomas H. Ince, the well-known producer, in a recent interview, “ is of production—the story, actors, settings. Advancement along technically artistic lines has been so great, it is hard to conceive of much improvement. I see no reason why,” he went on, warming to his subject, “ a single motion picture production shouldn’t have as long a run as a popular play on the legitimate stage. And it’s simply a matter of a short time until that will be the case. Griffith did it with his ‘Birth of a Nation’—”
“ And what about your own ‘Civilisation’ ?” he was asked.
“ Yes,” he admitted, “ but that was largely spectacular in its appeal. I’m trying, now, to make the same sort of success with human interest pictures. And when the amusement seeking public awakens to that fact—that the producer is striving to give it the same satisfaction on the screen—then will a several months‘ run for a single picture be quite the usual thing. Picture making calls for an enormous expenditure of money. The exhibitor’s profits, as you know, are immense. The public must be made to realize that not until a goodly share of the gain returns to the producer, can the ultimate perfection of the picture be reached. After all it’s simply a matter of the education of the individual. The old idea that a moving picture is a fairy tale, springing out of the vague nothingness, must be replaced by the knowledge that the industry is a vital one, sponsored by business men—men who are expending their best efforts for the advancement of the art.”
(Picture Show, London, April 10, 1920)