Silent Film Stars

Sidney Drew & Lucile McVey — photos and quotes

Sidney Drew Lucile McVey knitting

“Day after day we look through incoming manuscripts for the germ….The germ of an idea. In our two years of producing one reel comedies, we have never been able to buy a scenario complete as we produce it. We take them for the ideas they possess. The scripts are practically reconstructed by Mrs. Drew. I say practically, because occasionally I – ah – offer a suggestion or two.”Sidney Drew

Source: Frederick James Smith (1917)

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Lucile McVey“It is impossible to secure a complete script ready for the studio. In the first place, no author can fit our peculiar methods. It is impossible for him to mold his idea exactly the way we feel it. In our two years of producing, we have only done six comedies by one author. The rest were in ones and twos from different writers. These scripts came from all over the country.”Lucille McVey

Source: Frederick James Smith (1917)

Photo: 1915

Sidney Drew Dog Lucile McVey“First, cleanliness in idea and thought. Second, humanness. They must deal with something that really occurs and not a figment of the imagination. That is, the thing must be generally known to occur and not be just an odd experience….I never attempt to write anything that has not suggested itself from something in real life. I must know it has existed. Thirdly, we prefer characters for Mrs. Drew and myself that represent us as man and wife. It permits of a nicer familiarity of action.”Sidney Drew

Source: Frederick James Smith (1917)

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Lucile McVey“Give me characterization, first of all. I don’t want folks with fancies, foibles, even obsessions – of course, nothing harmful or unpleasant. I want something, as they say, to hang my hat on. Another essential, never let anyone but the audience in on another’s frailties. For instance, in a certain comedy, I did not talk to my mother about my husband before his face. But, I did as soon as he had left the room. The audience appreciates being in on the intimacies. A few other essentials? Well, a small number of characters are best. Many people do not lend humor. They are in the way in the rapid telling of a thousand foot story. They are particularly in the way, because we use a lot of subtitles.” — Lucille McVey

Source: Frederick James Smith (1917)

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Romance and Rings 1919 Mr and Mrs Sidney Drew“We believe the success of our comedies is largely due to the direct and human subtitles. They get the story started with a swing and put the continuity over quickly and speedily. Moreover, they make the story mental rather than physical. They make it possible for the audience to think just what’s in your mind. Plenty of subtitles, few people and quick interest are vital things. It may sound egotistical but I sincerely think the subtitles give our comedies a distinct style of their own. I think you might term it a whimsical style. It is essentially our own, since we cannot even obtain scenarios to fit it. It has developed from a study of our own work and a belief that the intelligence should not be insulted and that the story must be real and not a thing of the imagination.” — Lucille McVey

Source: Frederick James Smith (1917)

 

Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Drew study“We have never accepted a script from a so-called ‘real’ author. They build their stories and plays from the imagination. These may be adroit, of vigorous action and even powerful but they are theatrical.”  — Lucille McVey

Source: Frederick James Smith (1917)

 

Sidney Drew“I believe in comedy by inference.”Sidney Drew

Source: Frederick James Smith (1917)

 

"We believe in giving credit to the intelligence of an audience. And, in attending the theaters to watch the reception of our comedies, we have found that some of our biggest laughs come by inference." -- Lucille McVey (Bizarre Los Angeles)

“We believe in giving credit to the intelligence of an audience. And, in attending the theaters to watch the reception of our comedies, we have found that some of our biggest laughs come by inference.” — Lucille McVey

Source: Frederick James Smith (1917)

 

 

 

Mrs. Sidney Drew, c. 1920. Bizarre Los Angeles

From 1920.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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