One director on 'General Hospital' "used the old technique of the camera-as-the-eye" in 1984. Commentator Jon Reed made the observation in 1979, "The soap opera tendency to shoot extreme close-ups began in the early days of TV serials when there was nothing else to shoot but performers' faces and upper torsos. Background scenery in those years was minimal, or in certain instances, non-existent. Many veterans can remember when scenery consisted of window frames hung on wires and set before black curtains. Close-ups also provided an intimacy between viewer and character that was considered essential to maintaining audience interest and loyalty." Gloria Monty believed, "There are better ways of breaking out of the 4 walls of the studio. There's more that can be done photographically and electronically."
At the 1983 Academy Awards, Bob Thomas of the Associated Press noted, "Movie cameramen have come a long way from the era when (cinematographer) Billy Bitzer cranked a black box under the direction of D.W. Griffith. Now they are artists with film, experts on lenses and film emulsions, capable of capturing breathtaking vistas for the movie screen." In 1984, Jack Cardiff told Patty Morgan of the North Carolina's Morning Star, "Everything is different every day in this business. You never have the same day twice. I've had a chance to work with some of the greats (like Marlene Dietrich). Will Rogers taught me rope tricks. In the film business, you don't take a job and do it for a number of years and then get promoted when it's your turn. It isn't like working in a bank. You start doing a job and one day so-and-so isn't there so you do his job instead. You just do what's needed and one day, things happen...I somehow got into painting and started visiting museums and studying paintings. I really think that is the greatest training, studying light and shade and color. I'm not proficient with technical things like optics, developing and processing. I still rely on my knowledge of painting."
The motion picture, 'The African Queen' was shown on the big screen in 1951. Jack recounted, "We were living on a houseboat on the river during filming and everyone was sick for weeks except (Humphrey) Bogart and (director) John Huston. That should have given us a clue but it didn't. Finally, someone came to check the systems and found the water purifier wasn't working and we had been drinking pure river water, hippo droppings and all. Bogart and Huston weren't sick because they never went near water. They only drank whiskey...Errol Flynn died the way he wanted to die, by drinking himself into the grave. His hero was John Barrymore, who also drank himself to death."
Although "camera direction has become more fluid in movement and less stationary," Jon added, "Still, the old close-up is thrown in to capture a character's most stressful emotions." In 1970, Troy Donahue could be seen playing Keefer on 'The Secret Storm'. He told the press, "The soap opera has been something of a challenge to an actor who has spent many years on camera. The first thing that threw him was getting used to the fact that there are as many as 3 cameras covering the same scene. The second major difference with film was not actually seeing your director but simply hearing a remote voice from an invisible control room." Donna Pescow had appeared on 'One Life To Live' said after graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, "I took a course in camera and soap opera techniques. One of my teachers was the casting director for 'One Life To Live' and she asked me to come in. I didn't get the role, but they signed me as the hat check girl. Every time they had a restaurant scene I got a few lines."
In 1982, Michael Tylo played archaeologist Quint McCord on 'Guiding Light'. He had studied theatrical fencing and stage combat at the National Theater in Budapest. Of 'Guiding Light', Michael stated at the time, "It is one of the better soaps, extremely well-written with 5 storylines going at one time. We have a cast of 38. There are 2 storylines on the front burner and 3 on the back on any given episode. Our head writer, Douglas Marland, created the Luke and Laura phenomenon on 'General Hospital'. He used to be an actor and has a great rapport with the cast. I'm very fortunate to be surrounded by some great talent. The casting director, Betty Rae, has put together an amazing company of actors. She has the knack of getting the right person for the right role...I kind of like not knowing what's ahead because it enables me to play each scene as honestly as possible. It's easy to act that way. That way I'm able to follow James Cagney's famous advice to 'learn your lines, plant your feet, look 'em in the eye and tell the truth.'"
Back in May 1950, Ed Wynn expressed, "I feel strongly that television is the greatest mass medium ever known to man. Television is such a great and sweeping invention that it's almost frightening to think what could happen to it if it is not handled in the right way. You know… (Benito) Mussolini had a whole nation under his thumb because he spoke to his people only on the radio, or from the vantage point of a balcony.
"I have felt this uncompromising power of the cold, objective TV camera's eye from the start and still feel it is a medium that can do worlds of good or immeasureable harm, according to how intelligently it is handled. Despite my strong feelings about the broader aspects of TV, it is most valuable as an entertainment medium, a means of mass transportation that can bring delight to thousands of families and new popularity to performers who have the basic ability to stand up under critical weekly inspection by the viewer who sits in the judge's seat of his own living room chair.
"For the artist, television is the stage, pure and simple – or perhaps not so simple. It isn't radio nor the movies. It's the stage. In almost a half century (being in show business for 48 years) on the stage I have found that good basic humor always is funny. People like to see famous stage bits on television, just as they like to hear old songs repeated. Still television offers broad opportunities for blending basic material with fresh approaches, new formats and experimentation in eye-appealing scenes. TV gives me a chance to reach millions where my stage shows of years past have played to hundreds of thousands. It gives me a chance to remain a 'visual' comedian in a 'visual' medium with huge circulation."