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MAGAZINES

"The motion picture gave us our ideas of right and wrong, good and bad. Movies shaped America, whether we like it or not," David Sherman argued. "Movies are a director's medium," it was explained. "A television series, once it's on, is the producer’s medium . . . But pilots are a writer's medium. He's the one who has to get the idea across." Leonard Katzman believed, "In all of television production there is creation and there is execution. Creation is what gets the show on the air; execution is what keeps it on the air." Ricardo Montalb├ín added, "Television is such a roll of the dice . . . Everything is a roll of the dice – first to get a pilot done, then to sell the series. The biggest role of the dice is to get a successful series." But then, "it's another roll of the dice when they change your time period." 

For a series to get on the air, the producers normally looked for, "Is the concept the kind that will have staying power with varying stories? Are the characters the kind we believe audiences will like and identify with? . . . There's a lot of testing that goes on. We test the shows with audiences in theaters, on cable television and on several occasions, we play the pilots on the air prior to decision time." It was made known, "There are no ground rules. It's a combination of creative instinct and professional and emotional judgement. Sometimes somebody will come in and give you 3 lines . . . It's just an emotional, instinctive reaction." 

Films, television and fan magazines were said to go hand in hand. Bob Thomas of the Associated Press reported in 1971, "Fan magazines have existed almost since the beginning of the movie medium, and they have continued through boom and bust. Technological changes have revolutionized the industry, morality has undergone complete change, yet the magazines over the decades have reflected the personal triumphs and tregedies of the stars." 

Joan Thursh of 'Modern Screen' magazine told the New York Times in 1977, "In the great days of fan magazines when you had dozens of wonderful, glamorous, beautiful people, and this elaborate studio system that really cooperated hand in glove with the fan magazines – and so did the actors, in a way no movie actor does today (in 1977) – it was totally different. It wasn't at odds with the magazines. Perhaps an average reader would think there is still a lot of glamor to this business. There used to be, certainly – the editor of 'Modern Screen' or 'Photoplay' was treated like a queen. That's no longer the case." 

In 1987, the movie magazine, 'Premiere' was launched. Editor Susan Lyne said 'Premiere' "won't cover television" but "we plan to be entertaining and informative." 'Premiere' magazine was created because "more than 1.03 billion movie tickets were sold in this country (the United States) last year (in 1986) and more than 1.04 billion cassettes were rented. Americans love motion pictures, but there isn't an independent mass market magazine devoted to films. There is nothing for the movie consumer who is passionate about knowing who makes films and the way they are made. It's almost as if it's a mistake of history that there are no movie magazines." Susan also pointed out, "Films are a big enough subject to cover – directors, actors, producers, financing, the industry as a whole, content of stories, statistics, everything." 

Claudette Colbert observed, "I lived through the most glamorous time of the most glamorous place in the world - Hollywood in its Golden Age. That's gone forever and will never come again." Back in those days of the big studio contract system, Nancy Anderson of 'Photoplay' recounted in 1968, "The studio would tack some excitement onto a personality whether he wanted it or not. The studio told him what to wear, who to talk to, what to say and how to say it . . . I don’t think we've had a real star since Elvis (Presley) except Julie Andrews. 

"My definition of a star is someone who alone will bring people to the ticket office. I make a distinction between stars and rich actors. A rich actor is one who get a big pay and goes from big picture to big picture. Steve McQueen is a rich actor. So is James Garner. Oh boy, is he a rich actor. But he blew his chance to become the star of all time. People identified with him. He was extraordinarily handsome; he had great common sense. He was a grown up Huckleberry Finn. But almost immediately he cut himself off his fans. I don’t blame him. I would hate to have people ask me personal questions about my private life. Yet the statement that you don't owe anything except 'a good performance' is nonsense. If you want to be a movie or television star, you owe more. Not to your fans. To your producer, to the stockholders, to all the people who put a lot of money into this package which nurtures you. The superstars have always known this." 

With circulations of fan magazines steadily declining by 1977, TV stars replaced movie stars on the cover of the magazines. Joan Goldstein of 'Movie Mirror' offered, "I think some of the gossip columns, newspapers like 'The Enquirer' and 'The Star', 'People' magazine, some of the women's service magazines, have cut into our (the fan magazines) readership with their coverage of television and movie personalities." In addition to competition with other magazines, fan magazines also faced with the rising costs of production such as paper prices, machinery and labor costs of printing and distribution. 

Since the 1960s, politics and Hollywood vied for coverage on the pages of fan magazines. Helen Weller of 'Modern Screen' told the press, "It started with Jack Kennedy. It was the first time that an American President had star quality. All the general magazines put Jackie on the cover to sell copies." Pat Campbell of 'Motion Picture' expressed, "Neither the Johnsons nor the Nixons give us the same mileage as the Kennedys." Nancy Anderson conceded, "Our list hasn't changed much (in 1968). We stick mostly to the Old Hollywood. The New Hollywood has produced some good actors, but no appealing stars. Our readers can't identify much with Dustin Hoffman." 

Reporting for the 'Los Angeles Daily News' in October 1986, Lewis Beale informed, "Despite a number of shows with obvious American influences, when it comes to impact and viewership, nothing seen overseas can compete with 'Dynasty', shown in more than 100 countries, and 'Dallas', viewed in more than 90. The success of these programs indicates that they address some universal themes, and also that they are portraying an image of America that foreigners find intriguing."

Dr Elihu Katz studied viewers reaction theorized, "The further you are culturally from the country where the series is produced, the more you believe it's real." One European TV producer remarked, "Some believe it is TV, and some believe it is real. Most know it's fantasy. Both 'Dallas' and 'Dynasty' are successful in Europe because they're kind of exotic, they're far away, like a fairy tale. They're about rich people who show their money, which you never do in Europe."

By 1984, Linda Evans remembered 'Dynasty' "has become a phenomenon. It's not anything you even know how to experience until it happens to you. What's happened more recently (back in 1984), though, is something I really wasn't prepared for – how successful the show has become all over the world. There's no privacy in terms of traveling. Paparazzi follow you everywhere." John Forsythe concurred, "I used to have this certain kind of marvelous anonymity when I went to Europe, because my work has largely been seen only in the U.S. I could ride in the subways or walk in the streets. But now (in 1985) it's hectic. You can't go anyplace on this orb where they have not seen 'Dynasty.'"

Irving Wallace told the 'Los Angeles Times and Washington Post News Service' in 1985, "Most people do not listen. Their need to talk about themselves is so powerful, they just wait their turn to talk. I like to talk, but I love to listen. I find it especially interesting to listen to anonymous women at a social gathering. Unless a woman is celebrated, everybody addresses the man she's with. But listen to the women and you touch some new discoveries . . . Many women have never had a chance to talk. They're seldom given points for being whole persons with working lives."

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