The Creative Producer
In 1938, Warner Bros. production chief Hal Wallis grudgingly described David Lewis - one of his six "supervisors" and a veteran of 15 feature films - to director Michael Curtiz: "That Lewis is a genius at getting scripts out of people who can't write!"
Wallis knew that writing ultimately defined the job of the creative producer and that David Lewis had an uncanny talent for coaxing the best filmic material from the screenwriters he supervised.
In this memoir, Lewis describes his development as a production executive and how the associate producer helped make the famed studio system work. It was the producer (or "supervisor" at Warners) who saw the script budgeted, cast the film, helped choose the director, and gently influenced the filming itself. Once shooting was complete, it was the producer who stayed with the project through editing and previews.
"The Creative Producer" is a fascinating look at how an astounding volume of good, and sometimes great, films got made during the golden age of Hollywood.