Epes Winthrop Sargent on Writing Comedy

Make every action tell both the story and the comedy and you have a comedy. Until you can do that don’t write comedy.

——“The Scenario Writer” column in Moving Picture World, 1912.

Charlie Chaplin’s Highest Ambition


“What is your dearest wish, your highest ambition, the thing you want to do most? Chance for a big story,” wired a press agent to Charlie Chaplin.

He received the following answer: “I have always wanted to know what would happen if I threw a plate of eggs into an electric fan.”

——Advertisement for Chaplin’s Mutual comedies in a 1916 trade magazine.

The Amateur’s Credo


From Amateur Movie Makers, 1928.

A Song, by William Wallace

Where is my Native Land?
   Where the East sparkles?
Where the wide, wooded West
   By the sea darkles?
Where the soft, sunny South,
   Like a bride glowing,
Sees the proud sun in state
   To her couch going?
Whre the great Nor’ winds march
   On their trumps blowing?
      Where is my Native Land?

That is my Native Land
   Where the East sparkles;
Where the wide, wooded West
   By the sea darkles.
South and north! alike
   Ye claim my being:
All races are the same
   To the All-Seeing.
Down with the feudal lie!
   Man is my brother:
God is my Father, and
   Earth is my Mother.
      The World is my Native Land.

——William Ross Wallace in Holden’s Dollar Magazine, 1849.

A Precise Geometrical Description

His hair, from much running of fingers through it, radiates in all directions, and surrounds his head like a halo of glory, or like the corollary of Euc. I.32.

——Charles Dodgson, Euclid and His Modern Rivals.