“It Can’t Be Done”

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Most things can be done, and when anyone told me that such and such a thing could not be done, I got someone who could do it. I still follow that same principle.

——Cecil B. De Mille, quoted in Photoplay, October, 1916.

Cecil B. De Mille on Ignorance

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Our success has been due largely to ignorance. If we had been versed in the “movie” technique of two years ago, I do not believe we could have succeeded. When I came to Los Angeles, I knew nothing of the making of films, but I had the big idea. I had seen picture plays that were almost dramas. One touch could have made them dramas, but instead of that touch, there was a kick in the face, and it was farce.

The first Lasky picture which I produced was “The Squawman” with Dustin Farnum in the title role. No one but the cameraman had ever had any picture experience, of those who worked on that play in the garage studio.

Ignorance is a wonderful thing when properly applied.

——From Photoplay, October, 1916.