Here's How Movie Studios Rejected Scripts in the Early 1900s
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If only The Essanay Film Manufacturing Company (1907-1925) was in existence today, perhaps we’d have at least one studio focused on producing original works. That’s what we might think after seeing a manuscript rejection slip from Essanay currently making the Internet rounds (originally scanned and uploaded by Old Hollywood from the book ‘Silent Movies: The Birth of Film and the Triumph of Movie Culture’). The notice lists a number of possible reasons why a screenwriter’s submission could have been declined, and the studio would check off their reason(s). The receiver of this rejection apparently sent in something unoriginal and so got the “idea has been done before” line checked off.