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douglas shearer and cedric gibbons


mikegee
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was shearer and gibbons ( the names maybe misspelled ) partners,general one was director of sound the other was art director. in about 99% of the movies one made the other was active with it also. this has been bugging me for months trying to find out if they were or not.

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I hadn't noticed the connection between these two before so I don't know. I do know that Gibbons had it in his contract that he was always to be listed as the art director even if it was someone else on his staff that actually worked on the film and not him directly. He was quite an astute business man and he's also the one who designed the Oscar statuette.

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I don't think there was any specified partnership, both were under contract to MGM and came on board at different times. I learned a little about how Shearer came to learn about the business (he had no previous experience) in Scott Eyman's book on the coming of talkies, The Speed of Sound. You might enjoy it.

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Both were department heads, and as such, received blanket credit on all films produced by the studio. As far as I know, for the majority of films on which they received credit, neither did much more than sign off on budget plans and sign the paychecks (although Gibbons did direct one of the "Tarzan" pictures). Gibbons had been more involved with production design in the early 20s, but as art department head at MGM, most of the production design tasks were delegated to the staff art directors like Harry Oliver, Stan Rogers, and Randall Duell.

 

Shearer, incidentally, had no real experience in sound recording in the first place. His passion was cinematography, and he did develop some innovative camera technology. His work as a sound man, however, was generally regarded as subpar by his co-workers. Veteran sound mixer Ed Bernds recalled being astounded at Shearer's lack of technical knowledge when it came to sound recording.

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