“Making Movies” Exhibition Explores the Filmmaking Process From Behind the Scenes

Jan. 6, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas — "Making Movies," an exhibition at the Harry Ransom Center, explores the collaborative processes that take place behind the scenes in filmmaking.

The exhibition runs from Feb. 9 to Aug. 1, 2010, at the Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin.

Featuring more than 350 items, the exhibition draws on the Ransom Center's extensive holdings documenting the history of the motion picture industry to illustrate the highly collaborative nature of the movie-making process. The exhibition focuses on the artistic collaboration that is unique to the medium.

"Producers, directors, screenwriters, actors, cinematographers, art directors, composers, costume designers, special effects designers and editors all may make their individual contributions to a film, but each decision made by one shapes the work of another," said Steve Wilson, associate curator of film at the Ransom Center. "It's a dynamic collaborative process, and that's what this exhibition shows."

The exhibition is organized into two sections, the first of which explores the responsibilities of the director, producer, screenwriter, production designer, art director, actor, costume designer, hair and makeup artist, cinematographer, special effects designer, editor and music composer. In the second section, the original scripts of iconic scenes from about 10 motion pictures will be displayed alongside production materials for that scene—stills, memos, call sheets, production reports, storyboards, research material, production photos—and digital clips of the filmed scene to give visitors to a clear impression of the number of individuals it takes to realize a few seconds of performance history.

The exhibition will feature original materials from most of the Center's film collections. These include the papers of the film producer and director David O. Selznick, the actors Gloria Swanson and Robert De Niro, the screenwriter Ernest Lehman, the acting teacher Stella Adler, the special effects master Norman Dawn and numerous other prominent figures in the film industry.

Among the exhibition's highlights will be a selection of important screenplays, from "The Misfits" to "North by Northwest," "Lord of the Flies" and "Shakespeare in Love." The exhibition will also feature correspondence, construction drawings and storyboards from "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," "Top Gun," "Spellbound," "Black Narcissus" and others, as well as costumes from "Gone With The Wind," "An Affair to Remember," "Taxi Driver" and "Casino."

"Making Movies" can be seen in the Ransom Center Galleries on Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended Thursday hours until 7 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays the galleries are open from noon to 5 p.m. The galleries are closed on Mondays.

High-resolution press images from the exhibition are available.

For more information, contact: Alicia Dietrich, Harry Huntt Ransom Humanities Research Center, 512 232 3667;  Jennifer Tisdale, Harry Huntt Ransom Humanities Research Center, 512-471-8949.