$75-a-week stock

By | December 31, 2016

$75-a-week stock.

I think as is, this piece is a little clunky and not ready yet..so a sketch at the moment.

It is an analogue print made from two 35mm Nitrate film strips that were separated from the casting film in the archive. I printed them in a glass plate with a Devere 504. This is a reminder that back in the 30’s, Hollywood (here Paramount Studios) openly attached a price to their “property”, the actor signed to them. In 1933 Nita’s value was a weekly 75 Dollars (one of the lowest). After a few months of this in Hollywood, Nita “walked out” of her contract with Paramount because she felt she wasn’t being paid enough. Considering she had already had major roles in two Elstree pictures, she was right. She moved across to Columbia Pictures, where she was signed. Both Nita’s documentation (in letters) and English newspaper articles suggest that she was not allowed to convey the real reason for her departure, instead it was publicized that she looked too similar to another actress (I will post the newspaper piece) and so it was agreed that it best for all involved that she was moved across to another studio. It is telling that Paramount not only refused her a rise but also refused her her integrity. In the documentation Nita explains that she could not be released from her contract unless she agreed to go along with the invented story. It must have been a big deal back then to “walk out” on a major studio and I suppose in not publicizing this fact (and her reason) Paramount escaped the need to address the issue, thus saving an awful lot of money. Which, nearly a century later, is still an issue in Hollywood (and in most industries): the gender pay gap.