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Lily Cates Naify ?




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Lily Cates Naify was wife of Marshall Naify.
Marshall Naify (March 23, 1920 – April 19, 2000) was a motion picture and media tycoon who was a long-term chairman of the board of United Artists and later became founder and co-chairman of the board of Todd-AO.

United Artists (UA), known also in French under the name of its subsidiary Associated Artists is a distribution company and film production based U.S. 17 April 1919 by four Hollywood pioneers: Charles Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and D. W. Griffith. Founded as a cooperative designed to distribute the works of its founders, it diversified in the 1920s and 1930s by attracting other independent producers and takes place among the "Little Three". In the 1940s, strife between its founders lead AU to the near bankruptcy. From the 1950s, it began a revival starting to fund independent production. His progress continues during the 1960s, where she rose to the rank of major, and culminating in the 1970s. Since the 1980s, a victim of crisis management, she began a period of decline and becomes a single distributor in the 1990s. It does returns to production in the late 2000s.


The 1920s: the birth

The genesis

Their objective was to counterbalance the power of the major Hollywood studios, which they believe make huge profits at their expense. Following the advice of the businessman William Gibbs McAdoo, they decided to create their own distribution company. The first director of the company was Hiram Abrams.

The establishment

From the start animated by the desire to promote the creators, United Artist armed himself with a streamlined infrastructure, failing to provide, initially, no trays, or workplaces. She is not involved at the outset that the distribution of films. It gives the rest a management rights extended to directors (management of artistic and commercial aspects) 1. If UA has always supported the independent production, marketing strategy and Benjamin Krim differs from that of Chaplin, Pickford team. So instead of finance, invoice UA producers benefit distribution costs. When they were 30%, they now capped at 25%. Kind of regressive tax, they can drop to 10%.

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The crisis of the postwar

Exasperated by the behavior of dictatorial Selznick, Chaplin is suing him accusing him of breach of his contract (awarded distribution rights to RKO Pictures, include2). After a cons-trial, the parties find a settlement in 1946, that bought for AU $ 2 million for the rights of Selznick's films. The problem is that Chaplin and Pickford, both opposed this legal battle, have since reconciled. As early as 1948, Pickford wants to sell his shares but Chaplin refused a joint offer of $ 12.5 million from If Fabian, president of Fabian Theatres, and Serge Semenenko, the First National Bank of Boston. The economic recession after the war, public disaffection vis-à-vis the typical products of the studios, the development of suburbs and lack of benefits abroad are harvested in 1948, banks suspend funding indépendants3 producers. With the result for AU that they refuse to surrender their film or signing contracts with the majors. Faced with this shortage of supply, a debt of 200,000 dollars and the loss of 65,000 a week, Chaplin and Pickford called in July 1950 a management team led by the politician and diplomat Paul V. McNutt, who receives a right of first refusal for two years on the company for 5.4 million


The 1950s: the takeover by Arthur Krim and Robert Benjamin

When in February 1951, Arthur Krim and Robert Benjamin took control of UA, the company is on the verge of bankruptcy and now loses 100,000 dollars a week. After Chaplin and Pickford convinced that the option is not viable McNutt, Krim and Benjamin receive funding $ 500 000 from Spyros Skouras, president of 20th Century Fox (in exchange to make copies of films AU in DeLuxe Color, a subsidiary of Fox) and 3 million line of credit Financial2 Heller. They actually take control of UA without paying a single dollar (although Pickford estimates the value of the company to 5.4 million) for three years. The contract states that if UA makes profits during those three years, their positions are renewed for ten years and they share 50% of each parts6. Krim, who was president of Eagle-Lion Films from 1946 to 1949, debauchery his former collaborators, who return in that capacity at AU: William J. Heineman was appointed vice president of distribution in the United States and Max E. Youngstein, vice president of advertising and operations. In addition, the management team is expanding the lawyer Seymour Peyser, Counsel, Arnold V. Picker, who takes over his old job at Columbia as Vice President responsible for distribution abroad and the French producer Charles Smadja, head of European sales. As for Krim and Benjamin, they serve respectively as President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Fortune said that although their roles are interchangeables7. In fact, Krim specifically involved in negotiations with producers while Benjamin has the role of CFO and mediates between AU, banks and Wall Street

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The challenge of independent production

In 1948, a Supreme Court, in a federal lawsuit "antitrust" against the majors in film, banned the block booking and removes the entire movie channels the Big Five. This decision does not affect UA, since it does not have a network of cinemas (the United Artists Theatres does not own), but means the end of the studio system. However, they are beginning to offer their stars for bonuses up to 33% (including the part of Warner Bros.. And Paramount Pictures for John Garfield, Danny Kaye, Milton Berle, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby) and up to 50 % (from Universal Pictures for James Stewart in Winchester '739) and creating production units semi-autonomous. For Krim, "Although our films should not be better than those of Eagle-Lion at the beginning, we knew that a star would not say 'I do not want to work with United Artists' or a movie channel does not say 'You have nothing to do here'. "10 But only the reputation of the name United Artists is not enough. According to Tino Balio, "if AU was hoping to access the best rooms, she had to have products that can compete with any of those majors that produced"

Business strategy that Krim and Benjamin then put back in place of Michael Porter12 studies: while Hollywood is facing competition from television, UA pushes his advantage by trying to differentiate the majors and remove shares market. Meanwhile, UA becomes free in exchange for the sale of television rights to 200 films in the catalog Eagle-Lion, including those from PRC Pictures, and up to 20 distribution in 1951. These B-movies collect 200 000 dollars a week and allow the company to generate 313,000 dollars of profit, allowing Krim and Benjamin to acquire 50% stake in AU for 8000 dollars each. In addition, two films produced by former team, The Odyssey The African Queen and High Noon are successful at the box office and have been classified by the American Film Institute top 100 greatest American films. Finally, the release of Bwana Devil in 1952, the first film in relief, opened the door of DU halls.

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The contract with producers

Projects submitted to AU in the form of a package comprising a scenario, a technical team, a director and / or a star. If AU is in agreement on the package, the pre-starts and the company establishes a financing arrangement and distribution. The project is progressing in stages. The first, called "research and development", includes writing or rewriting the script, budget preparation and production process, the consent of the director and cast. AU has a right to review all these choices. Sometimes, as with Gary Cooper for Vera Cruz in 1954, some stars, in addition to their commission, demanding a percentage of gross operating profit instead of a profit-sharing. This practice, common in the 1950s, became common in 197,016 years. AU and the producer shall each pay 50% of the cost. Since contracts with UA do not include exclusivity, the producer may, if no agreement is reached on the development, use its right of turnaround, that is to say a project to transfer its Another studio. In this case, it charges the AU development costs. If the project does not move elsewhere, they are either written off profits, or charged to the producer's next film.

As soon as UA gives the green light to a project, the second stage of the pre-starts and the company arranges full funding of the film, usually by borrowing. Although the producer has complete artistic freedom over his work, UA appoints an executive producer who sends her daily financial information, including the cash flows. To guard against over-budget, UA accrues 10% of the budget and demand more novice producers to obtain bonding for the film to be completed at any cost. In exchange for the financing of the film, UA receiving the management of audiovisual rights or distribution rights for all countries, all languages ??and all media, including the soundtrack. If television remake or adaptation, UA shares rights with the producer. When Benjamin Krim and take control of UA, the distribution rights are only five years. The contracts signed since the duration can extend to ten years or for life, if the producer is interested. The price is then based on the residual value of the film.

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At the stage of postproduction, the film ensures that UA receives a visa censorship.

After the theatrical release, the producer receives a fixed fee in proportion to the risk he took. AU commission concluded its own distributor and the balance is used to pay for copies and advertising, the repayment of loans and wages. Finally, in the case of portfolios of several films, the benefits are collateralized, so that AU be sure to receive an average income, even if a film of the group does not release profit.

In fact, UA has never spent money on "art for art's sake" (except in 1981 with Heaven's Gate, leading to bankruptcy) and the two key issues discussed with its independent producers are : is this a movie can recover its investment and how to share the risks? Therefore, unconventional films like The Moon Is Blue, The Night of the Hunter, The Man with the Golden Arm, The Paths of Glory or Twelve Angry Men (classified by the American Film Institute top 100 great American films), to attract an audience more pointed, are considered by Tino Balio as "calculated risk"

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