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Thomas InceHollywood's Independent Pioneer$
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Brian Taves

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813134222

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813134222.001.0001

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Starting in Films

Starting in Films

(p.23) 2 Starting in Films
Thomas Ince

Brian Taves

University Press of Kentucky

In the fall of 1910 Ince found himself in New York hunting for a job. He had $10 in his pocket, with $8 rent due on his Harlem apartment and now also he had not only a wife but also a child to support. After a day of unsuccessfully making the rounds of booking offices, Ince was standing near Times Square when he saw friend and actor Joseph Smiley alight from an automobile, dressed in a manner that bespoke prosperity. Smiley revealed that he had become an assistant director at the Independent Motion Picture Company (IMP). Ince agreed to go with Smiley back to the studio that afternoon. He was not impressed with the physical structure; the IMP studio was on the top floor of a manufacturing building on Fifty-Sixth Street. However, he saw such well-known figures as Florence Lawrence, Owen Moore, King Baggot, and “Bob” Daly, all with steady employment. Smiley recommended Ince for the part of a heavy needed by director Harry Solter, husband of Lawrence. Following a few minutes' whispered conversation, Ince was hired for $5 a day until the movie's completion. A few days later IMP offered him a job as a stock actor.

Keywords:   Thomas Ince, motion pictures, John Smiley, Independent Motion Picture Company

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