Hollywoodi jumestajast ilutööstuse innovaatoriks
John Updike’ilt ilmus hiljuti New Yorkeri raamatute osas üleavaatlik artikkel Max Factor’i elust ja rollist Hollwyoodi jumestajana (Fred E. Basten’i raamatu “Max Factor: The Man Who Changed the Faces of the World” põhjal). Kuna raamat pakub tõenäoliselt huvi kitsamale ringkonnale, siis võtab artikkel olulisema kokku, mille valguses peab Factorit kahtlemata ka edukaks innovaatoriks pidama:
The theatrical term “make-up”—Max always insisted on the hyphen—had been considered risqué, but at the urging of his son Frank he began applying it to his products, and it swept the world. Snubbed when he visited the German offices of Leichner, for whose stick greasepaint he had been a longtime American distributor, he cabled his sons, “Start selling greasepaint in tubes,” and the tubes were, of course, another triumph. For Douglas Fairbanks’s sweaty exertions, Max invented “the first perspiration-proof body make-up” and then “devised the reverse—cinematic sweat—by simply combining equal parts of water with mineral oil.” For M-G-M’s production of “Ben-Hur,” he and his staff conjured up more than six hundred gallons of light-olive makeup to match the army of pale local extras to the darker extras already filmed in Italy. He conquered the persistent problem of lip pomade’s melting under the hot studio lights by firmly pressing two thumbprints onto the actress’s upper lip and then one thumbprint on her lower lip, thus single-handedly creating the sensational new look of “bee-stung” lips. For Joan Crawford, he created “the smear.”
Artikkel ei avalda kindlasti kõiki detaile Factori elust, kuid on täis teisi sarnaseid täheldusi ja huvitavaid kurioosumeid, mis illustreerivad, kuidas erinevad tööstused on omavahel seotud ja kuidas innovatsioon ühes võib viia innovatsioonini teises samas avades täiesti uusi turge ja võimalusi. Loo läbivaks motiiviks on pidev areng ja valmisolek võtta riske samas neid ka oskuslikult maandades:
Max persuaded Cecil B. De Mille, in town to direct the large-scale Western “The Squaw Man,” that wigs and hairpieces painstakingly formed of real human hair (135,168 individually knotted strands went into an average Max Factor wig, with sixty thousand in a full beard and a mere seven thousand in a false mustache) were more photogenic than “clumsy substitutes such as straw, mattress stuffing, excelsior, Spanish moss, wool, tobacco leaves, even mohair stuffing from Model-T Fords!” De Mille admired Factor’s wigs but said he couldn’t afford them, and suggested renting them. The deposit needed to safeguard the costly wigs posed a sticking point, which Factor, resorting not for the last time to his brood of useful children, circumvented by waiving the deposit and having De Mille hire his three sons as Indian extras, paying them three dollars a day; at the end of each day, they collected their father’s wigs or had their pay docked.
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