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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was formed

Photo caption: In the early days of sound, camera operators found themselves working inpadded, movable booths like this to keep the sound of the camera from intruding on the scene.

Source: Library of Congress

At first, the Academy was little more than a company union composed of writers, actors, directors and directors of photography (cameramen).  But it was an attempt by the studios to exert control over this group of workers, stopping the spread of traditional unionism among the “talent” groups, thus ensuring that the studios, not the workers, would determine the level of wages and salaries.

These actors, writers and directors were among the highest paid in the industry, outside of the studio executives.  By preempting them, the studios hoped to keep them under tight control.

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