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SELZNICK INTERNATIONAL PICTURES, INC.
NEW YORK CITY

INTER-OFFICE COMMUNICATION

TO: Mr. David O. Selznick

SUBJECT: INVASION OF THE SOUTH

FROM: Miss Katharine Brown

DATE: 11/17/36

Dear David:

I have been doing a lot of thinking over the week end about this search for
talent in the South and have come to certain conclusions about the situation.
These conclusions have been backed up by innumerable Southerners whom I have
interviewed as possibilities for GONE WITH THE WIND.

1. Searching for talent in the colleges will present so many difficulties
that I am doubtful if it is worth while to contact more than four or five of
the most important ones. After all, these colleges are set up for academic
purposes and such a furor as this invasion would incite in a university might
disturb the professors, as the boys and girls undoubtedly would prefer this to
their geometry books. If the picture is to be made in the Spring, it would
necessitate a long absence from the institution of learning and this might
antagonize the professors as well as the mothers and fathers who are hoping
to God they will learn something before their Graduation Day. The students
of the university, if they have any brains at all, shouldn't be over twenty
and certainly any possible Rhets and Ashleys culled from this source would be
too young and green to be of interest. The only reason I think we should
use this source at all would be the possibility of picking up some swell
youngsters for the stock company and I wouldn't be in favor of doing anything
without permission as this would be apt to result in bad publicity.

60 letters have been mailed to various colleges.

Bill Hawkins, who went to Washington & Lee in Lexington, sent a wire of
introduction to the head of the dramatic department which I followed up
with a letter outlining our proposed talent search. Bill tells me that
this gent is a very swell person and could be depended upon to give me
accurate advise, and I have asked him what he thought the chances were for
permission. I think this will be a good check on my worries on this score.

Summing up the college situation, if you decide you want me to go to them
we should use as a test the ten colleges in the vicinity of Baltimore and
Lynchburg. It will take me a week to do this properly, and I think that
further plans should be dependent on these results.

2. The Junior League situation is a different matter, and I think the
most valuable contact of all. The Junior League girls take their annual
theatricals in a big way and as a matter of fact once in a while I have seen
talent in these amateur shows that I have been forced to witness while
visiting my friends. Yesterday when I saw Kitty Barrett, about whom I
wrote you, she told me she had just been to Louisville for a style show
and that she had used six League girls and they were all raving beauties.
The Junior League contact has the added advantage that the members are free,
white and 21, for the most part, and should have no opposition either from
parents or professors. As a matter of fact, these belles would probably
die for the opportunity as they are usually pretty bored with their lives.


SELZNICK INTERNATIONAL PICTURES, INC.
NEW YORK CITY

INTER-OFFICE COMMUNICATION

TO:

SUBJECT:

FROM:

DATE:

-2-

3. All the southerners that I have interviewed so far have told me that
in every city there is a Little Theatre group and this seems to me the second
most likely contact. Unfortunately, there is no way of obtaining this
information except by personal contact and to date, the information I have is
so widely scattered that from a practical point of view it is of no use. I
suppose I could wire the Mayor of the most important cities and get the
information that way, but I will not spend this money until I find out
if you think it is a good idea.

4. Dramatic and Finishing Schools are a possibility even in the most
fashionable of them. These girls don't go to these schools with any idea
of learning anything and the instructors, for the most part, know less than
they do and would probably swing open the doors.

My final deductions from really concentratedeffort on this problem are as
follows: If I receive favorable replies from the Junior Leagues in Baltimore
and Washington, I will hold these auditions on the 23rd and 24th of November.
In addition to the Junior League, I will have secured, by that time, from
Miss Berkeley of Harper's Bazaar, the names of the Finishing Schools in
Washington that concentrate on Dramatics and I could audition these schools
on the same days. I also have a contact with the Vagabond Players in
Baltimore.

I could not attempt to do the colleges in and around Baltimore and Washington
and I suggest leaving them out completely on this preliminary survey.

The second recommendation I have is that if I receive, by the end of the
week, favorable replies from those colleges in and around Lynchburg, Va.,
that Tony Bundsmann be taken off the TOM SAWYER assignment and go to
Lynchburg the same day I leave for Washington and to the preliminary work
on the colleges. Kindly note the attached map that will give you a slight
idea why we have selected Lynchburg as the central spot of operation. I
could meet Tony in Lynchburg on Friday the 27th and make final decisions
on all those he had corralled and interview any candidates that the Roanoke
Junior League would present.

You will note on the map that Hollins College is in this vicinity. Hollins
has a very active Alumni Dramatic Association and I have wired the head of
this association today as to possible candidates for auditions. We should
have, by this selective method, a fairly good indication of what the net
results will be.

I could return home in time to meet Cukor on December 1st and 2nd and set
up the Bankhead tests. Immediately the Bankhead test was done, if I come


SELZNICK INTERNATIONAL PICTURES, INC.
NEW YORK CITY

INTER-OFFICE COMMUNICATION

TO:

SUBJECT:

FROM:

DATE:

-3-

to the conclusion, which I think I will, that the Junior League is the best
contact I should leave for Atlanta immediately. I should be able to do
Atlanta and Louisville by the time George arrives in Atlanta. If, on the
other hand, the colleges prove to be more open-minded than I think they will,
I can concentrate on the colleges as well as the Junior League in Georgia
and Kentucky.

This is a tremendous job to get done according to dates and to make it dove-
tail with the time that George will be available - and I am not at all sure
it can be accomplished.

We also are up against the fact that next week the schools will be closed
for the Thanksgiving holidays and it may work out that the whole thing will
have to be postponed until the week of the 30th.

Knowing how you like long memorandums, I think the best thing for you to
say to me is "Do as you please" and let me struggle with it the best I can
and see what comes out of it.

Incidentally, it will be absolutely necessary for me to take my secretary
with me as I simply can't keep accounts and make reports and file photographs
and take care of all the myriad of detail that is bound to ensue as a result
of this invasion by myself and I also think that it would be worth while
to have Tony Bundsmann working at the same time I am if we hope to accomplish
anything by the 15th of December at which time Christmas vacations will begin.

Just to complicate matters further, reference the making of tests, I have
found that there is no studio south of New York which has any facilities
whatsoever for the making of tests with the exception of Atlanta, Georgia,
and these facilities are very inadequate. Jules Brulatour's man tells me
that there isn't a cameraman south of New York and I told him that as far
as the studio was concerned there wasn't a cameraman south of Hollywood.
Now this brings me to another question. You know as well as I do that George
isn't going tripping around the various southern cities looking at people I
have selected and since the facilities are not adequate in any other sense, I should attempt to
concentrate all the belles in Atlanta. What do you think I should do about
paying fares? There is bound to be certain instances where people are not
able to afford the railroad fare. Should I pay for these if I think the
possibility is sufficiently good?

Another question is what to do about a cameraman. The newsreel men have
no idea about photography and I don't think there is a make-up man in the
South that knows anything about picture technique.

This is a very nice idea of yours, Mr. Selznick, all in all.

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Brown's map of the South