Creative Collaboration: Hitchcock and Selznick

This week, you will watch Hitchcock, Selznick, and the End of Hollywood and read contemporaneous writings about Alfred Hitchcock and David O. Selznick’s collaboration from their own memos and production documents from the production of their first collaboration, Rebecca (1940), as well as accounts of each filmmaker’s work style or process from the memoirs and oral histories of their Executive Assistants (as recounted and quoted in Never Done). You will also have access to a copy of Rebecca, should you want to look at any particular scenes for reference.

As you’re watching and reading, consider this question: Were Hitchcock and Selznick’s conflicts on Rebecca ultimately good for the film or were their points of view and leadership styles so different that the film suffered as a result?

After examining all these materials, write a short essay comparing Selznick’s leadership style or creative POV with that of Hitchcock. Support your discussion with evidence from any of the 4 accounts of Hitchcock and Selznick. End by answering the question: Did the conflicts and differences in approach ultimately benefit or detract from Rebecca? This is very much a subjective questionwe have no idea what would have happened in an alternate universe where they didn’t collaborateso decide what you think based on the evidence you found most persuasive.