ANY SUCCESSFUL WORK OF HOLLYWOOD cinematography is the sum total of countless choices and decisions—choices about where to put the lights, how many to use, their relative brightness, the use of diffusion, the placement of flags and other shadow-casting devices; choices about camera position and camera movement; decisions about film stock; decisions about development and printing, and so on and so forth. In the studio system, the responsibility for making most of these decisions rested with the cinematographer. With responsibility came a modest amount of freedom: since no producer or director could monitor every decision, cinematographers could, in theory, explore original approaches to their art. Yet the opportunity to experiment was always limited. Indeed, the whole concept of the studio system is built on a certain amount of regulation—whether through implicit norms or explicit rules, each member of the filmmaking team was expected to have a carefully controlled understanding of the contribution he or she could make. This dialectic between the responsibility of individual cinematographers to shape film style and the power of the studio system to control their work is central to any attempt to understand Hollywood cinematography.