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Thomas H. Ince (1882-1924) was born in Newport, Rhode Island. The son of stage actors, he appeared with several stock companies as a child. He was later an office boy for theatrical manager Daniel Frohman. By 1910, he got a short-lived job at the Biograph Company and soon became a director for Carl Laemmle’s IMP (Independent Motion Pictures) Company. There in 1911 he directed a series of Mary Pickford films in Cuba to avoid harassment by the Motion Picture Patents Company. Later that year, Ince joined Kessel and Bauman’s New York Motion Picture Company (NYMP), producing and directing films from the company's Los Angeles studio. Ince’s reputation for producing quality films was so renowned that the studio became known as Inceville. In 1914 Ince invited his friend William S. Hart to star in a series of Westerns that proved to be very successful. In 1915, after a corporate shuffle, Ince and fellow principals Mack Sennett and D.W. Griffith formed the Triangle Film Corporation. Here he produced his best-known film, "Civilization" (1916). In 1918 Ince left Triangle and built his own studio in Culver City, distributing his films through Paramount-Artcraft and Metro. With Allan Dwan, Mack Sennett, Marshall Neilan, Maurice Tourneur, and other lesser-known filmmakers, Ince formed Associated Producers in 1919, which merged with First National in 1922. A pioneer filmmaker, Ince is regarded by film historians as the inventor of the role of “film producer,” as he was among the first to organize production methods into a disciplined system of filmmaking. His other notable pictures include "Custer's Last Fight" (1912), "The Coward" (1915), "Human Wreckage" (1923), and "Anna Christie" (1923).
Thomas H. Ince