The following item appeared in News from WENN, at the IMDb this evening:
SOPRANOS MASTERMIND CHASE REFLECTS ON THE BIRTH OF HOLLYWOOD
[16 March 2009 6:35 PM, PDT]
"The Sopranos creator David Chase is developing a new TV miniseries about the birth of Hollywood.
"The TV mogul is the brains behind RIBBON OF DREAMS, which will track the earliest filmmaking in California, beginning in 1913.
"Chase will write and executive produce the miniseries, as well as direct the first episodes. Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Brad Grey, who executive produced THE SOPRANOS, will also serve as executive producer on the new miniseries.
"The miniseries will feature actors portraying movie mogul D.W. Griffith, John Ford, John Wayne, Bette Davis and others.
"The title of the HBO movie takes its name from movie legend Orson Welles’ description, 'A film is a ribbon of dreams.'"
The mention of John Wayne and Bette Davis suggests that RIBBON OF DREAMS might conclude with the coming of Talkies, but perhaps, if the reception is favorable, the timeline for the series could be pushed on to accommodate the meteoric arrival of Orson Welles in Hollywood, allowing him an opportunity to utter his famous description. That event could also provide a fine finale, or if RIBBON OF DREAMS becomes an unlikely rival to the success of THE SOPRANOS, launch a further exploration of Hollywood's history.
A later Reuters dispatch provides additional detail to support my initial surmise:
"The miniseries, "A Ribbon of Dreams" -- whose title comes from Orson Welles' observation that "a film is a ribbon of dreams" -- will begin in 1913 and follow two men, one a college-educated mechanical engineer, the other a cowboy with a violent past, who form an unlikely producing partnership.
"The duo will start off as employees of D.W. Griffith and then cross career paths with such Hollywood greats as John Ford, John Wayne, Raoul Walsh, Bette Davis and Billy Wilder. Through the eyes of the two main characters -- as well as their offspring -- "Dreams" will chronicle the growth of the film industry from the age of rough-hewn silent Westerns, to the golden era of talkies and the studio system, to the auteur movement, to television, and finally to the present day."
Sounds as if an alternate title may be: HOLLYWOOD GODFATHERS.