"For seven years I have been basking in California's perpetual sunlight, a sunlight artificially enhanced by the studio Cooper-Hewitts. For seven years I have been working and thinking along in a single channel and I wanted to get away. Away from Hollywood, the cinema colony, away from scenarios, away from the celluloid smell of the studios, away from contracts, press notices, cutting rooms, crowds, bathing beauties, custard pies, big shoes, and little mustaches. I was in the atmosphere of achievement, but an achievement which, to me, was rapidly verging on stagnation.
"I wanted an emotional holiday. Perhaps I am projecting at the start a difficult condition for conception, but I assure you that even the clown has his rational moments and I needed a few.
"The triple alliance listed above came about rather simultaneously. I had finished the picture of 'The Kid' and 'The Idle Class' and was about to embark on another. The company had been engaged. Script and settings were ready. We had worked on the picture one day.
"I was feeling very tired, weak, and depressed. I had just recovered from an attack of influenza. I was in one of those 'what's the use' moods. I wanted something and didn't know what it was."
He visits a friend's house in Pasadena. Then...