Hollywood is famous for optioning things they'll never make into movies. They buy rights to stories to keep them away from competing studios, and once they don't get greenlit, the concepts are scuttled, their creators kept quiet with the paycheck they optimistically cashed.
Sadly, a similar thing happened with auto manufacturers, a real tragedy during what filmmaker Robert Edwards calls "Detroit's golden age of automotive design," from 1946 to 1973. Designers slaved over renderings that not only never saw the light of day, but were actually shredded.
[Some design concepts] were beyond the imagination of the top executives. Wary of competitors stealing concepts, companies prohibited the art from leaving the studios. …The artwork was destroyed to keep it out of the hands of the competition.
But luckily, a handful of plucky designers snuck their renderings out of the studio:
Some designers saved their artwork from the shredders with a rarely issued permission via a "package pass," others devised ingenious ways to secret them out. Only a small fraction of the concept drawings survive, but this body of work constitutes an unheralded chapter in American art history.
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Edwards managed to locate some of these designers and intended to create a documentary, "American Dreaming," showcasing their work and recording their stories:
Sadly, we heard about this one too late. Just two days ago the doc came woefully short of its crowdfunding target, amassing just $8,335 though all it needed was a lousy $20,000 to get the ball rolling. (The producers had hoped to eventually reach the full projected $100,000 budget.)
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We hope that the lack of funding was simply a failure of awareness rather than interest. If you would have pledged to see this documentary, please say so in the comments below; should we amass enough support, we can try to forward it to Edwards as a kind of petition to try again.