Renowned director Rex Ingram started his film career as a set designer and painter. His directorial debut was The Great Problem (1916). A true master of the medium, Ingram despised the business haggling required in the Hollywood system. He was also unhappy with the level of writing he found in American writers. This led him to work with such foreign writers as Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, which resulted in the first major role for the young Rudolph Valentino. Ingram was a great friend of Erich von Stroheim who, like Ingram, was a great filmmaker but often went way over budget. In 1924 Ingram moved to Nice, France, where, in his own studios, he directed films of his own choosing, often with his then-wife Alice Terry. In his later career he acted as a mentor to the young Michael Powell.