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Film industry

Movies

Film industry

Cinema of the United States

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The film industry consists of the technological and commercial institutions of filmmaking: i.e. film production companies, film studios, cinematography, film production, screenwriting, pre-production, post production, film festivals, distribution; and actors, film directors and other film personnel.

Though the expense involved in making movies almost immediately led film production to concentrate under the auspices of standing production companies, advances in affordable film making equipment, and expansion of opportunities to acquire investment capital from outside the film industry itself, have allowed independent film production to evolve.

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Modern film industry

The film industry as it stands today spans the globe. The major business centers of film making are concentrated in the United States, China and India. However most developed nations have film industries of their own.

Distinct from the business centers are the locations where movies are filmed. Because of labor and infrastructure costs, many films are produced in countries other than the one in which the company which pays for the film is located. For example, many U.S. movies are filmed in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand or in Eastern European countries.

United States

Hollywood, California is the primary nexus of the U.S. film industry. However, of the so-called Big Ten movie studios two are owned by Sony, a Japanese company, and five are owned by East Coast companies. Only The Walt Disney Company (owner of Walt Disney Pictures/Touchstone Pictures and Miramax Films) is actually headquartered in Southern California.

India

The Indian film industry is the largest in the world (1200 movies released in the year 2002). The industry is supported mainly by a vast film-going Indian public, though Indian films have been gaining increasing popularity in the rest of the world notably in countries with large numbers of expatriate Indians.

China

Hong Kong, China is a filmmaking hub for the Chinese-speaking world (including the worldwide diaspora) and East Asia in general. For decades it was the third largest motion picture industry in the world (after Bollywood and Hollywood) and the second largest exporter. Despite an industry crisis starting in the mid-'90s and Hong Kong's return to Chinese sovereignty in July 1997, Hong Kong film has retained much of its distinctive identity and continues to play a prominent part on the world cinema stage.

Unlike many film industries, Hong Kong has enjoyed little to no direct government support, through either subsidies or import quotas. It has always been a thoroughly commercial cinema, concentrating on crowd-pleasing genres, like comedy and action, and heavily reliant on formulas, sequels and remakes. Typically of commercial cinemas, its heart is a highly developed star system, which in this case also features substantial overlap with the pop music industry.

History

In the early 1900s, in the earliest years of the industry, motion picture production companies from New York and New Jersey started moving to California because of the good weather and longer days. Although electric lights existed at that time, none were powerful enough to adequately expose film; the best source of illumination for movie production was natural sunlight. Besides the moderate, dry climate, they were also drawn to the state because of its open spaces and wide variety of natural scenery.

Another reason was the distance of Southern California from New Jersey, which made it more difficult for Thomas Edison to enforce his motion picture patents. At the time, Edison owned almost all the patents relevant to motion picture production and, in the East, movie producers acting independently of Edison's Motion Picture Patents Company were often sued or enjoined by Edison and his agents. Thus, movie makers working on the West Coast could work independent of Edison's control. If he sent agents to California, word would usually reach Los Angeles before the agents did and the movie makers could escape to nearby Mexico.

Hollywood

The first movie studio in the Hollywood area, Nestor Studios, was founded in 1911 by Al Christie for David Horsley in an old building on the southeast corner of Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street. In the same year, another fifteen Independents settled in Hollywood. Hollywood came to be so strongly associated with the film industry that the word "Hollywood" came to be used colloquially to refer to the entire industry.

In 1913, Cecil B. DeMille, in association with Jesse Lasky, leased a barn with studio facilities on the southeast corner of Selma and Vine Streets from the Burns and Revier Studio and Laboratory, which had been established there. DeMille then began production of The Squaw Man (1914). It became known as the Lasky-DeMille Barn and is currently the location of the Hollywood Heritage Museum.

The Charlie Chaplin Studios, on the northeast corner of La Brea and De Longpre Avenues just south of Sunset Boulevard, was built in 1917. It has had many owners after 1953, including Kling Studios, who produced the Superman TV series with George Reeves; Red Skelton, who used the sound stages for his CBS TV variety show; and CBS, who filmed the TV series Perry Mason with Raymond Burr there. It has also been owned by Herb Alpert's A&M Records and Tijuana Brass Enterprises. It is currently The Jim Henson Company, home of the Muppets. In 1969, The Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Board named the studio a historical cultural monument.

The "Hollywoodland" sign in the 1920s. The "Hollywoodland" sign in the 1920s.

The famous Hollywood sign originally read "Hollywoodland." It was erected in 1923 to advertise a new housing development in the hills above Hollywood. For several years the sign was left to deteriorate. In 1949, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce stepped in and offered to remove the last four letters and repair the rest.

The sign, located at the top of Mount Lee, is now a registered trademark and cannot be used without the permission of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which also manages the venerable Walk of Fame.

The Hollywood sign as it appears today. The Hollywood sign as it appears today.

The first Academy Awards presentation ceremony took place on May 16, 1929 during a banquet held in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard. Tickets were USD $10.00 and there were 250 people in attendance.

Hollywood and the movie industry of the 1930s are described in P. G. Wodehouse's novel Laughing Gas (1936) and in Budd Schulberg's What Makes Sammy Run? (1941), and is parodied in Terry Pratchett's novel Moving Pictures (1990), which is a takeoff of Singin' In The Rain.

From about 1930, five major Hollywood movie studios from all over the Los Angeles area, Paramount, RKO, 20th Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Warner Bros., owned large, grand theaters throughout the country for the exhibition of their movies. The period between the years 1927 (the effective end of the silent era) to 1948 is considered the age of the "Hollywood studio system", or, in a more common term, the Golden Age of Hollywood. In a landmark 1948 court decision, the Supreme Court ruled that movie studios could not own theaters and play only the movies of their studio and movie stars, thus an era of Hollywood history had unofficially ended. By the mid-1950s, when television proved a profitable enterprise that was here to stay, movie studios started also being used for the production of programming in that medium, which is still the norm today.

See also

External links


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Movies, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.


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