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York University
FILM 2401

Film, Television and Society Tuesday, May 3, 2011 How the movies became big business o It as an open market but within 10 years the movies were getting concentrated o Move to the West Coast: reduction of cost and weather was nicer More important reasons: - reduce the cost & L.A is anti- union compared to NYC Struggles between film workers and the owners of film companies are a key feature of the early American film industry Attempts to unionized film workers begin as early 1907 The Motion Picture Patents Company o Aka. The Edison Trust = if you want to make movies, you have to pay us royalties o Dissolved in 1915 by the federal courts as it was found in violation of the 1890 Sherman Anti-Trust Act D.W Griffith o Directed 500 films between 1908 and 1913 for The Biograph Company (member of the MPPC) and were 10-20 minutes in length. o Develop forms of film editing which are still used today used close up o Began to make feature films in 1913, which are one hour or longer in length. Features of the Movie Business 1910-1920 o Production organized around the shooting script o Production organized around stars and genre for example, Charlie Chapman o New forms of movie exhibition are developed The Movie Palace Thomas Ince o Pioneered the used of the shooting script as the blueprint for the production of a film o The script sets out the division of labour to be used in completing the film Stars (Movie Stars) by Richard Dyer -Promotion: have a star go on a talk show to promote the film & company -Publicity: stars who are in the same movie over and over -Films -Criticism and Commentary o At first, people went to see movies because it was novelty. Early movies do not have credits, only just the title. However, that changed and the star was born. o Film companies then compete with each other to get the most talented actors to be in the movie Exhibition o Old forms of movie exhibition disappear o More elaborate stand-alone theatres are built o Some of these are Movie Palaces with 3000 seats and a full orchestra providing musical accompaniment Case study: World War 1 o Impact the media as well th o US enters the war on April 6 , 1917 o US government creates the Committee on Public Information to create propaganda in support of the war o The Creel Committee was the first propaganda form. o Changed to the market of movies o Allies countries in Europe did not make movies anymore and literally got shut down o Americans continue to make movie and is making it better Summary The US emerged as the #1 filmmaking country in the world at the end of World War 1 for 3 reasons: 1. The war (other countries curtail film production) 2. Large internal market 3. Silent films have no linguistic barrier The Big Seven media conglomerates News Corporation Timer-Warner Disney Viacome and CBS NBC Universal Bertelsmann Sony Cooptation of America The Origins of the Studio System of Production Wednesday, May 4, 2011 Two-Wheelers: less than 20 minutes are less by 1920s the shorter films are beginning to fade away Attempts to unionized American film workers takes place over a long period of time (1907-1941) Factory-type working conditions accelerate the process o Types of Labour in Hollywood 1. Creative talent 2. Skilled professionals 3. Studio technicians 4. Craftsman MPPA o Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association founded in 1922 o Headed by Will Hays o Dealt with public relations, censorship and labour relations for the film industry o Academy of Motions Picture Arts and Sciences o Founded in 1927 as a kind of company union designed to forestall unionization of the creative talent and skilled professionals o Becomes famous for its annual awards ceremony (such as the Oscars) o Slash wages for workers due to the downfall of economy. The early studio systems and vertical integration o Production o Distribution o Exhibition o This systems has a lot to do with the cost of the movie Film as Art o Influence of German Expressionism (1919-1926) o German filmmakers come to the US and teach this style to other filmmakers-becomes a major influence on subsequent American films (especially film noir and horror films) o Help established film as a legitimate art form and not just a commercial form of entertainment o Instead of going into competition, they pay these Germans to work for them Sunrise
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