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FILM 2401 (33)
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Notes02.docx

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Department
Film
Course Code
FILM 2401
Professor
Kispal- Kovacs Kovacs

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How the Movies became big Business 10/4/2011 6:33:00 PM Film productions companies based in the eastern part of the US, began moving their production facilities to the West Coast 1) West coast Weather: offered improved condition for film production, longer daylight hours and fewer seasonal changes (no harsh winter) MOTION PICTURE PATENTS COMPANY (M908 (Equipment manufacturers, film producers+ distributors joined together Modeled after the monopolies in other American industries (such as steel + oil)  Birth signaled the acceptance of film industry as a significant player in the American entertainment industries Referred to as “Edison Trust”; attempt to monopolize the American film industry as it was emerging. (Competitors had to pay a license fee for use of any of Trust patents; later took their growing frustrations to the government and in 1915 federal court declared MPPC an illegal conspiracy in restraint of trade LABOR:  Costs had a key role in the development of film  Labor costs + labor flexibility would emerge as two of the early industry’s chiefs concerns; early movie moguls wanted to keep trade unions out of the industry to maintain complete control over their businesses D.W Griffith (failed playwright-actor) Single most influential director in the American film history Helped developed an editing approach that would be adopted by most filmmakers following him  Between 1908-1913; he directed nearly 500 films (10 -20 minutes in length)-standard length of fictional films in this era. Employed devices like the close up + parallel editing – neither did he invent, but employed in creative ways BIOGRAPH (formerly the American mutoscope Biograph company) was part of MPPC. Main function was to crank out films regularly to fill up the theatres working with the Trust.  It was averse to risk and unwilling to try new things.  For a while Griffith worked well within these constraints, but by 1913 had grown tired of the limited length of the films he was allowed to make and decided to make four-reel film. (JUDITH OF BETHULIA) Birth of a Nation (1915) – racist propaganda glorifying the creation of the Ku Klux Klan in response to reconstruction (denounced by the NAACP)-scathing criticisms + accusations of racism FEATURES OF THE AMERICAN MOVIE BUISNESS (1910-1920) 1) THE SHOOTING SCRIPT --Hierarchal collaborative process Thomas Ince (early Hollywood pioneers) reorganized film production at his studio to mimic these industries especially their use of assembly-line production  Using the screenplay as blueprint for the making of a film, able to breakdown all the tasks into discrete units and assign them to specific workers (1915; division of labor was segmented) 2) PRODUCTION ORGANIZED AROUND STARS+ GENRES STARS: Movie moguls began to realize that certain players were more in demand than others (Mary Pickford + Charlie Chaplin) –used their names to spur demand for their pictures; their popularity gave them negotiating powers + star salar
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