04:189:102 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Cinemark Theatres, Railways Act 1921, Social Realism

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Monday, January 30, 2017
Media and Culture: Mass Communication in a Digital
Age
Chapter Seven: Movies and the Impact of Images
-Movies tell communal stories that evoke and symbolize our most enduring values and
our secret desires. They all sort through our experiences that either affirmed or
deviated from their own values. Movies have acted to bring people together.
Early Technology and the Evolution of Movies
-The new technology that lead to new categories of mass media was developed
thanks to simultaneous investigations by many different people, not just an individual.
The Development of Film
-Leonardo da Vinci theorized about creating a device that would reproduce reality.
That’s how far back the idea of film goes.
-Magic Lantern: developed in the seventeenth century and projected images painted
on glass plates using an oil lamp as a light source
-Thaumatrope: developed in 1824, a two sided card with different images on each side
that appeared to combined the images when twirled
-Zoetrope: developed in 1834, a cylindrical device that rapidly twirled images inside a
cylinder, which appeared to make the images move.
Muybridge and Goodwin Make Pictures Move
-Eadweard Muybridge: English photographer living in a America; credited with being
the first to project photographs on a screen and make them move simultaneously.
-He used this technology to determine if a racehorse actually lifts all four feet from
the ground at four gallop. It does.
-By 1880 he had developed a way to project the images onto a wall for the public to
view.
-George Eastman: developed Eastman Kodak and was the first to develop the roll of
film
-Louis Aime Augustin Le Prince: invented the first motion picture camera using roll
film. He filmed the first motion picture, Roundhay Garden Scene.
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Monday, January 30, 2017
-Hannibal Goodwin: improved Eastman’s roll of film by using thin, transparent, pliable
material called celluloid. It enabled the strip of film to move through a camera and be
photographed in rapid succession, producing a series of pictures. Light could also
pass through it easily.
Edison and the Lumieres Create Motion Pictures
-Thomas Edison: invented another early movie camera, the kinetograph, and a single
person viewing system called the kinetoscope.
-This projection system housed fifty feet of film that revolved on spools. Viewers
looked though the hole and saw images moving on a tiny plate.
-Lumiere Brothers: developed the cinematograph, which was a combined camera, film
developer, and projection system. Many people came from all over to see how film
“perpetuates the image of movement”
-Edison came back and developed the vitascope, which enabled filmstrips of longer
lengths to be projected without interruption. The first showing of a vitascope featured
scenes from a boxing match and waves rolling onto a beach.
The Introduction of Narrative
-The shift to mass medium stage for movies occurred with the introduction of narrative
films: movies that tell stories. To become a mass medium, the early silent films and to
sway emotion, and engage the audience’s imagination.
-George Melies: opened the first public movie theater in France in 1896. He produced
some of the earliest narrative films, mostly fantasy and fairy-tale.
-Edwin S. Porter: first American filmmaker to adapt Melies’ innovations. Made Life of
an American Fireman, which contained the first close up in film history. Also made
The Great Train Robbery which introduced the western genre and chase scenes. He
was able to film scenes out of order and reassemble them later through editing.
The Arrival of Nickelodeons
-Nickelodeons: a form of movie theater whose name combines the admission price
with the Greek word for theater. They were a copy of vaudeville theaters, but with no
Iive actors.
-These were usually for the middle class, and were crowded and busy when playing
pictures. Later, nickelodeon owners started to try to attract more wealthy customers
with lavish theaters.
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Monday, January 30, 2017
The Rise of the Hollywood Studio System
- Thomas Edison formed the Motion Picture Patents Company, also called the Trust, in
hopes of dominating the movie industry and getting profit. They acquired most major
film distributorships and signed an exclusive deal with George Eastman, who would
only sell movie film to Trust-approved companies.
-Trust headquarter were in NY and NJ, but people decided to move farther away to
avoid the scrutiny. Hollywood became the movie capital because California offered
cheap labor, diverse scenery for shoots, and good climate. it was also close to the
border in case they wanted to make a run for it for violating Trust patents.
-Adolph Zukor (Paramount Pictures) and William Fox (Fox Film Corp) played a role in
Edison Trust’s collapse. Zukor bypassed the Trust and Fix sued them, resulting in the
Trust’s breakup due to restraint of trade violations in 1917.
-Entrepreneurs aimed to take control of all aspects of the film industry - production
(everything involved in making a movie, writing a script, raising money and filming),
distribution (getting the film into theaters), and exhibition (playing films in theaters).
This type of control is called vertical integration.
-Film industry turned into a oligopoly, a situation in which a few firms control the bulk
of the business.
Production
-Zukor formed the Famous Players Company in 1912 to compute against the Trust.
He wanted to control movie production not through patents but through exclusive
contracts with actors.
-Mary Pickford was known as “America’s Sweetheart” for her portrayal of funky and
innocent heroines. She was so famous she eventually broke off from Zukor to form
her own company United Artists.
-The studio system controlled the creative talent in the industry by the 1920’s. It
constituted a sort of assembly-line process for moviemaking - each person had their
job under a contract. If they weren’t working under a contract they probably weren’t
working at all.
Distribution
-Film exchange system: in exchange for their short films shown between live acts in
vaudeville theaters, movie producers received a small percentage of the vaudeville
ticket-gate receipts. A way of distribution.
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