Movies Thomas Edison and William Dickson’s Kinetograph - 1891
Moving image precursors • Photography • Understanding of vision – persistence of vision • Flip book • Zoetrope
Modern Zoetrope • MASSTRANSISCOPE – 1980, recently restored on the Q line going from Manhattan to Brooklyn. Bill Brand is the artist.
The Lumière Brothers • Auguste and Louis Lumière ran a photographic supply company and were constantly innovating. After the Kinetograph and Kinetoscope, the Lumière brothers designed the cinématograph.
Early Film - Communal • Early cinema, from the nickelodeon to the early cinemas, were populated mostly by the working classes. The cinema was a place to learn about being American for new immigrants, but these early films were uniquely targeted to reflect poor and working class struggles, often portraying them sympathetically. Women’s stories were especially common.
Hollywood • The film industry eventually ended up settling for California as an ideal place to allow for year-round shooting due to mild climate. • California was attractive due to the available land, and the variety of terrain in one state. • Land was also cheap at the time in California.
1930s – 1940s Golden Age of Film • Before television, the US film Industry was a major mass communication outlet that took the country and the world by storm. • The Hollywood system called: • Vertical Integration dominated the film industry from top to bottom, until it was finally somewhat broken up by anti-monopoly laws. No longer could the industry dominate both production and distribution.
The Rise of Star Power&American Mythology – the Rugged Individual • Early film goers went to films in order to see their favorite stars. Thus the star system was born. • Early studios “owned” their stars however, so that movie stars stayed within their studio under contract, comparable to the music industry, and record label contracts. • The cowboy as a lone hero appealed to a homogeneous culture.
House Un-American Activities Committee • Cold War fears of communist sympathizers in the 1950s, led to the development of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) which resulted in blacklisted Hollywood artists.
VHS & DVD • Both of these technologies have impacted the movie industry. • Sony v. Universal City Studios
You’ve just received funding for a new film! • If your group could make whatever type of film it wanted, what would it be? • Consider the following: • Film or digital? • Theme? American Hero Myth? • Blockbuster? Documentary? Independent? • Direct to DVD or Theatre release? • Backing by major studio or independent studio? • Marketing strategy? Tie-ins?