The History of Hollywood

By looiki
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    Ptolemy's Discovery

    Ptolemy's Discovery
    In the Second Century AD, Ptolemy discovered a flaw in human vision. He found that the retina retains an image for a fraction of a second even if it moves, changes or disappears. He called this the 'persistance of vision'. This proved that rapid successions of still images would be interpreted by the brain as a moving picture. This is the true foundation for modern filmography.
  • The Magic Lantern

    The Magic Lantern
    In 1659, Christiaan Huygens invented the Magic Lantern, a predecessor to the modern slide projector. This device used a concave mirror at the back to project a image which was painted on a sheet of glass. He used this to project medical images to an audience. The invention if this device began a chain of events which eventually led to films.
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    The Development of Photography

    In 1826, a French inventor, Joseph Nicephore Niepce, created the first method of photography. He exposed a metal plate with light sensetive chemicals for eight hours to create the first photo. This process was improved and developed on by many other inventors such as; Louis Daguerre, which included the use of copper plates coated with silver which only had to remain mothionless for 15 to 30 seconds to capture and image.
  • The "Phenakistiscope"

    The "Phenakistiscope"
    In 1834, and Austrian military officer, named Baron Franz von Uchatius, invented a device for showing a animated image which he called the "Phenakistiscope". This was a spinning disk attached vertically to a hande with the centre showing phases of the animation. By spinning the top and looking through the slits, you would see a rapid succession of images which would blur together to show a basic animation. These animations couldn't be long and had to be drawn by hand and so were not efficient.
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    Further Development of Photography

    Unfortunately, the Dagguereotype was not very good for those wishing to make motion pictures as the exposure time was much too long. Through the 1860s, 70s and 80s, many advances were made in this field. Beginning with cheaper glass plates, to light sensitive paper, and finally in the late 70s, "dry process plates" were developed which cut down the exposure time to 1 25th of a second. From there is was a short step to 1880 when flexible film was developed for use in cameras.
  • The First Motion Capture

    The First Motion Capture
    In 1878, the first succesful capture of images was undertaken by an English photographer named Eadward Muybridge to help settle a large bet. Muybridge had to determine whether or not all four of a horses hooves lef the ground during a gallop. He set up 24 cameras attached to shutters, which the horse tripped as it ran by. The images which resulted could be strung together to create a 24 frame animation of a galloping horse, the first animation captured on film.
  • Marey's Camera Gun

    Marey's Camera Gun
    In 1882, a French inventor named Etienne-Jules Marey designed and built a camera that could capture motion all by itself. This was the first time people could capture images with only one camera. Marey's camera used a circular photography strip at the end of a rifle-shaped camera which spun around while the camera catured up to 12 images per second.
  • Thomas Edison enters the Arena

    Thomas Edison enters the Arena
    Thomas Edison, an American inventor, and William Dickson, his colleague, decided to invent a way to capture and show films on a screen. They modified a kodak camera to make the film slide easily through it, letting them take frames of a motion picture. They also invented the kinetoscope, which was a coin projector that could hold up to fifty feet of film, and therefore display a film lasting up to 40 seconds.
  • The First Movie Projector

    The First Movie Projector
    The Lumiere Brothers, Auguste and Louis, designed a film projector that could hold as much film as you wanted, as long as you fed it through, was protable, and did not look blurry to the viewer. They found that they had to stop the frame momentarily before moving it on so the retina could recieve it. They borrowed the stop mechanism on a sewing machine for this purpose and released for sale the portable motion picture projector in 1894.
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    The Era of Silent Films

    The silent film era was an era of films with no recorded sound and no spoken dialogue. Dialogue was instead conveyed through gestures, mime and titled cards. It is in this period where they conveyed key inequalities and issues, with movies filled with sexual imagery and risque humor, finally shedding Victorian moralism, sentimentality and expressed the newer themes of exoticism, sophistication and sex appeal.
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    The Use of Film

    Film's in this era told stories of little to no complexity. This was a resuilt of the seven to ten minutes that they had to tell a story and this meant that the cast was also full of anonymous actors. This was also as a result of the fact that the camera was set back far enough so as to obscure the actor's faces, which meant they made no more than $8 a day, with no on-screen credits.
  • The Vitascope

    The Vitascope
    In the years leading up to this date, Edison entered an agreement with Thomas Armant, who designed a workable projector. As a result, in April, 1896, both Thomas Edison and Thomas Armat unveiled the first motion pictures on a public screen with a device named the Viatscope
  • The Birth of Public Film

    The Birth of Public Film
    In Herald Square, NYC, on the 23rd of April, 1896 was where the very first motion pictures were shown on a screen. In Koster and Bial's Music Theatre, Thomas Edison showed dazzled viewers scenes of Waves on a Beach, A Comedic Boxing Display and Two Girls Dancing. "All wonderfully real and singularly exciting"
    - The New York Times
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    The Development of Films

    During this period of 1905-1908, hundreds of movie theatres opened, selling their admission fee to be only a nickel, giving them the nickname of "nickelodeons". During this time, narrative films were also beginning to increase in popularity, however the original real life event scenes were still very popular.
  • Chicaagoooooo

    Chicaagoooooo
    It is today that Chicago establied the nation's first censorship board after complaints that movies in this period were "ministering to the lowest passions of childhood". Their purpose was to protect the population "against the evil influence of obscene and immoral representations"
  • Board of Censorship of Motion Pictures

    Board of Censorship of Motion Pictures
    This is a voluntary Board of Censorship for motion pictures which reviewed the level of drugs, violence, prostitution and sexual 'immoratlity'. This was done to combat local censorship and was created by movie manufacturers witht he help of moral reformers. This eventually led to Presiden Warren Hardin creating a voluntary code of standards after a series of sex scandals.
  • The Supreme Court's Rule

    The Supreme Court's Rule
    The Supreme court rule that motion pictures were not protected under the First Amendment, stating that motionn pictures were "a business pure and simple". This allowed other states all around America to be able to create their own local censorship, creating large problems for some publishers.
  • The Contribution of Griffith

    The Contribution of Griffith
    Griffith (A former stage actor) was hired as a director by the Biograph Company and he made the largest contributions to the film making industry today. Although earlier directors invented effects, Griffith emphasised the narrative of a film and how he could give the illusion of realism, called "photographic realism". He wanted actors to also act less exaggerated. He also created the 'star' system, where isntead of having actors be anonymous, they were advertised and publicised.
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    The "Big Five" and the "Little Three"

    During this time, 5 small film companies combined their power and control into one company called the "Big Five" which consisted of Paramount, Warner Brothers, RKO, 20th Century-Fox and MGM. Three smaller companies also consolidated power which created the "Little Three" which was Universal, Columbia and United Artists.
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    The 1920's and Hollywood

    During the 1920's Hollywood has become the film capital with virtually all films in the United States coming from here and receiving 80 of revenue from films and at their peak they had 83% of the amusement earnings. Over 50 million people went to the movies every week and viewings depended on the ethnic neighborhoods and what working class you were in.
  • The Talkies

    The Talkies
    The Talkies was the phrase used for a motion picture that was synchronised with sound.The reason why talkies were not used before was because of the difficulty in reliable synchronization with early sound-on-disk systems. However, after Lee De Forest showed that placing a soundtrack directly on a film strip was a viable way, Hollywood was unprepared to make the change into sound technology, fearing that the conversion price was too high. This led to only short clips being accompanied by music.
  • The Jazz Singer

    The Jazz Singer
    The Jazz Singer was released this month and after the amazingly high popularity, any doubts of popular appeal of the use of sound with films was eliminated. This also marked the shark upsurge in movie attendance from 50 million to 110 million a week.
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    The Great Depression Era

    This is an era where the economy has crashed, 60 to 80 million Americans still attended each week helping to sustain national morale. Americans went to these movies, it was said, because they acted as escapism - escapism from problems, reinforcing older values and dampening radicalism. At this era, many famous cynical movies were created, giving an idealized of Americans, "breezy, likable, sexy, gallant, and maybe just a little harebrained." with movies including cynical lawyers, etc.
  • The Breen Office

    The Breen Office
    The Motion Picture Production Code was created in response to the increasingly serious outrage and threat of boycotts from Protestant and Catholic religious groups as a result of the increasingly sexually suggestive comedies and gangster films. This code created "The Breen Office", a bureau dedicated to review the scripts that major studios make, ensuring the picture did not violate the Production code.
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    Wartime Hollywood

    During this time, Hollywood was under attack by the Senate committiees while America was under attack by other enemies. A few anti-Nazi films were made, with pro-British films and anti-fascist movies, causing a Senate subcommittee to investigate whether Hollywood brought the US into WWII with propoganda in its films. One of the biggest contributers that Hollywood gives in this time was adding to the morale of this time.
  • The Restrictions

    The Restrictions
    During WWII, the government put restrictions on the film industry and on par with the austerity measures of the time, saw the government cut the amount of available film by 25 percent and restricted each set to only be worth $5000
  • The Two Bureau's

    The Two Bureau's
    During this time, federal government saw movies as a large contributer to national morale and as such created to agencies in the Office of War Information; The Bureau of Motion Pictures and the Bureau of Censorship. The Bureau of Motion Pictures produced educational films and reviewed scripts while the Bureau of Censorship oversaw film exports.
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    Post-War Film

    Oh how the mighty have fallen. Parmount ends the monopoly of film, foreign market virtually vanishes and half of the viewers are no longer there. Politically controversial films stirred up people, leading to law suits and an overall bad image for Hollywood at this point in time. However a new film genre and arguably the best one, the film noir, was created in this era. These films characterised sexual insecurity, aberrant psychology and depicted a world of threatening shadows and ambiguities.
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    The Post-War Period cont.

    The style that was present in the films were of cynical or weak men, femme fatales and usually a murder. The camera style were with oblique camera angles, close up - all the techniques to create a calustrophic environment. Added were also convulted plots of the films and the frequent flashbacks and voice-overs - creating one of the best film genres EVER.
  • The 1960's

    The 1960's
    The 1960's gave Hollywood a realisation of the demographic of their films - Ages ranging from 16 to 25. This came from the run-away success of Bonnie and Clyde and Breathless. Both pictures depicted youthfull rebellion and in the case of Bonnie and Clyde, contructed gangsters into social rebels which caused a lot of controversy. The movie "Graduate" adds to this message where young graduates reject a hypocritical society and traditional values in order to pursue their own, 'more rightful' love.
  • Out with the Old...

    Out with the Old...
    And in with the New! By the late 1960s, the amount of scripts created made enforcement nearly imposible, with the Production Code abandoned and as a result the MPAA film rating system came into effect with four ratings; G (General Audiences), M (Mature Audiences), R (Restricted) and X (Sexually Explicit Content).
  • The 1970's

    The 1970's
    The trend changes in this decade from highly political, to more mind numbing things which gives birth to some of the most pop culture films ever; Star Wars, Superman, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Rocky, Animal House, Greese, Dirty Harry and the list goes on. These are all staples of American pop culture as it shows either amazing special effects, the will of the underdop and the redeeming stories of people. An example of this is Karate Kid and any of the movies above.
  • The Glorious 80's (And a bit of 70's)

    The Glorious 80's (And a bit of 70's)
    This decade and the last one were a period of movies which had av ery big focus on 'anti-realism' but even so, issues of that time were still being adressed in the film as social transformations are kicking in. Issues sucha s the socio-economic power gap between blacks and whites, family, romance, gender all come up in this era but the most controversial lies with the Vietnam War. Several films concentrated on the bitter veterans as a result of the war but very few focused on the war itself.
  • THE MODERN ERA (20th Century)

    THE MODERN ERA (20th Century)
    The amount of family entertainment increases in this era with cartoons such as Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, movies with positive potrayals of teaching such as Dead Poet's Society and evermore far-fetched movies such as Indiana Jones and Back to the Future Trilogies. Experimental Films like The Crying Game is also made in this era.
  • The Modern Era cont.

    The Modern Era cont.
    As a result of rising costs of making and marketing a movie, and the decline of adult audiences, Hollywood in this era needs guarenteed blockbuster hits - movies with high-tech special effects, sequels, remakes of films, etc. Hollywood also concentrates widening the overseas demographics by making films more easily understood worldwide and so action films with no real complexity were created, featuring stars like Arnold Schwartenegger and Sylvester Stallone.