The American Film Industry

explanatory Essay
3348 words
3348 words

The American Film Industry

Why is the Film Industry one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the world? Simple. People like entertainment. Movies are entertainment. Movies are like books, only they're visual. People like seeing other people cast in roles, and playing out a story. Why not turn to plays instead, you ask? Movies give people the actors and the stories, along with background music, special effects, and overall satisfaction within a 2 hour period of time. Movies can also take you to a physical state that theatre can not. They take you to real physical locations instead of just a cardboard stages. It's the same reason people like television so much.

The birth of cinema came in the late 1800s. One of the major reasons for the emergence of motion pictures in the 1890s was the late 1880s development of a camera that could capture movement, and a sprocket system that could move the film through the camera. William Kennedy Laurie Dickson, a young assistant in Thomas Edison's laboratories, designed an early version of a movie-picture camera - called a Kinetograph - that was first patented by Edison in 1893. Early in 1893, the world's first film studio, the "Black Maria", was built on the grounds of Edison's laboratories at West Orange, New Jersey and the first successful motion picture was made - a re-creation of a sneeze. Most of the earliest moving images were non-fictional, unedited, crude documentary views of simple, ordinary slices of life - street scenes, the activities of police or firemen, or shots of a passing train.

Then, in 1894, along came another marvelous Edison Company invention in the mid 1890s - the Kinetoscope. It was basically a bulky, coin-operated movie peep show viewer for a single customer, in which the images on a continuous film loop-belt were viewed in motion as they were rotated in front of a shutter and a light. On Saturday, April 14th, 1894, the Holland Brothers opened their original Kinetoscope Parlor at 1155 Broadway in New York City and for the first time, commercially exhibited movies as we know them today. Early spectators in Kinetoscope parlors were amazed by even the most strange moving images in very short films (between 30 and 60 seconds) - an approaching train, a parade, women dancing, dogs terrorizing rats, and other such things. In 1895, Edison exhibited hand-colored movies, i...

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...e, and technologically advanced economy in the world, with a per capita GDP of $31,500, the largest among major industrial nations. In the United States there are more than 1,500 (including nearly 1,000 stations affiliated with the five major networks-NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, and PBS; in addition, there are about 9,000 cable TV systems) television broadcasting systems, and more than 550 movie studios. That was the rate in 1997. Now, those figures have gone up by about 56%. Americans like entertainment. That's what they spend their money on.

Each year the movie industry earns more and more money. It's not just that movies are gaining larger audiences, and more movies are being produced, but it's the fact that movie prices are rising. Ticket prices are at a peak, selling in some places for as much as $10.50 a pop. Not to mention when movies come out for sale, most VHS start at a record breaking $24.99, and most DVDs start st $39.99. Why are the movie bosses charging this much? Simply because they can. People would probably pay even more if they had to, and in my opinion they'll soon have to. American has adopted movies into their family, and they don't want to stop watching them.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains why the american film industry is one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the world. movies are like books, only they're visual. people like seeing other people cast in roles, and playing out a story.
  • Explains that the earliest moving images were non-fictional, unedited, crude documentary views of simple, ordinary slices of life — street scenes, police or firemen, or shots of a passing train.
  • Describes the invention of the kinetoscope, which was a bulky, coin-operated movie peep show viewer for one customer.
  • Explains that the ten year peiod of 1920-1930 was the period between the end of the great war and the stock market crash. film theaters and studios were not initially affected by the crash.
  • Explains that the motion picture association of america (mpaa) acted domestically as the voice and advocate of seven of the largest producers and distributors of filmed entertainment.
  • Explains that warner bros. pictures incorporated in 1923, mgm, columbia pictures, and mca (music corporation of america) were founded or founded. america was the leading producer of films in the world, using thomas ince's "factory system" of production.
  • Explains that the 1930s decade was the most memorable era of all, with the term "golden age of hollywood". it was also the decade of sound revolution, color revolution and the advancement of film genres.
  • Analyzes how the early talkies were successful at the box-office, but many of them were of poor quality — dialogue-dominated play adaptations with stilted acting and an unmoving camera or microphone.
  • Explains that walt disney's animated story flowers and trees was the first feature-length film produced in three-color technicolor. the wizard of oz and gone with the wind were expensively produced.
  • Explains that the american film industry was popular, prosperous, powerful, and productive during the 40s. hollywood film production reached its peak during 1943 to 1946, more than a decade after the rise of sound film.
  • Explains that the 50s decade was known for many things: post-war affluence and increased choice of leisure time activities, conformity, middle-class values, the advent of television, drive-in theaters where young teenaged couples could find privacy in their hot-rods, and the rise of the anti-hero.
  • Explains that cinema in the 1960s reflected the decade of fun, fashion, and tremendous social change. with movie audiences declining due to television, major american film companies began diversifying with other forms of entertainment.
  • Explains how hollywood studios were being taken over by multi-national companies, and the age of "packaged" films and independent producers began.
  • Explains that the 1970s was a creative high point in the us film industry and hollywood was renewed and reborn.
  • Analyzes how the 1960s social activism turned into an inward narcissism and yet this uncertain age gave rise to some of the finest, boldest pictures ever made.
  • Explains that the 1980s tended to consolidate the gains made in the seventies rather than initiate any new trends.
  • Explains how hollywood's film budgets skyrocketed due to special effects and inflated salaries, and the way was opened for foreign ownership of hollywood properties.
  • Describes how robert zemeckis' who framed roger rabbit seamlessly blended animated cartoon characters and live action in a hard-boiled, 1940s-style hollywood murder mystery. disney studios returned to its old-fashioned film values with honey, i shrunk the kids.
  • Explains that the average film budget was almost $53 million by 1998, but many films cost over $100 million to produce. higher costs for star salaries and agency fees, expensive market research and testing, and big-budget marketing all contributed to the inflated, excessive spending in the film industry.
  • Explains that the vcr was a popular appliance in most households, and rentals of videotapes were big business. in 1999, eduardo sanchez and daniel myrick's low-budget, roughly-made, offbeat independent film the blair witch project became the most profitable film (percentage-wise).
  • Explains that in the late 80s and 90s, many of the films that were produced went directly to video with no cinematic release at all. the first new hollywood studio in many decades, dream works, was formed in 1994.
  • Explains that hollywood was attempting to deal with serious themes, such as homelessness, the holocaust, aids, and feminism, while making bottom-line profits.
  • Analyzes how special effects-laden, predictably-scripted apocalpytic disaster films racked up huge profits. george lucas' computer-generated return to his epic saga with star wars episode i: the phantom menace, and writer-directors andy and larry wachowski's ambitious virtual-reality flick the matrix won four academy awards.
  • States that the us has the most powerful, diverse, and technologically advanced economy in the world, with a per capita gdp of $31,500, the largest among major industrial nations.
  • Opines that the movie industry earns more and more money every year. the movie prices are rising, and people would pay even more if they had to.
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