The Studio System

The Studio System

Key point about the studio system could be:

Despite being one of the biggest industries in the United States,

indeed the World, the internal workings of the 'dream factory' that is

Hollywood is little understood outside the business.

The Hollywood Studio System: A History is the first book to describe

and analyse the complete development, classic operation, and

reinvention of the global corporate entities which produce and

distribute most of the films we watch.

Starting in 1920, Adolph Zukor, head of Paramount Pictures, over the

decade of the 1920s helped to fashion Hollywood into a vertically

integrated system, a set of economic innovations which was firmly in

place by 1930. For the next three decades, the movie industry in the

United States and the rest of the world operated by according to these


Cultural, social and economic changes ensured the demise of this

system after the Second World War. A new way to run Hollywood was

required. Beginning in 1962, Lew Wasserman of Universal Studios

emerged as the key innovator in creating a second studio system. He

realized that creating a global media conglomerate was more important

than simply being vertically integrated.

Gomery's history tells the story of a 'tale of two systems 'using

primary materials from a score of archives across the United States as

well as a close reading of both the business and trade press of the

time. Together with a range of photographs never before published the

book also features over 150 box features illuminating aspect of the

business .

During the 1920s, and 1930s the Hollywood film studios undertook a


... middle of paper ...

... (1936).

In the late 30s, two beloved films, The Wizard of Oz (1939) and Gone

with the Wind (1939), were expensively produced with Technicolor -

what would the Wizard of Oz (with ruby slippers and a yellow brick

road) be without color? And the trend would continue into the next

decade in classic MGM musicals such as Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) and

Easter Parade (1948). Special-effects processes were advanced by the

late 1930s, making it possible for many more films to be shot on sets

rather than on-location (e.g., The Hurricane (1937) and Captains

Courageous (1937).) In 1937, the Disney-produced Snow White and the

Seven Dwarfs (1937) was the first feature-length animated film - a

milestone. The colorful Grimm fairy tale was premiered by Walt Disney

Studios - becoming fast known for pioneering sophisticated animation.

More about The Studio System

Get Access