The Big Picture: Hollywood History 101: Part 1

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Hehehe, this brings me back to my first year of University. Nice to see it condensed like this though! XD

Lulz. So, Hollywood basically came to being because Edison was a jerk about patent fees? And thus all the creative minds moved away from it?

Who would have guessed, since today, the movie industry are the biggest jerks when it comes to copyright.

It's understandable how much this relates to the history of animation (my expertise). Disney was another one of those "brilliant but diabolical" businessmen who absolutely dominated everything in the industry at least during the golden age of animation (1928-1941). Probably the most insidious of his tactics was gaining exclusive rights to Technicolor for 3 years so that no one else could use it and thereby shutting out every other studio at the time.

Not to say Disney was some kind of monster though. I'm just a former Disney employee who knew better than to accept the standard "Walt was a god among men" idealism that has penetrated every level of the Walt Disney Company over the years. Yes, the man innovated a relatively young medium FAR beyond its years and left a smoke trail for others to eventually follow, but he was also human. A terribly paranoid, blacklisting human.

Anywho, can't wait for part two. I expect Saturday morning cartoon serials will at least be part of the discussion. I'll be sure to add additional information in the comments section.

I already know this stuff but it is nice to hear it from someone else. Makes the world seem a bit smaller.

thanks for the info bob

Palademon:
Is that missing no. at 2:56 in the word block or...what?

I thought the same thing. Can't tell if I'm just finding patterns in nothing, though.

Excellent, excellent, excellent.

Stuff like this is why I watch your shows Bob. A great summary of a subject I really thought I knew more about, but you showed me otherwise.

As a side note, are the five minute limits to these videos something the Escapist puts on you or are they your own choice? Because I would totally watch a longer video if it meant for interesting information.

I thought the TV set was going to be the state of Nebraska...

Though as his explanation went on, yeah, it made more sense to be TV and less Nebraska.

Tarkand:
I guess history repeat itself eh?

Now the big unstoppable juggernaut is very slow to adapt itself to the internet. >_>

Exactly what I was thinking. The difference is, that juggernaut might be "too big to fail" this time and end up taking down the Internet instead.

Nothing on the Hays Codes? I would expect just about any discussion of the early movie industry to talk about the Hays Codes, if only perhaps because it gives some interesting insight into entertainment industries vs. the first amendment which has been a big topic around these parts.

Littleman64:
Wow. Thank you for that. Also can't wait to see what the TV did in the next episode. It's up to something, I can feel it.

Ha!

I hope he covers things like TV networks, Cable, pay per view, VHS, DVD, DVR, ratings and advertising. But then we only get about 5 minutes an episode, so if he feels the need to move onto something geeky like more Captain America as seen by the world, or whatever, I'm along for the ride.

A Big Picture episode actually focusing on the big picture?

Shocking.

(also really really good, keep it up)

Wait, i bought this game? FUCK

[edit]
... why am i in this thread

That much I already knew about Hollywood, and the sad part is that movie studios also "owned" actors and they couldn't work outside the studio. We, they could, but it was really hard sometimes for them to get work in a different studio.

Now I'm really excited about how tv changed Hollywood, I think I have a vague idea what it is, but I'm pretty sure that it's gonna be big.

So, TV killed the radio star AND Hollywood. Nice to know.

TitanAura:
It's understandable how much this relates to the history of animation (my expertise). Disney was another one of those "brilliant but diabolical" businessmen who absolutely dominated everything in the industry at least during the golden age of animation (1928-1941). Probably the most insidious of his tactics was gaining exclusive rights to Technicolor for 3 years so that no one else could use it and thereby shutting out every other studio at the time.

Not to say Disney was some kind of monster though. I'm just a former Disney employee who knew better than to accept the standard "Walt was a god among men" idealism that has penetrated every level of the Walt Disney Company over the years. Yes, the man innovated a relatively young medium FAR beyond its years and left a smoke trail for others to eventually follow, but he was also human. A terribly paranoid, blacklisting human.

Anywho, can't wait for part two. I expect Saturday morning cartoon serials will at least be part of the discussion. I'll be sure to add additional information in the comments section.

Oh cool, at which period did you work at Disney?

Interesting as usual! Thanks, bob.

gigastrike:

Palademon:
Is that missing no. at 2:56 in the word block or...what?

I thought the same thing. Can't tell if I'm just finding patterns in nothing, though.

'ffmpeg' will do that sort of thing if you over-compress a video. The Escapist has taken to some fairly aggressive compression measures, presumably to lower bandwidth costs.

Ahhh, back in the days when the supreme court wasn't in the pocket of corporations and actually enforced anti-trust acts

You kind of missed another big event, the reason why Hollywood became Hollywood. It wasn't just because it was cheap. It was because it was cheaper to move across the United States than it was to rebuild in the old silent movie city, Jacksonville, Florida.

My guess is it didn't work out very well for movies. Until they realized they could make money showing movies on television.

It's almost like th'difference 'tween night and day when ya consider th'fact of how much i still enjoy Moviebob's "Big Picture" vids, vs how epically p*ssed-off i tend to get when watchin' his movie reviews...

o'course, i'm still watchin' both, so what does that say about me?

fierydemise:
Nothing on the Hays Codes? I would expect just about any discussion of the early movie industry to talk about the Hays Codes, if only perhaps because it gives some interesting insight into entertainment industries vs. the first amendment which has been a big topic around these parts.

Fiz_The_Toaster:
That much I already knew about Hollywood, and the sad part is that movie studios also "owned" actors and they couldn't work outside the studio. We, they could, but it was really hard sometimes for them to get work in a different studio.

Now I'm really excited about how tv changed Hollywood, I think I have a vague idea what it is, but I'm pretty sure that it's gonna be big.

I have to agree with these two posts.
MovieBob says you can't argue with the result...greatest films, blah, blah.

I think you can't talk about the Studio Era without 1) Talking about the Hayes Code (which wasn't replaced until 1968!)--and the negative impact that had on artistic output (for example, ending Mae West's film career) and 2) Talking about the effect of the studio system on those that labored under it. You have to talk about the abuse of a Judy Garland and the extremely shoddy treatment of a Lena Horne, you have to talk about the gang rape of Girl 27, the treatment of gays, women, minorities, children.

vxicepickxv:
You kind of missed another big event, the reason why Hollywood became Hollywood. It wasn't just because it was cheap. It was because it was cheaper to move across the United States than it was to rebuild in the old silent movie city, Jacksonville, Florida.

Well, that and because they wanted to be able to escape to Mexico in case people wanted to arrest them for various questionable practices they were doing at the end of the 1920s.

Great vid Bob! can't wait till next week to learn more.

I agree with a lot of the other people. You do a great job teaching history Bob. You should make a series doing that and pitch it to the university systems to make some extra cash.

Falseprophet:
Fantastic. I love when you demonstrate your undeniable authority on the history of film and film criticism, Bob.

Wait, what?

This is stuff anyone can find on Wikipedia, and it's not even remotely comprehensive, accurate or even revelatory. It's a Swiss cheese of gaping holes that give a very narrow, very one sided view of Hollywood(land) posturing as an authority of the issue. Missing are important key factors such as the Vaudeville ways of the East, Chaplin's and Mack Sennet's influences, the effects of the wars that caused the studio system to erupt in the first place - it reads like a high schoolers show and tell.

I'm all for educating people on the wonderful and intriguing history, but this is just among the things that the internet is at it's worst with: dumbing down subjects and allowing people to think it's some kind of accurate representation of anything. Like watching a 15-minute condensation of all presidential elections to date.

trooper6:

Fiz_The_Toaster:
That much I already knew about Hollywood, and the sad part is that movie studios also "owned" actors and they couldn't work outside the studio. We, they could, but it was really hard sometimes for them to get work in a different studio.

Now I'm really excited about how tv changed Hollywood, I think I have a vague idea what it is, but I'm pretty sure that it's gonna be big.

I have to agree with these two posts.
MovieBob says you can't argue with the result...greatest films, blah, blah.

I think you can't talk about the Studio Era without 1) Talking about the Hayes Code (which wasn't replaced until 1968!)--and the negative impact that had on artistic output (for example, ending Mae West's film career) and 2) Talking about the effect of the studio system on those that labored under it. You have to talk about the abuse of a Judy Garland and the extremely shoddy treatment of a Lena Horne, you have to talk about the gang rape of Girl 27, the treatment of gays, women, minorities, children.

I agree, but like MovieBob said, he just wanted to give a very very VERY condensed history of Hollywood. I'm sure he will go into that some day since there was a lot of dark and shady things going on with studios in that time period.

I'll have to watch it a few times. It's a sad fact that I have problem focusing on stories that don't have a main character to grip me. That's why I always failed history class.
It's frustrating because I'm actually interested in the stuff. Meh, I'll just watch it over and over again until I can get the sentences to make concrete sense in my head.

Interesting stuff. I was kinda hoping for a brief Hays code discussion here too, but since it didn't end until '68 perhaps that can wait until another time.

If you were to spend the next six months doing nothing but tell the history of movies, I would not care.

Edit: and I mean this in a good way.

The studios still have all the power with movie theaters. When we got Transformers 3 it was under the condition we run it in the two biggest screens. Bridesmaids was still able to fill the largest screen but we had to bump it down. If we didn't we wouldn't get Transformers and Paramount probably wouldn't deal with us in future. They're also the reason theaters are so expensive. Most of the ticket price just goes back to paying to get the film in. All other expenses and any profit comes from the concession stand which is why 1 liter of coke costs the customer almost 5 euro.

I thought the reveal was the state of Nevada and subsequently, porn. I don't live in America, so I have no idea what higgletipigilty shapes your states are, except Texas, which looks like a frying pan apparently.

So the massive inflexibility and greed of an organization was what brought about its massive downfall?

Huh. I wonder if any other industries will learn from that-

Nevermind.

I loved you work ever since I joined this site, this just made everything click into place for me. thank you for the episode.

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