The Big Picture: Hollywood History 101: Part 1

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Spot1990:
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.

The return of that way of doing business is a relatively recent development, dating only as far back as the mid-1980s when the Reagan Administration began dismantling the anti-trust regulations on media and entertainment companies (this same deregulation, incidentally, is what created the explosion of right-wing talk radio around the same time.)

From the 50s until then, though, studios and theaters were largely prohibited from colluding - which led to the rise of independent theaters, arthouses, the urban "grindhouse" screens and drive-ins during that whole period.

Ah, the Sherman Antitrust Act. How I wish the SEC had the balls to invoke you to bust up banks.

Aw, I was expecting the other type of Hollywood History, you know the type where America won World War 2 all by itself and all those other wars they won and weren't jingoistic costly cluster-fucks.

Still, this is good too. I didn't know it was to escape patents they moved west. I thought it was just cheap land.

Good watch. Looking forward to next weeks.

I have a slightly OT gripe and that gripe is the disparity between the volume of this show and the yellow advert with house music playing and the ZP imp dancing - is just too much.
If you don't hit the volume switch before the ad starts, your neighbours are sure to know you've just finished watching a show on the Escapist.

Speaking as one who has absolutely no knowledge about the history of Hollywood and filmmaking in general, this was a really interesting episode, definitely one of your best. Heck, I'm resisting the temptation to go on a Wikipedia binge--I want to learn more.

While I'm usually more of a fan of the videos with some analysis (Green Lantern Part 1) over the ones that are simply just history lessons (Green Lantern Part 2) I will admit I prefer the history lesson when it is interesting, on a topic I don't know much about, and when the facts themselves give me the opportunity to do my own analysis.

I'm actually really interested in what will happen in next week's episode. Looking forward to it.

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

I was only ever a low level employee cleaning toilets at a Disney World resort but I did take the opportunity to study independently as an animator whilst I was there. That was a few years ago. I still have a bunch of my old flipbooks from that time.

I assume this is the logic that makes you think that Consoles and desktop PCs will either die or just lose their over all dominance.

Coulda sworn he was gonna say Will Hayes.

Hmmm. Do I smell an ulterior motive here? Could this "history lesson" be just the setup for a rant about how we (they) need to accept and adapt to technology to survive? I'm not against that. I'm just smelling a bait and switch in the topic.

At first the examples of the greatness of the studio system left me cold. Then up popped Ethan Edwards carrying Debbie and I thought "FUCK YES. THE STUDIO SYSTEM IS AWESOME!"

brazuca:
Uhum, but don't linger too much on Tv story please. There is still the silver era, the decadence of western the Hollywood crash, nowadays, I mean lot of material just about movies. Best episode so far. Waiting for part II and possible III.

It's hard not to discuss TV at length. It was essentially the most influential invention of the 20th century. Sure, the nuclear bomb and the internet are right there with it. Yet for day to day life throughout much of the 20th century the television was king, and you really can't talk about the evolution of movies without discussing in length the effect of television.

One day, I will be rich and famous, and I will hire movie bob to tell me bedtime stories about all the wonderful things I should know about such as this.

I love Bob's history lessons.

Loved it Bob. Want to see at least two more of these vids (only way I can see this breif history getting any justice).

That all said, I want to hear about the animation part as the advent of TV was about the time cartoons had their balls ripped out.

Great Big Picture this week! If you wanna know more about the period in detail, Paul Merton's Birth of Hollywood was a great series that might still be knocking around on iplayer (for all the Brits). If not I'm sure its on the net somewhere. Anyhow that's well worth a watch if you're into movies.

Yay! This was really interesting. Looking forward to the next one.

mrblakemiller:
I appreciate the vid. I usually prefer Bob's videos when he actually gets into opinion and one-man debate, but I know little enough of the early days of film for this to be worth a look.

Sadly (likely for time) the fact the famous sign was an ad for a housing development and 1923-1949 said HollywoodLAND was left out.

I wonder if the sponsor era of TV will get left out for time in the next video. It's an interesting era with its own wonkyness--Rod Serling commented that even in the early 1960s it was so bad "that you couldn't ford a river if Chevy was your sponsor"

VERY good condensation of the early history of movies. In the time you had i can't see you doing any better, bravo. I have looked into the sujbect in some detail and there have been some execelent documentaties about both early film history and various aspects of the industry throughout the years. If you have not, check out "A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss" (BBC Four) and "Paul Merton's Birth of Hollywood" (BBC Two) if you can.

Redd the Sock:
Hmmm. Do I smell an ulterior motive here? Could this "history lesson" be just the setup for a rant about how we (they) need to accept and adapt to technology to survive? I'm not against that. I'm just smelling a bait and switch in the topic.

Possibly, but the movie industry seems more ontop of recent technology developments now. I'm not saying there isn't room for improvement but they're taking steps into streaming and what not, even if it's largely handled by middlemen.

I spent a 14 week Class learning about the film industry, And this one part summarized about 70% of it, I could have saved a lot of money!

I'm a history buff, and it's good to look at where we came from every once in a while. I'm liking the history lesson.

MovieBob:

Spot1990:
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.

The return of that way of doing business is a relatively recent development, dating only as far back as the mid-1980s when the Reagan Administration began dismantling the anti-trust regulations on media and entertainment companies (this same deregulation, incidentally, is what created the explosion of right-wing talk radio around the same time.)

From the 50s until then, though, studios and theaters were largely prohibited from colluding - which led to the rise of independent theaters, arthouses, the urban "grindhouse" screens and drive-ins during that whole period.

It should be mentioned that other factors that came to a head in the 1980s that caused many of the above to die off--home video, cable, and real estate value being the major ones.

As time has gone on I think some people are waking up to the fact it is far cheaper to wait until the DVD comes out then risk getting behind the person with the screaming kid, the MST3K want a bes, or the guy who want to chat on his cell phone. I personally haven't watched a mainstream movie in a theater since 1986 when I saw Star Trek IV.

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