In the 1880s, the American stage was dominated by ‘Vaudeville shows’ which was cherished by the residents of North America. Being the primitive genre of variety entertainment, these shows differed from burlesque or minstrelsy. But as entrepreneurs started experimenting with their movie-making skills, these shows lost all their glory.
In 1910, director D.W.Griffith and his troop started filming in downtown Los Angeles. While searching for a more apt location, they found it in a village miles northward — ‘Hollywood’. The first movie shot by Griffith in Hollywood was In Old California, a melodrama of California. Thorough research work identified a number of points which helped in establishing Hollywood movies. But it was Griffith’s ‘Birth of a Nation’ which was the pioneering movie.
Gradually, with the growth of Hollywood industry, films were exhibited in Nicholodeon halls. Ambitious people in the production side emerged as controlling heads of movie studios. They aided the internationalization of films to reduce American provincialism. In no time, the industry produced about 400 movies a year, with an audience of 9,00,00,000 Americans per week.
The American studios, however, confronted major difficulties when their sound productions were rejected in various foreign language markets. Also, the synchronization technique was too primitive. In the 1930s, parallel language versions of films were produced to provide a befitting solution to the problem. With rapid advancement of synchronization, dubbing also became more realistic.
During the Golden Age of Hollywood (1920-1950), the film industry was at the peak of its success. Adherence to the formula of western slapstick comedy was the formula and musical animated cartoon contributed to it. The same creative team worked on films made by the same studio.
The most renowned studios were Warner Bros., MGM, RKO, etc. Each studio had its own specialized characteristics, a trait not seen today. Yet, each film was unique in its own flavor, since the moviemakers were all artists and creative people. The release of classics that enriched the industry, were Wutheirng Heights, Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, and such other masterpieces. In the late 1940s, the separation of the production of films from their exhibition and the advent of television led to the decline of the studio system.
The postclassical cinema gave birth to directors from a new school of thought. They introduced new filming techniques and strategies and developed upon the prevailing ones. Films like Jaws, Godfather, Psycho, and other modern blockbusters have no doubt added a new dimension to Hollywood. With independent films, another new generation of moviemakers came forward with films which were often innovative, critical, unconventional, and contradictory. However, for their considerable financial success and crossover into popular culture, they have become a very influential part of the Hollywood mainstream films.
With the passage of generations, directors with their exclusive style and innovations have come up with intellectually stimulating and thought-provoking creations, making the history of Hollywood movies interesting as well as amazing.
Road to ‘Oz’ may lead Johnny Depp to Michigan
Michigan’s biggest Hollywood movie project yet — a $ 105-million production at a huge new studio in Pontiac — has won approval for a $ 40-million tax credit that alone comprises more than 60% of all credits for 26 projects approved in the last six months of 2010.
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