Hollywood, the cinema of the United States, located in Los Angeles, California, has affected the film industry to a significant extent since the twentieth century. The main style of Hollywood cinema is the classical Hollywood Cinema, the development of which took place from 1913 to 1969. Hollywood is believed to be the oldest film industry, giving birth to various genres of cinema too.
Origins and Fort Lee
The first motion series was a series of photographs of a running horse by Eadweard Muybridge. Muybridge’s example was followed by others to create similar devices. Thomas Edison in the United States produced the kinetoscope. He was the first individual to do so. Fort Lee, New Jersey, can be considered the motion picture capital of America, and the history of Cinema in the United States can trace its roots to the East Coast.
Rise of Hollywood
Before World War 1, movies were made in every city, but moviemakers were inclined more towards Southern California. The warm climate and sunlight in abundance was the reason for this attraction, as well as the availability of sufficient scenery. Los Angeles saw the growth of studios and Hollywood. In the late 1920s, audio became dominantly used in the movies. By the mid-1930s, synchronization had also become common for dubbing to take place.
Classical Hollywood Cinema and the Golden Era of Hollywood (1913–1969)
The Golden Age of Hollywood in which thousands of movies were produced from Hollywood with the specific technical and narrative style characteristic from 1913 to 1969. This Golden era commenced in 1913. However, it took pace in 1917 and again took pace in 1927 with the release of The Jazz Singer in which sound was introduced to feature films, making abundant profits for the U.S. cinema. The release of The Jazz Singer, Warner Bros., gained immense fame and success and was able to acquire numerous theatres. It purchased Stanley Theatres and First National Productions in 1928.
The Studio System
The Studio System ran the motion picture companies as movie making was a business. The leading studios hired thousands of people, actors, directors, producers, writers, technicians, etc. All over the 1930s, as well as most of the Golden Age, MGM was the dominant studio and had the topmost stars. It was given credit for creating the concept of the Hollywood star system. Some MGM stars encompassed “King of Hollywood” Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Lionel Barrymore, Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer, Jeanette MacDonald, and husband Gene Raymond, Spencer Tracy, Judy Garland, and Gene Kelly.
The Decline of the Studio System (the Late 1940s)
The decline of the studio system took place in the late 1940s due to the following forces:
- a federal antitrust action that segregated the production of films from their exhibition; and
- the arrival of television.
In 1938, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released by Walt Disney and ran among a lack of good movies from the major studios and therefore, became the highest-grossing film released till that time.
Impact: Fewer Films, Larger Individual Budgets
The average budget rose, and the number of movies annually dropped, causing a significant change in the strategy for the industry. The focus of the studios was to produce entertainment that TV could not offer. The competition was now on television. Studios also started to sell their portions of their theatrical libraries to other companies to sell to the station. The year 1949 saw the significant studios giving up on the ownership of their theatres.
New Hollywood And Post-Classical Cinema (1960–1980)
Post-Classical cinema, a term referred to as the changing methods of storytelling in Hollywood. New styles to drama and characterization played upon audience expectations obtained in the classical period: chronology may be scrambled, storylines may feature ‘twist endings,’ and lines between the antagonist and protagonist may be erased. The origins of post-classical storytelling may be seen in the film noir, in ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ (1955), and Hitchcock’s storyline-shattering ‘Psycho.’
Rise of the Home Video Market (1980–1990)
Another significant development was the acceptance of home videos by studios, which opened a huge business to exploit; this took place in the 1980s and 1990s. In the video market, films found boost, films which were not able to perform well in their theatrical run. It also enabled the first generation of filmmakers to emerge, the ones with videotapes. Quentin Tarantino and Paul Thomas Anderson, the famous directors, had been able to view thousands of films and created films with vast numbers of references and connections to recent works. Tarantino has had several movies with director Robert Rodriguez. Rodriguez directed the 1992 action movie ‘El Mariachi,’ which was a commercial feat after grossing $2 million against a budget of $7,000.
Phenomenal epics became popular since the 1950s, which took the benefit of the new widescreen processes. Filmmakers had access to technological, political innovations that were not available in the previous decades. The first 35 mm film with a digital soundtrack was Dick Tracy (1990). Batman Returns (1992) was the first movie to use the Dolby Digital six-channel stereo sound that has become the standard of the industry. Jurassic Park (1993) was able to create realistic looking animals using Advanced Computer Graphics (CG). The Phantom Menace (1999) became the first movie to be captured totally in digital.
American Film Industry (1995–2017)
Studios allow independent movies to be made on small budgets. Such videos have a high quality of acting, direction, and production, etc. and are also full of lots of creativity and innovation. These movies are dependent on critical acknowledgment to get an audience for themselves. Because such films have low budgets, a successful independent film can have a high profit-to-cost ratio, and a failed movie will cause minimum losses. Such a technique allows the studios to release dozens of such videos in addition to their high-stake releases.
Hollywood and Politics
The Democrats and the Republicans were eyeing the Hollywood as they saw money in it. In the 1930s, President Franklin Roosevelt wanted a massive partnership with Hollywood. He utilized the first real potential of starts in a national campaign. Melvyn Douglas toured Washington in 1939 to meet the vital new dealers.
Hollywood has had a significant influence on the world altogether. Be it style, fashion, media industry, economically, politically, or socially, Hollywood Studios with their immense works have always positively impacted the world in the early times after their advent, as well as till now.