American Film Industry and Hollywood Project SO MANY COUNTRIES, SO MANY PEOPLE Sergei Dmitriev School 55 “ Lingvist” Teacher: E.V. Komar
Goal: to research the development of the film industry in the USA and the Hollywood phenomenon as part of American culture.
Contents • The beginning & early films • The centre of American film production • Famous studios • Places worth seeing • Helpful Media Recourses
THE BEGINNING & EARLY FILMS That illusion of movement was first noted in 1824 by an English physician Peter Mark Roget but the invention of the motion picture doesn’t belong only to one person. There were representatives of different nations and countries. Thomas Alva Edison was among them, and in 1896 he demonstrated a projecting kinetoscope.
The cinematograph based on it was invented by the brothers Lumiere, and they became the first producers of very short films. The first films lasted a minute and showed the realities of life such as workers leaving a factory.
At first the commercial potential of film was not realized and only in 1906 the first picture palaces appeared in Britain; the USA followed in its steps but there were no special buildings. They were converted stores. People paid a nickel (a five cent coin) to see about an hour’s worth of film. There were a lot of technical problems and they often resulted in public rage.
Step by step the film industry was developing, and making films turned into a blend of art and technique. The USA became the pioneer in this sphere and in 1912 the first feature film was released. It lasted 90 minutes and told a story. There was one more serious drawback of the films – they were silent. The actors had to play unnaturally.
Mary Pickford was the first address who showed that a simple and natural style was more effective on the screen than dramatic arm-waving. Charlie Chaplin with his clumsy ways and baggy pants became the most famous actor due to his comedies.
THE CENTRE OF AMERICAN FILM PRODUCTION Hollywood became part of greater Los Angeles in 1910, and just one year later the first motion picture studio was established. Today Hollywood is synonymous with the film industry, portraying visions of glamour and nostalgia unmatchedanywhere else in the world.
FAMOUS STUDIOS Where do the Stars Work? How can we find all of the legendary Hollywood studios... and the smaller studios, as well?
The Walt Disney Company started in 1923 in the rear of a small office occupied by Holly-Vermont Realty in Los Angeles. It was there that Walt Disney, and his brother Roy, produced a series of short live-action/ animated films collectively called the ALICE COMEDIES. Walt Disney Productions established itself as a leader in the American animation industry. Walt Disney still holds the Guinness World Record for the most Academy Awards won by any individual - walking away with 31 Oscars.
The greatest studio in the history of Hollywood was never really in Hollywood. The vast studios of Metro Goldwyn Mayer (M-G-M) were actually located in humble Culver City, some seven miles southwest of Hollywood & Vine, closer to Marina Del Rey than to Hollywood. The studios were born in 1915 as Triangle Pictures. M-G-M was the most powerful studio in Hollywood, renown for the glossy, bright, Technicolor style of its films, complete with lavish wardrobes, high priced sets, and an unbeatable stable of superstars. It was here that Judy Garland starred as Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz" in 1939. This is the studio that gave us Leo the Lion as their trademark, as well as such memorable series as "The Thin Man" mysteries, the "Tarzan" adventures and the manic Marx Brothers comedies. M-G-M used to brag that the studio had "More stars than there are in the heavens."
There is only one big name movie studio still actually located in Hollywood: the huge Paramount Studios. It also happens to be the longest continually operating studio in Hollywood. Paramount Studios began in 1913 in a rented horse barn near Sunset & Vine, and moved to its current location on Gower Street in 1926, into an existing studio which had been built in 1917. The list of landmark motion pictures filmed by Paramount Pictures itself reads like a virtual history of Hollywood, beginning with classic silent films such as "The Sheik" with Rudolph Valentino (1921), and including the first movie to ever win an Academy Award for Best Picture, 1927's "Wings." In 2005, Paramount bought out the DreamWorks studio, which became a unit of Paramount, and as a result has had additional successes with Deam Works productions such as "Transformers" and "Shrek the Third". Paramount is a huge, sprawling studio, covering an area almost as big as Disneyland. At peak season, the studio employees over 5,000 people.
In 1990 the grand old M-G-M studio in Culver City, where "The Wizard of Oz" was filmed, was finally purchased by Sony Entertainment of Japan. The historic studio is now home to both Columbia Pictures and TriStar Pictures, which are both divisions of Sony. In 1997, Sony Pictures had another spectacularly successful year, smashing the all time domestic gross record of $1.202 billion in a single year. Led by such hits as the original "Men in Black," "Air Force One,“"My Best Friend's Wedding," "I Know What You Did Last Summer," "Anaconda,“ "As Good As It Gets," and "Starship Troopers."
Warner Brothers, one of Hollywood’s most famous studios, was founded in 1923 by four actual brothers: Jack, Sam, Harry & Albert Warner. Warner Bros Studios managed to produce some of the most memorable movies in the history of Hollywood, including the world's first "talkie” with Al Jolson, "The Jazz Singer»(1927), "Casablanca" (1942), "Chariots of Fire" (1981), and the current string of "Batman" films. When Warner Bros did give the public musicals, they were usually black and white. It wasn't until the late 1950's that Warner Bros finally favored full color, big time musicals, and then the studio went all out, creating classics such as "My Fair Lady" (1964). In 2001, the studio broke all records with the opening of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," based on the popular book about a boy wizard, and in 2011 released the final "Potter" film ("Deathly Hallows, part 2"). With A $967 million take, "Sorcerer's Stone" turned out to be the second highest-grossing movie of all time, behind only "Titanic", and the Potter series has become the biggest movie franchise of all time, with each episode making close to a billion dollars. At the same time, he studio hit with another hit franchise, with the hugely successful "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.
Founded in 1913 by William Fox, the studio had begun producing the famous Movietone Newsreels even before they moved to their current location. Fox had opened their studios in Century City in 1928, on land which used to be the personal ranch of Western movie star Tom Mix. Seven years later, Fox merged with Twentieth Century Pictures, and the company became 20th Century Fox in 1935. The names of the actors and actresses who have worked on the Fox lot are equally impressive. Elizabeth Taylor, Henry Fonda, Marilyn Monroe, Gregory Peck, Bruce Willis, Barbra Streisand (to just to name a few) all made films on this famous back lot. Recent theatrical releases from Fox included the blockbuster "Titanic" (the highest-grossing movie of all time), the mega-hit "Avatar", "The Chronicles of Narnia 3", and many others.
PLACES WORTH SEEING The Hollywood Walk of Fame comprises of 18 blocks of Hollywood embedded in the sidewalk honour Hollywood stars of the past and present.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre It was once stated that “to visit Los Angeles and not see the Chinese Theatre is like visiting China and not seeing the Great Wall.” The theatre itself opened in1927, the same year movie idols began leaving their hand and footprints outside the building. Today over 200 prints of Hollywood legends. Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is the most sought-after theatre in Hollywood for studio premieres. Fans flock to these events to see the celebrities arrive and walk up the red carpet into the theatre.
Summaries of survey results • What do you know about Hollywood?
How often do you watch American film production?
What famous Hollywood studios do you know?
Which way American films influence people’s taste and behavior?
Why do Russian actors dream of being shot in Hollywood?
What is your favourite • film?
So as we see nowadays teenagers are much influenced by American films and prefer American film production to Russian one. It can damage the sense of patriotism which is very important for young generation.
Conclusion • It’s quite evident Hollywood is an interesting cultural and business phenomena; • It has become an influential and dominating centre of the world’s film industry; • For many people Hollywood has become a model, the factory of dreams. • On the other hand it leads to the restriction of the national film industry development in different countries.
Helpful Media Recourses • http://www.seeing-stars.com/ • http://studioservices.go.com/ • http://www.hollywoodusa.co.uk/