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History of the American Motion Picture Final Study Guide

by: Andrea Lans

History of the American Motion Picture Final Study Guide FTV 106A

Marketplace > University of California - Los Angeles > Film > FTV 106A > History of the American Motion Picture Final Study Guide
Andrea Lans

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These notes cover all the topics that will be on the final.
History of the American Motion Pciture
Dr. Kuntz
Study Guide
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This 11 page Study Guide was uploaded by Andrea Lans on Saturday March 5, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to FTV 106A at University of California - Los Angeles taught by Dr. Kuntz in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 76 views. For similar materials see History of the American Motion Pciture in Film at University of California - Los Angeles.


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Date Created: 03/05/16
History of the American Motion Picture Final Review Hollywood Majors Hollywood- Oligopoly •  The Big Five: Paramount, MGM, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros, RKO o   Vertically integrated companies : production, distribution, exhibition o   Big 5 owned regional first run theater chains o   Theaters required 100+ films/year, so Big 5 share films (without block booking) to fill screens o   NY HQ determines budget, type & quantity of films (strategically analyze past successes) •  Hollywood production lots, backlots, ranches (wide open property) o   Studio boss- liaison to NY office, contracts o   Head of production - 50 films/yr. o   Story dept.- most films were based on preexisting material •  Fed gov’t breaks up oligopoly of studios (Anti-Trust Act) •  Little 3: Universal, Columbia, UA supply B & indies Star System •  Long term option contract (7 yrs) binds stars to studios (money & billing) •  Typecasting & offcasting •  System of bringing up and coming stars to Hollywood & “trying them out” during 1st year of contract •  Publicity Dept. Paramount: Adolph Zukor •  (1912) Famous Players; (1914) Hodkinson & Paramount •  (1916) FP & Paramount merge •  Producer Jesse Lasky; Pickford, Fairbanks, Valentino •  Directors: Ernst Lubitsch - sex comedies; Cecil B DeMille (most expensive/profitable); Josef von Sternberg; Preston Sturges; Billy Wilder •  (1933) Receivership- caused by losses •  (1966) Gulf & Western takes over Paramount- sophisticated comedies, classy films for classy audiences •  Paramount’s famous players: Clara Bow, Marlene Dietrich, Ga ry Cooper, Mae West, Claudette Colbert, Fred MacMurray, Alan Ladd •  The Paramount Program: Fletcher Cartoons, Paramount News, Live Action Shorts MGM- Culver City •  Loew’s Inc.- Marcus Leow buys Metro & Goldwyn •  Louis B. Mayer (studio boss), Irving Thalberg (head of production) •  Smallest theater chain, but most profitable (NY, OH) o   During WWII & Great Depression MGM made profit because they didn’t have high fixed costs o   ‘30s = golden age •  MGM Stars: Clark Gable, Gene Kelly, Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford o   “More stars than there are in heaven” •  Specialized in musicals o   Dinner at Eight, The Wizard of Oz, Singin’ in the Rain , A Space Odyssey, Ben Hur, Big Parade •  Hearst Metrotone News, Hal Roach Shorts (live action comedy shorts), Hannah & Barbera Cartoons o   Tom & Jerry 20th Century Fox •  William Fox vs Edison Trust o   Fox Movietone News o   Fox theaters- Western US o   1930’s Fox forced out of company (convicted for jury tampering) & company in bankruptcy •  20th Century (1935) founded by Darryl Zanuck & Joseph Schenck •  Made films for U nited Artists; some of the best films •  Merger with Fox— 20th Century Fox •  Stars: Theda Bara, Tom Mix, Janet Gaynor, Will Rogers, Shirley Temple, Marilyn Monroe •  Films about the good ole’ days, Film Noir (urban crime dramas) - Otto Preminger o   Sunrise, Seventh Heaven, How Green Was My Valley , All About Eve, Sound of Music, Star Wars o   Socially conscious films & musicals •  Directors: John Ford ( Stagecoach), Otto Preminger (deal with controversial issues, Film Noir, social commentary on films), Joseph Mankiewicz (All About Eve; screenwriter- Citizen Kane) •  Fox shorts: Fox Movietone News (best news in Hollywood), Terrytoones (Mighty Mouse; worst in Hollywood) Warner Brothers •  President Harry Warner, Studio Boss Jack Warner •  Purchases First National - Burbank Studios •  Gangsters & working class heroes •  Busby Berkeley musicals •  Stars: Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Edward Robinson •  The Jazz Singer, The Singin g Fool, Little Caesar, Adventures of Robin Hood, Casablanca o   Fast moving, topical films •  Filmmakers: Michael Curtiz ( Casablanca), Raoul Walsh •  Shorts: Looney Tunes & Merry Melodies: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety, Road Runner o   Very successful in c artoons o   Wise cracking, street wise characters RKO (1929, weakest) •  RCA Photophone (David Sarnoff) •  Keith-Albee-Orpheum theater chain (NY); weakest, 150 theaters •  Radio City Music Hall (centerpiece of studio) •  Theater chain enters bankruptcy first, closes in 1957 •  RKO Radio Pictures •  RKO Filmmakers: Merian Cooper ( A Dangerous Game, King Kong ), Orson Welles (Citizen Kane) •  Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Robert Ryan •  Little Women, Citizen Kane, Best Years of Our Lives, It’s a Wonderful Life •  Film noirs, crime pictures, low -budget horror films •  Distributed Walt Disney’s films - Snow White, Fantasia, Dumbo, Pinocchio, Cinderella •  Made B-movies The Little Three The Little 3 •  Universal, Columbia, United Artists •  Not vertically integrated, didn’t screen films Universal •  Carl Laemmle/IMP •  (1914) Universal City •  Carl Laemmle Jr. tries to expand/borrow $ & loses control of company; bankruptcy during Great Depression •  Push for quality •  (1936) Standard Capital forecloses & takes over Universal •  No major stars under long term contract, mostly B -movies, low budge t •  Universal Monsters: Frankenstein, Wolfman (Lon Chaney, Boris Karloff, Abbott & Costello) •  Universal Series Films: Sherlock Holmes, Ma & Pa Kettle, Francis the Talking Mule •  Viewed audience as Midwestern, small -town, lest sophisticated folks •  Full Operation organization: Universal News; Walter Lantz (animation program): Woody Woodpecker; serials (sci -fi) Columbia •  Harry & Jack Cohn •  1924 Cohn Brent Cohn (CBC) films •  B films, series & serials •  Poverty Row •  Made money during Depression (only studio to do this aside from MGM) •  Low exec salaries, small star roster •  Frank Capra- worked for Hal Roach & Harry Langdon United Artists •  1919 Distribution of independent productions •  Founders: (famous players) C haplin, Pickford, Griffith, Fairbanks B-Movie Companies Companies •  Republic- Herbert J. Yates o   B Westerns, Singing Cowboys (Gene Autry), Serials •  Monogram o   W Ray Johnston, Trem Carr o   Lone Star; Bowery Boys (gangbanger/dead end/East side kids) •  PRC (Producers Releasing Corporation)/ Eagle Lion o   Studios on Gower Gulch (poverty row) o   Distributed British films & crime pics •  Lincoln Motion Picture Company o   Films targeted toward Af rican Americans o   B-Westerns: Herbert Jeffrey o   Mom and Dad (1945): exploitation films, sex ed film, childbirth scene, separate screenings from men & women, nurse on duty in case someone fainted (Kroger Babb) Hollywood & WWII WWII •  Hollywood studios all returned a profit in ‘40s (except for UA) •  The Home Front: rationing (food, gas); other goods not available at all (new cars) o   Movies deemed important to build morality, but some subject matters were regulated/off limits o   All forms of mass entertainment boomed (radio, newspapers/magazines/comics) o   Distraction from worries of modern world & source of info •  Hollywood’s Biggest Years (1941 -1946) o   Long runs (decline in quantity of product) o   Troop screenings Hollywood Filmmakers at war •  Made films for the military (Frank Capra - Why We Fight) o   Propaganda films, American perspective to trainee soldiers o   John Ford Battle of Midway (for US Navy) o   John Huston Battle of San Pietro (combat film about fighting in Italy; beginning of cinema verite) •  Also made short training films, newsreels •  The Hollywood Cantee n: servicemen only nightclub; founded by Bette Davis & John Garfield; free for servicemen •  War Activities Committee •  War bonds sold at theaters •  WWII in films: majority were entertainment films, but Hollywood also shot war fims (Ford’s They Were Expendable ) •  Office of War Information (OWI) : Roosevelt interested in managing flow of info - check all films that had war-related topics (compared to Ministry of Propaganda in Germany) o   Reduced stereotyping of enemy o   Goal to keep South America neutral (large immigrant population, leaning toward Germany/Italy) •  Office of Inter-American Affairs (OIAA) : run by Rockefeller •  Good Neighbor Policy (Down Argentine Way, Week -End in Havana)- set in Latin America; musicals & comedies w/Latin American characters •  Pro-Soviet Hollywood films : after Hitler turns against Russia, Soviet Union aligns w/US o   The North Star (1943), Mission to Moscow (1943) o   After war these films come back to haunt screenwriters/directors of films The Atomic Age: Peak & Decline of the Studio Era •  Box Office Peak: 1946 o   Films in distribution: The Best Years of Our Lives, The Big Sleep, The Killers, The Bells of St. Mary’s •  1947 Network TV starts to take away mass audience •  1947 HUAC (House on UnAmerican Activities) starts to investigate Hollywood personnel & wartime films •  1948 Paramount Supreme Court Decision - existing distribution/exhibition scheme in violation of antitrust act Hollywood & American Politics •  Great Depression: greatest capitalism crisis •  Hollywood Guilds & Unions allegedly pro -communist •  1939 Hitler-Stalin alliance begins WWII - battle in American society •  Labor management issues: Below the line workers (unions) •  IATSE (International Alignment of Theatrical Stage Employees) taken over by the mob o   Took over projectionist unions/pension funds o   Threatened Hollywood in exchange for labor peace o   Roy Brewer takes over IATSE - anti-communist •  Herbert Sorrell & CSU (Conference Studio Unions) labor struggle: more radical unions vs. anti-leftist unions; Roosevelt urged unions to keep peace o   Labor struggles between radical & anti -communist unions •  Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals (MPA) becomes anti - Soviet Union o   Invites HUAC to investigate pro-communist Hollywood writers; hearings take place in DC to destroy lib eral, leftist core & prevent liberal films o   (1947) HUAC calls 3 types of witnesses: friendly witnesses (members of MPA), moguls (leadership of film companies), unfriendly witnesses that thought HUAC was trying to prevent freedom of speech o   Jack Warner called before HUAC o   Committee for the 1st Amendment tried to intervene (Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Huston, Billy Wilder) •  Hollywood 10: John Howard Lawson convinces other 9 to not admit to being communist o   Each of 10 were tried for conte mpt of congress, blacklisted, sentenced to 1 yr in jail o   Hollywood horrified - want to please audience, threat of boycott (box office declining, in violation of Anti -Trust Act) •  1951 HUAC hearings: expanding blacklist to anyone who has communist connect ions o   Blacklist in place until Otto Perminger hires Dalton Trumbo (on Blacklist) (1959) to write film Paramount Consent Decree •  1938 US Attorney Thurman Arnold begins Dept. of Justice lawsuits •  Anti-Trust investigations: independent theater owners objected to block booking & their inability to become first-run theaters (studios could anoint theaters to become first run theaters) o   Agreement: studios rent out 5 films at a time instead of block bo oking 50 films at a time during WWII o   Studios fight lawsuits, but in 1948 US Supreme Court decides in favor of Dept. of Justice •  1948 Paramount, RKO Consent Decrees o   Paramount divided into 2 companies (theaters & production) •  Reverse vertical integ ration o   1950-55, Warner, Fox, MGM vertical integration abandoned •  Impact of divestiture (1948): theater chains now separate entities o   Main companies are producers/distributors but not exhibitors o   Decrease in production; decline of long term contracts o   Reduce overhead/layoffs o   Studio lots rented to independent producers o   1960s studios sell backlots o   Studio produced 20-25 films/yr. •  Rise of independent production : capital gains tax (on profits of businesses) lower than income tax o   Directors/stars create own production companies to develop projects o   Producer/director/star have ore control of projects & career o   Rise to power of agencies Lecture 13: Post-Studio Era MCA (Music Corporation of America) & Lew Wasserman (1913 -2002) •  MCA: Talent Agency founded by Jules Stein (Chicago) to represent dance bands o   Lead agent- Lew Wasserman o   Wasserman suggests royalities rather than high salary •  Packaging: Big agencies attach director, stars, screenwriters to a project & sell to studio; different from studio system o   10% agency & packaging fee o   Wasserman represented Hitchcock & packaged his TV show •  Created Revue company for TV shows (bought Universal in 1959) o   Dept of Justice co nflict of interest; agency broke up & sold o   Wasserman remains head of Universal o   Start of post-studio era United Artists & Arthur Krim (1910 -1994) •  UA in financial trouble during WWII •  Not enough independent productions (big studios offered better deals to independent producers) •  Lawyers Arthur Krim & Robert Benjamin put in charge in 1951 o   Former heads of Eagle Lion (B movie studio) o   Realized studio could profit if focused on distribution o   Krim offers producers distribution deals & uses connections to Wall Street to finance projects §   Production financing & distribution became main focus of companies •  UA becomes prestige studio for independent films Crime Pictures - Film Noir •  Hard-boiled detective fiction o   German expressionism & influence of German emigre directors o   Aspects: 40s social change, femme fatale & cynical anti -heroes, shadows (low key lighting), darkness, rain o   Story structure: flashbacks •  B movie Noirs shot on location •  End of Film Noir- 1955 •  Film Noirs: The Big Sleep, Scarlet Letter, The Killers •  Neo Noirs: Chinatown, Sin City Hollywood & TV Network TV in US (1947 - ) •  1947 better quality TV - cause for drop at box office o   TV program paid for by commercials; studios wanted to be part of TV industry •  Studio responses: o   1. Differentiate theatrical project §   Color film •   Technicolor: founded by Herbert Kalmus •   2 color technicolor; dichroic filters •   The Toll of the Sea (1st technicolor film 1922) •   Expensive, so studios often filmed one reel in color •   Strip technicolor: red, green, blue (Becky Sharp, 1st full color feature) §   Eastmancolor: (16mm) negative monopak film §   Cinerama (1952-1962) •   Special cinerama theaters built, screen 3x as big (battle small TV) •   Film with three cameras close together, projected next together to create big films §   3D film •   1951 Bwana Devil; alignment difficult §   Widescreen: Anamorphic lens •   Cinemascope (20th Century Fox brand) •   Aspect ratio: wider than it is tall; 4:3 or 1.37 (aka Academy Ratio) •   Widescreen: 2.35 to 1 aspect ratio o   (1950) The Robe •   Non-anamorphic widescreen for movies w/more intimate setting (1.85 to 1) •   Critique: distortion of image •   Panavision: modern day lenses that get rid of distortion §   70mm Film & Stereophonic Sound - much more high quality; abandoned after 1972 •   Mike Odd- 70 mm release prints, but theaters needed expensive 70mm projector o   Used for Star Wars special effects scenes •   Blockbusters: frozen foreign profits (couldn’t withdraw profits to US), so sent crews abroad/exotic locations; event releases; roadshows and long runs §   Production Code & Adult Conten t •   Geoffrey Shurlock (head of MPAA) - more adult content to lure audience •   (1951) The Miracle Decision : freedom of speech, movies can no longer be censored by state o   Exhibition of European films & films w/out MPPA •   (1966) End of production code & self -censorship- adopt rating system •   Motion Picture Association of America (1968): G, PG, R, X o   Jack Valenti takes over (1968); Didn’t patent X rated movies to avoid Anti Trust attacks - anyone could rate their movies X; lead to porn feature films (Deep Throat, Midnight Cowboy- X-rated best picture) o   No more X-rated movies because they couldn’t be advertised o   PG-13 & NC-17 created after Indiana Jones was controversial rated R §   The Youth Audience •   Radio business su rvived by catering to teen audience (Rock ’n Roll music stations) o   Hollywood followed - Elvis movies, Beatles movie §   Teen Exploitation Films •   American International Pictures; producer/director Roger Corman •   Low budget & racy subjects §   The Drive-In •   Appealing to teen/family audiences •   Golden age of drive -ins end in late ‘60s because they took up too much space •  2. Producing TV shows & sell them to channels o   I Love Lucy- multi-cam filming o   1955 ABC TV Network collaborates w/Walt Disney (cartoons) §   Davy Crockett •  3. Sell Old/Theatrical Films to TV: Ancillary market o   B movie studios sell first to TV stations (reluctance for major studios) o   1st major to sell films to TV: RKO o   Bridge on the River Kawaii - old film to garner major revenues o   (1956) Majors sell films to TV o   (1961) NBC first network to buy films; NBC Saturday Night at the Movies o   (1966) Made for TV movies o   (1971) Brian’s Song- highest rated made for TV movie; based on current controversies o   Transformation for TV films to be issue oriented films about current issues o   (1977) The Mini-Series (Roots) Hollywood (1960-1972) Blockbusters & Conglomerates - The Hollywood Slump (1960 -1972) •   Last blockbuster hits: Mary Poppins (1964); The Sound of Music (1965) •   Flops: Cleopatra (1963); Fall of the Roman Empire (1964) •   Conglomerates: (1966-69) Gulf & Western (Paramount); Transamerica (UA); Kinney (WB); Kirk Kerkorian (MGM) §   Conglomerate: diversification instead of relying on success of one type of market §   Conglomerates were good at finding undervalued assets in Hollywood (selling licensing of films & real estate) Conglomerates React •   Cutback production budgets - sell off studio properties (MGM selling props) •   Appeal to youth audience ( Love Story 1970, The Graduate 1967) •   Studios bring young filmmakers right out of film school (Martin Scorsese, Peter Bogdanovic) •   Black Exploitation : shot w/out permit, non-union crew, 16mm, wave of urban crime dramas §   Melvin Van Peebles ( Sweet Sweetbacks Baad Assss Song 1971), Gordon Parks (Super Fly, Shaft) New Hollywood (1972-88) New Hollywood (1972 -1988) •   New success formula: Coppola’s The Godfather (1972) won Best Picture, Paramount film §   Brando & Pacino •   Return to Hollywood’s roots (big budgets) •   Marketing to the modern audience: advertising- TV commercials Distribution •   TV commercial marketing + saturation release = key to success •   Distribution: wide release (into many theaters); seasonal release (vacation time = best time to release films; Jaws in summer 1975) •   The multiplex: theaters converted to show more than one film at a time; multiple screens; saturation release (released on thousands of screens) Home Box Office •   Ancillary Markets : Cable TV delivered to subscribers (monthly fee) •   Home Box Office: Satellite distribution nationwide; Telecommunication satellites; Time inc §   HBO- less censorship, no commercials •   Commercial cable networks : Ted Turner (WTBS) §   1976 WTBS Atlanta- major league sports & Hollywood films (“Superstation”) §   1977 USA Network- super-station §   1979 ESPN: channels catered one specific demographic (opposed to catering to everyone); bett er for advertising §   CNN, MTV, TNT, AMC §   Use Hollywood films for programming •   Merchandising: Star Wars, Disney stores, WB stores §   Reverse merchandising : movies coming out of products (Transformers) •   Movies & Music: Hollywood rediscovered they could make money off records; play music videos on MTV to advertise §   Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club •   Home Video: 1956 videotape introduced; 1968 videocassette recorder §   VCR (sony) §   Recording device viewed as criminal (piracy) 1980s The Reagan Era •   Stepped back from Paramount Consent Decree - studios buy theater chains again §   Formula: reintegration & expansion, multi -screen theaters, successful theaters •   New filmmakers: Francis Coppola, Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese •   Paramount: §   High concept films (1983 Flashdance, 1984 Beverly Hills Cop, 1987 Indiana Jones, Friday the 13th) §   1967 Paramount acquires Desilu ( Star Trek, Mission Impossible ) §   Martin Davis renames Paramount Communications & takes over leadership (’83) Global Entertainment Conglomerates (1989-2014) Hollywood Today •  Time Warner (Turner) o   Modern blockbuster based on comic books (targets youth audience) o   Commercials on MTV o   Sequels & TV shows o   Merchandising o   Young, promising director •  2000 AOL Time Warner merger - rise of internet but AOL bubble bursts so Time Warner drops AOL o   Franchises: The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit, Harry Potter films, DC Comic films  


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