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Hollywood then to now


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a copy of a purchased presentation - thank you to the authors - it is out of date now but provides and interesting start point for discussion with students - not the least provoking a 'how have thinkgs changed?' discussion

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Hollywood then to now

  2. 2. Aims & Objectives    To compare Hollywood Then: the Hollywood Studio System (1927-1948) to Now: the packageunit system (1948-present) To highlight the similarities and differences between Hollywood Then to Now To identify key determinants shaping change between Hollywood Then to Now
  3. 3. Hollywood Then: The Studio System In the 1920s motion pictures became the most popular form of entertainment and leisure activity in America  As Wall Street invested heavily in motion pictures, five major Hollywood studios and three smaller ones consolidated power to dominate the world market 
  4. 4. Hollywood Then: Ownership The Big Five  Paramount  Loews(MGM)  Fox  Warner  RKO Little Three  Universal  Columbia  United Artists
  5. 5. Hollywood Then: Financing    Hollywood during its Golden Age between the years of 1927-1948 operated a mode of production called the studio system The studio system was an early form of vertical integration All stages of production including screenplays, financing, production, post production, distribution and exhibition were owned and controlled by the studios to maximise their profits
  6. 6. Hollywood Then: Production Practice   The Hollywood studio system of film-making to type as genres with stars in the leading roles standardised the filmmaking process All film personnel from director to creative, technical crew to actors were employees of the studio
  7. 7. Hollywood Then: Production Practice   Each production house had a uniform style and specialised in a particular genre such as the MGM musical Exceptions to the rule were directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford and Orson Welles who fought to work within the system and establish their own styles
  8. 8. Hollywood Then: Stardom    The star system allowed the Hollywood studios to ‘manufacture’ the success of young actors and new films Studios and stars began to specialise in particular styles, genres and roles MGM employed Judy Garland when she was only 16 to star in the Wizard of Oz, while Paramount contracted The Marx Brothers to write and star in comedies
  9. 9. Hollywood Then: Stardom    Relatively unknown actors would be groomed for stardom, given new names, personas and lifestyles that would create positive publicity for the industry In return, actors were subject to restrictive contracts of up to seven years, with relatively small salaries and few holidays between films This allowed studios to put out more than 500 films a year (each)
  10. 10. Hollywood Then: The Stars  Cary Grant  Katharine Hepburn  Joan Crawford  Clark Gable  Rock Hudson  Betty Davis  Humphrey Bogart  Judy Garland
  11. 11. Hollywood Then: Distribution & Exhibition     The only means of distributing and exhibiting a film was through theatrical release (cinema exhibition) The Big Five showcased their best films in studio-owned picture palaces To gain access to the most popular films, small local cinemas had to buy exclusive-run deals from the studio This block booking meant studios could push out the competition
  12. 12. Hollywood Then to Now: The end of the Golden Age   In 1948 the United States government on behalf of MGM brought a lawsuit against Paramount Pictures for block booking The resulting 1948 anti-trust laws in America made this practice illegal. The result, effectively brought the studio system and Hollywood’s Golden Age to a close
  13. 13. Hollywood Then to Now: The rise of the independents   The end of the block booking system and the increase in television viewing meant big losses for the studios in the 70s MGM, Paramount and Universal began renting their equipment and lots to young independent directors such as Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorcese and Steven Spielberg
  14. 14. Hollywood Then to Now: Production - The Director as auteur   With the collapse of the studios, the producers and executives no longer had the power to control creative film-making The influence of a new wave of filmmaking from France (Nouvelle Vague), encouraged Hollywood independents to experiment and develop their own unique styles
  15. 15. Hollywood Then to Now: Production - The Director as Producer   During the 1970s young graduates of new film schools in California began raising money and negotiating their own deals for films The success of films by Spielberg such as Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Scorsese films Mean Streets and Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore proved that popular film audiences would accept variety and change
  16. 16. Hollywood Now: Ownership   During the 1980s, large multi-national businesses began to include media companies in their practices of merger and acquisition As a result the major Hollywood studios have gone through many ownership changes
  17. 17. Hollywood Then to Now: Columbia     Independent until 1982 Owned by Coca Cola 1982-1987 Independent holding of Coca Cola 1987-1989 Owned by Sony 1989 to present
  18. 18. Hollywood Then to Now: Universal         Independent to 1982 Merged with International Pictures 1946-1952 Owned by Decca 1952-1962 Owned by MCA 1962-1990 Owned by Matsushita electric 1990-1995 Owned by Seagram 1995-2000 Owned by Vivendi (who bought Seagram) 20002004 Owned by General Electric 2004 to present
  19. 19. Hollywood Then to Now: 20th Century Fox   Independent to 1985 Owned by News Corporation 1985 to present
  20. 20. Hollywood Then to Now: Paramount Pictures     Independent to 1966 Owned by Gulf & Western 1966-1984 Owned by Paramount Communications (new Gulf & Western Co) 1984-1993 Owned by Viacom 1993 to present
  21. 21. Hollywood Then to Now: Warner Brothers      Independent to 1967 Owned by Seven Arts productions 1967-1969 Owned by Kinney National 1969-1975 Kinney now named Warner Communications 1975-1989 Merger with Time Publications 1989 to present
  22. 22. Hollywood Then to Now: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer   Independent to 2005 Owned by Sony (as part of its Columbia-Tristar stable) 2005 to present
  23. 23. Hollywood Now The Package-unit system    Studios no longer have long term exclusive contracts for creative personnel Writers, directors, producers and stars are able to negotiate their deals with majors using agents and the media Agencies not studios now negotiate ‘creative personnel packages’ with film companies
  24. 24. Hollywood Now: Stardom    Hollywood filmmaking is still dependent on the strong relationship between the hero(ine) in the film and audience identification with that hero(ine) Stars have always been important vehicles by which a film is financed and marketed 20th Century Fox Films specialises in the action genre; many of them starring Bruce Willis
  25. 25. Hollywood Now: The Stars  Tom Cruise  Brad Pitt  Julia Roberts  Angelina Jolie  Bruce Willis  Nicole Kidman  Toby Maguire  Johnny Depp
  26. 26. Hollywood Now: Stardom    Actors and their agents, not studios manage their own careers Actors can negotiate their own salaries, often earning millions per film A star presence in a film cannot guarantee box office success alone
  27. 27. Hollywood Now: Famous Flops   The Stepford Wives (2004) starring Nicole Kidman has reported losses of up to £50,000,000 The Manchurian Candidate (2004) had a budget of £45,000,000, spent £20,000,000 on marketing and lost £7,000,000
  28. 28. Hollywood Now: Distribution & Exhibition    Film revenue however is no longer solely dependent on box office receipts The increasing importance of distributing films through many windows is now what secures a film’s financial success From 1950 to mid-1970s, the film majors exploited the popularity of television selling films to networks and syndicates
  29. 29. Hollywood Now: Distribution & Exhibition   In 1975, the introduction of Time Inc Home Box Office TV and Sony’s Betamax VCR provided the film industry with new outlets for their products Video, DVD, television, cable, satellite, internet and digital channels are new ‘alternative distribution windows’
  30. 30. Hollywood Now: Typical Distribution Sequence     Initial theatrical release of six months DVD window for an indefinite period – Many of the majors now have own DVD labels and rental companies so they do not need to sell video rights to another company Pay/subscription/digital television window for approximately one year Terrestrial television window
  31. 31. Hollywood Now: Distribution & Exhibition   Today a major financier-distributor stands between the producer and the exhibitor For the most part the distributor dictates the terms of its deal with the exhibitor as well: the nature of the run, the length of the engagement, the advertising to be employed and the financial split of box-office receipts between various parties
  32. 32. Hollywood Then to Now: Summary Review of Similarities   The major players from the Hollywood Studio Era still dominate in the areas of production, finance and distribution of commercial films in America Stars are still important to finance packages and marketing deals for films
  33. 33. Hollywood Then to Now: Summary Review of Differences     Shift from studio to package system of production Creative personnel are able to negotiate independent short-term deals rather than long-term contracts with studios Directors as auteurs Shift in power from exhibitor to distributor