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  1. 1. September 6, 2011
  2. 2. The Motion Picture Patents Company (MPPC) <ul><li>Founded in 1908 </li></ul><ul><li>Peace treaty between Edison and Biograph. </li></ul><ul><li>Also called “The Trust” </li></ul><ul><li>Involved: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>production of raw film </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>manufacture of motion pictures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>manufacture of projectors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>film distribution and exhibition </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Biograph Theater in Chicago
  4. 4. The Members of the MPPC <ul><li>Edison Manufacturing </li></ul><ul><li>American Mutograph and Biograph </li></ul><ul><li>Eastman Kodak </li></ul><ul><li>Essanay (a Chicago film producer) </li></ul><ul><li>Kalem </li></ul><ul><li>Pathé Freres </li></ul><ul><li>Kleine, Lubin, Melies, Selig, and Vitagraph </li></ul>
  5. 5. Some Benefits of the MPPC <ul><li>Formation of the General Film Company : </li></ul><ul><li>modernized film distribution </li></ul><ul><li>eliminated distributor favoritism </li></ul><ul><li>allowed exhibitors to show films by different production companies (no block booking) </li></ul><ul><li>classified theaters by size and location and priced accordingly </li></ul><ul><li>established a system of runs and clearances </li></ul>
  6. 6. Why MPPC Failed <ul><li>WW I sharply reduced demand for films in Europe. </li></ul><ul><li>The demand for films was so strong in the US that independent distributors found other sources of films besides the Trust. </li></ul><ul><li>Kodak (led by George Eastman) made its raw film stock available to other companies in 1911. </li></ul><ul><li>1915 U.S. court ruling that MPPC violated the Sherman Anti-Trust law in a suit brought by William Fox. </li></ul>George Eastman and Thomas Edison
  7. 7. Technological Changes Affecting the Film Industry <ul><li>1893 Kinetoscope invented </li></ul><ul><li>1895 Movie Projector invented </li></ul><ul><li>1906 First Nickelodeon </li></ul><ul><li>1913 Kinetophone invented (did not work) </li></ul><ul><li>1927 Talking Pictures “ The Jazz Singer ” </li></ul><ul><li>1927 invention of television </li></ul><ul><li>1948 beginning of TV broadcasting </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Major Beneficiaries of Sound <ul><li>Warner Brothers -- in alliance with Western Electric (the manufacturing arm of AT&T </li></ul><ul><li>RKO Pictures -- formed by RCA because RCA had a competing technology for adding sound to pictures </li></ul>All the other studios lost ground relative to these two upstarts.
  9. 9. Emergence of Movie Stars <ul><li>Very popular actors were capable of bringing higher attendance to any movie they appeared in. </li></ul><ul><li>The first major female star was Mary Pickford . </li></ul><ul><li>Pickford joined with Charles Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, D.W. Griffith and William S. Hart to found United Artists in 1919. </li></ul>
  10. 10. (from left to right) Douglas Fair- banks, Mary Pickford, and Charlie Chaplin
  11. 11. The Economics of the Star System <ul><li>Having stars greatly reduces the risk of making a picture. </li></ul><ul><li>Wall Street financiers more inclined to finance a picture with stars in it. </li></ul><ul><li>Stars can command very high salaries because of their economic impact on revenues and profits. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Adolph Zukor Tries to Rein In the Stars <ul><li>Zukor formed First National in 1917 (later to become Paramount Pictures). </li></ul><ul><li>Merger between First National and Famous Players - Lasky discussed in 1918. </li></ul><ul><li>Zukor attempts to buy a theater chain in 1919. </li></ul><ul><li>The Federal Trade Commission rules against Zukor’s attempt to merge with Famous Players in 1927 but Zukor buys the theater chain as planned. </li></ul><ul><li>UA had to match this by buying theaters also. </li></ul>
  13. 13. (left to right): Jesse L. Lasky, Adolph Zukor, Samuel Goldfish (later Goldwyn), Cecil B. DeMille and Albert Kaufman.
  14. 15. The Big Five <ul><li>Paramount </li></ul><ul><li>Loew’s MGM </li></ul><ul><li>20th Century Fox </li></ul><ul><li>Warner Brothers </li></ul><ul><li>RKO </li></ul>Source: adapted from Mae Huettig in Tino Balio (ed.), The American Film Industry .
  15. 16. The Little Three <ul><li>Universal </li></ul><ul><li>Columbia Pictures </li></ul><ul><li>United Artists </li></ul>Every other studio is called an “independent” and has to sell or rent its pictures to one of the major studios because of their ownership of first-run theaters.
  16. 17. Years of Foundation of Major Studios
  17. 18. History of the Disney Studio <ul><li>Founded in 1923 in a small office </li></ul><ul><li>Purchased Hyperion Avenue lot in 1925 </li></ul><ul><li>1928: Birth of Mickey Mouse </li></ul><ul><li>1937: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs </li></ul><ul><li>1940: special animation building built </li></ul><ul><li>1949: Sound Stage 2 was built </li></ul><ul><li>1954: Built Disneyland </li></ul>