Film Industry: Then and Now Essay

1164 Words Dec 11th, 2006 5 Pages
Film:
Then and Now

The film industry has always been somewhat of a dichotomy. Grounded firmly in both the worlds of art and business the balance of artistic expression and commercialization has been an issue throughout the history of filmmaking. The distinction of these two differing goals and the fact that neither has truly won out over the other in the span of the industry's existence, demonstrates a lot of information about the nature of capitalism.
The modern film industry was born around the beginning of the twentieth century. On April 23rd 1896 Thomas Edition showed the first publicly-projected motion picture at Koster and Bial's Music Hall in New York City. From there the film industry had an explosive growth rate. In fact,
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box-office gross of $10,000,000.4 The story was based in the revolutionary war, and it was attacked and denounced by pro-African-American groups throughout the nation. It was even credited to the revival of the Ku Klux Klan. Intolerance was released just after Birth of a Nation and was "ahead of its time"5 in more ways than one. As four stories of intolerance and hatred throughout time wove together through the image of Lillian Gish rocking a baby the complex techniques have been said to be brilliant by many modern filmmakers, but audiences at the time found it too confusing and the film ultimately failed.
During this time of film legends, all of the popular themes and practices of today were born. Western movies were made popular at first by the Bronco Billy series in 1907, the New York Times printed its first film review in 1908, and in 1910 Thomas Edison's kinetophone made "talkies" possible. Between 1900 and 1930 the film industry was born and exploded into the minds of the world. German expressionism lead to techniques that were used in future horror films and later film noir. Walt Disney Productions formed in 1929 and was the first company to cater to the child audience.6 Today we still watch Disney films, and many of the early techniques live on, what has truly changed is the dynamics of the business of film.
Today the most desired and most profitable audiences have been children. While Walt Disney was the first to see the potential within this market it is

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