Hollywood Movies - A Brief History

At the beginning there were the 'vaudeville shows' that were highly dominant on the stages of North America.

They were made as a primitive alternative of variety entertainment known as the burlesque show. The movie making skills started to be more experimented and as a result the movie "The great train robbery' settled to be a success over the presence of these shows.

In 1910, the film director D.W. Griffith and his team started to shoot a film in Los Angeles. When looking more thoroughly for a needed location they came across a village in the LA's northward called Hollywood. Tn here was the first shot movie called "In old California".

It was with the "Birth of a nation" that Griffith had set the bases of the ever lasting journey of what was known to become the American cinema, mostly associated with the Hollywood film industry.

As the movies started to be made in an increased number, they were shown to the public through the Nickelodeon halls. The people who were behind the production process have become the controlling leaders of the movie studios. At the peak of the fame, the Hollywood film industry was known to produce 500 productions per year having an audience of 80,000,000 American viewers on weekly basis.

However, the American studios encountered various problems when it came to the sound production due to the foreign language markets. Not to mention that the synchronization was also very poor, but luckily, pretty soon with the faster techniques appeared in the field, dubbing started to give a more realistic sound to the images displayed on the screen.

Between 1920 and 1950, it is said that it was the Golden Age of Hollywood with the success reaching its peaks. Creative teams joined the same studios for making movies, such as there are the most famous ones: MGM, Warner Bros, RKO, and so on.

What made them famous was the mark that each one of them brought with itself, a characteristic that one can not see it nowadays. It is a known fact that each movie was made bearing its unique perfume as long as the film makers were all creative people and gifted artists.

This period of time was the one to give birth to monsters of the classics, such as 'Gone with the wind', 'The Wuthering Heights', 'Casablanca'and many others. The late 40s brought the decline of studio system due to the separation of film exhibition from their production.

Film directors with another school of thoughts and concepts brought new techniques, new movie strategies giving birth to new productions that have brought new dimensions to Hollywood film making. Independent films were another side of the film making introducing new generation of film creators who came in with their innovative and unconventional style becoming a big influence in the Hollywood mainstream movies.

  • Dutch Angle: titlted camera, suggesting an uneasy situation. Legacy of german expressionist directors.
  • MOS (mit ohne sound or more properly motor only sound): shooting silent. Again, this shows how deeply german directors impacted Hollywood.
  • Magic Hour: the shor lived timeframe at sunrise or sunset when the sun rays are low and diffused by the atmosphere. Brings a special light quality.
  • Cameo: a short appearance of a famous actor or actress. Often uncredited. Comes from renaissance's italian "Cammeo", a relief carved figurine of the wearer (or an ancestor).
  • Apple boxes: sturdy wooden supports or stands (technically boxes) used in every conceivable way, from elevating a set to fixing lighting by building a makeshift wall.