Hollywood Studio System


HollywoodStudio System

HollywoodStudio System

Theentertainment industry has been immensely dynamic and played acrucial role in the growth and development of the United States. Ofparticular note is the fact that there has been an increase in thetypes of offerings that different entertainment industries bringalong, with new genres being introduced as changes in the societycontinue taking place. Nevertheless, there are varied players whoserole in the entertainment industry continue can never be understated.

Someof the major players in Hollywood in the 1930s include Fox FilmCorporation, Warner Bros, RKO Radio Studios, Paramount Pictures andLoew’s/MGM. Needless to say, the players were immensely affected bythe depression of the 30s. However, they employed varied mechanismsso as to stay afloat. In the case of Warner Bros, it ensured that itsdirectors and stars were not employed permanently rather on contract(John,1999).This ensured that they would be paid only where the productions rakedin some money. Paramount, on the other hand, stopped dependingheavily on radio and vaudeville comedians and ventured intomainstream direction. In the case of 20thCentury Fox, it maneuvered the depression by joining or merging witha small business called 20thCentury. In the case if RKO studios, it acknowledged that thedepression meant that there should be a reduction in the expenditure.Essentially, it concentrated on the production of low budget films.

Filmcontent that was deemed problematic for Hollywood in late 20s and 30swas the sexual content. Nevertheless, Hays office protected theinterests of the American film industry through advising them on howto incorporate such content without making it explicit.

Giventhat the Hollywood is the entertainment powerhouse, the invention ofcolor motion pictures enhanced the quality of production, while thespecial effects allowed for the enhancement of reality (John,1999).In addition, wireless sound recording enhanced the clarity of soundand ease of recording.

Duringthe studio era Warner Bros produced animation films using stylizedanimation, while Fleischer specialized in “follow the bouncingball” technique. Disney, on the other hand, specialized inrotoscoping.

Gangsterfilms may have started in 1931 after the release of Little Caesar andthe Public Enemy by Warner Bros. these were inspired by the StValentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago 1929. In these films, the mainplayers were the gunmen, outlaws and gangsters, with producersacknowledging that the hard-boiled guys were seen as more attractivethan the good-mannered cotton-candy guys (John,1999).Later in the 30s, the films depicted government men and cops as therewas a need to have the public on the side of the law. In the 40s, thecharacters were depicted as public outlaws.

Thetwo Quota Acts or Cinematograph Film Act aimed at stopping thedecline of the British film Industry. It had been recognized that thefilm industry was primarily composed of foreign films especiallyAmerican ones. The acts specified quotas of British films forexhibitors and distributors, where 7.5% and 5% for distributors andexhibitors was placed. These legislations were unsuccessful as alarger number of audiences ended up going for American pictures(John,1999).

Japanesecinema in the 30s still produced silent films. The industry was alsocharacterized by government control so as to propagate propaganda. Inthe 40s, however, the weak economy had detrimental effects on thefilm industry. The government still saw it as a tool for propaganda.Unlike the documentaries of the 30s, the 40s mainly had militaristicand patriotic themes.


John,S. S. (1999).&nbspHollywoodSpeaks.Urbana [u.a.: University of Illinois Press.

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