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The film industry: structure & ownership
Transcript of The film industry: structure & ownership
Hollywood is first and foremost a
; its purpose is not to create 'art' pieces, but to generate
the beginnings of 'hollywood'
The basic infrastructure of Hollywood dates back to the 1910's, when film studios were being established in a concentrated area of America: Hollywood.
With Hollywood quickly recognising a winning formula for film making, their dominance grew, and was easily maintained.
The decline of the studio era
The studio era came to an end in the 1950's. There were several reasons for this:
post studio era
Once the studio era ended, there opened a small window for other, independent, companies to try and compete in the Hollywood industry.
Due to the solid foundations and infrastructure of the existing companies, this still proved difficult.
The film industry is controlled by six major Hollywood studios:
The film industry: structure & ownership
the studio era
The Studio System became the wining formula for studio bosses.
They quickly realised, by the 1920's, that using a ready-made formula for their films, would maximise their success and therefore their profit.
mergers: many of the major studios were created through mergers. eg, paramount
unlike television, there are no publicly owned film companies.
mergers and takeovers
Many of the studios have either merged with another company, or been takeover at some point in their history.
Using the internet, research the history and background of the given film studio, paying particular attention to any mergers or takeovers.
Due to the takeovers and mergers that Hollywood has seen, there are more and more ways for Hollywood to make money.
how does hollywood generate income?
Due to the conglomerate companies of the Big 6 having such as tight hold over the film industry, successful independent companies are rare.
An independent studio is one that is not affiliated with a conglomerate or major studio..
effects of the hollywood oligopoly
what do you think are the consequences (benefits and drawbacks) of hollywood being run in this manner?
think about the industry as a whole - the whole film industry
and think about the audience.
Historically the film industry has been controlled by a few, privately owned businesses. This is an
These studios have been in existence since before the 1930's and have therefore been around for a long time; more or less since the film industry started.
This was due to the cheap land with differing scenery, long daylight hours and access to creative talent.
In 1923 the 'Hollywood' sign was created.
During this time the Studio System became the success way to run the industry.
This formula was:
To use the same stars and contract them to the studio so they could not work with another studio - the Star System.
To buy companies within other stages of the production process - Vertical Integration.
To buy more companies within the same production stage - Horizontal Integration
This formula ensured Hollywood created 95% of film output.
Once this oligopoly was created it meant it was extremely difficult for any new or smaller studios to emerge.
This then in turn, helped maintain Hollywood's control over the industry.
Anti-trust laws – end of vertical integration : Paramount ruling
Stars took court action over contracts – Cagney, De Havilland
Rise in Trade Unions due to heavy work load. This led to strikes.
Falling demand in face of competition from TV and other leisure activities
There were companies that achieved this, what was easier was for smaller, existing companies to grow in size. For example, Universal and Columbia.