This sample essay on Entertainment Motion Pictures provides important aspects of the issue and arguments for and against as well as the needed facts. Read on this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
Picture, but no sound. Words like bang,boom and pow appear on the screen. This was the introduction to the ever popular motion pictures. The movies may have started out as nothing but between 1900 and 1940 the world of motion pictures flourished and matured into the greatest form of entertainment known.
Photographing was beginning to catch the interest of the world during the late 19th century. Experiments in photographing movement had been made in both the United States and Europe. These countries were not trying to exploit their technological and commercial possibilities. The first motion pictures made with a single camera were by E. J. Marey, a French physician, in the 1880s, in the course of his study of motion. Marey’s inventions regarding what came to be motion picture cameras and projectors, which he used to supplant the inadequacies of human vision, helped establish the narrative cinema, the cinema of illusion and storytelling” (History of motion pictures 1).
The Frenchman Louis Lumiere is often credited as inventing the first motion picture camera in 1895. But in truth, several others had made similar inventions around the same time as Lumiere.
What Lumiere invented was a portable motion-picture camera, film processing unit and projector called the Cinematographe, three functions covered in one invention. In 1895, Lumiere and his brother were the first to present projected, moving, photographic, pictures to a paying audience of more that one person.
( History of the Motion Pictures 1). In 1889 Thomas Edison and his staff developed the kinetograph, a camera using rolls of coated celluloid film, and the Kinetoscope, a device for peep-show viewing using photographs that flipped in sequence. History of the Motion Pictures 2) . The Kinetoscope became popular in many arcades. Experimentation developed ways in which moving images might be shown to more than one person at a time. The zoopraxiscope was the first machine that was patented in the United States and showed animated pictures or movies. The zoopraxiscope was also called the “wheel of life”. Patented in 1867 , moving drawings or photographs were watched through a slit in the zoopraxiscope. However, this is very different from motion pictures of today.
Modern motion picture making began with the invention of the motion picture camera. Until World War I, European filmmakers dominated the world film market. France was considered the leading film-producing country, though Italy, Denmark, and other countries also played a significant role. However, the war, fought on European soil, disrupted the progress in filmmaking there. With a sudden drop in European film exports, other countries, such as Latin America, experienced a brief jump in film production. But U. S. ompanies soon took over markets overseas, using the same tactics of mass production and lower prices that the Europeans had used By the 1920s almost all of films screened around the world came from the United States. At first the screenings formed part of plays and arcades, but in 1902 a Los Angeles shop that showed only moving pictures had great success. Soon movie houses, which were converted shop rooms, sprang up all over the country. The first movie theater, which included many luxuries and a piano, was built in Pittsburgh in 1905.
A nickel was charged for admission, and the theater was called the Nickelodeon. An industry developed to produce new material and new forms of entertainment. The earliest films were used mainly made to portray contemporary attitudes, fashions, and events, and ran no longer than 10 minutes. At first, simple actions were filmed, then everyday scenes and gag films, in which a practical joke is staged, were also filmed. The camera was first used in a fixed position, then it was moved into different angles. Soon it was pivoted, or panned, on its tripod or moved toward or away from a subject.
The filmmakers were beginning to see the art in film production. During the decade following the advent of projected motion pictures, films were shown as part of variety programs, at carnivals and fairgrounds, in lecture halls and churches, and gradually in spaces converted for the exclusive exhibition of movies. “Most films ran no longer than 10 to 12 minutes, because this was the amount of film that could be wound on a standard reel for projection” (Fulton 193). Many were comedies or actualities, following the Lumiere brothers’ example. Their purpose was to impress the audience.
They wanted to show something astounding, unusual, tantalizing, or perhaps newsworthy. But filmmakers also struck out in new directions like fantasy. One of the most famous silent films was The Great Train Robbery (1903), which is credited with establishing movies as a commercial entertainment medium. “With its rapid shifts of location, including action on a moving train, this film offered spectators a breadth and immediacy of vision that became hallmarks of the cinema experience” (Origins 2). It is considered the first great movie and attracted many audiences around the country.
This movies started popularity of silent movies. With a few experimental exceptions, motion pictures from their earliest days until the late 1920s lacked any form of synchronized sound . But silent movies were rarely silent. Early films almost always were projected with piano or organ accompaniment, and sometimes also with a narrator or live actors behind the screen. As feature-length films (four reels, with a running time of 40 to 50 minutes or more) became the norm in the 1910s, live orchestras began to play in larger theaters, frequently using music written specifically for the film.
Silent film actors were idolized by many. This was the birth of the movie star. Some silent screen stars included: Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd, two grandiose comedians , and Mary Pickford, America’s sweetheart, to name a few. They were the most recognizable people in the country. Some of these stars faded out at the invention of the “talkies”. The first feature-length movie originally presented as a talkie was The Jazz Singer, released in October 1927. (Origins 3). By then many new actors were introduced and the older more popular actors fell through the cracks.
Even the great Charlie Chaplin did not make it. Most of the silent film actors had a huge problem because their voices were not pleasant. They were also not able to be as funny or romantic in talkies because the silence was one thing that captured their talent. Some actors were able to transition well into talkies. Gretta Garbo was an amazing silent screen star but as talkies became popular she faded out. She tried to delay her debut into talkies but she finally gave in. Her first movie was a success and she remained a success for a long period of time just like most actors.
These careers gave the actors a new title, movie stars. U. S. moviemakers and movie stars had begun to assemble in southern California in the Los Angeles suburb of Hollywood creating a film community apart from older urban centers of politics and the arts, and a magical new symbol for popular entertainment and glamour. The 1930s has been labeled “The Golden Age of Hollywood”. The 30s was also the decade of the sound and color , and the development of an array of different film genres .
These genres include gangster films, musicals, news films, historical , comedies, westerns and horror to name a few. Hollywood became a place of glamour and creativity. By 1933, the economic effects of the Depression were being strongly felt, especially in decreased movie theatre attendance. People did not have enough money for food let alone leisurely activities. “Weekly attendance nationwide never dipped below 60 million people throughout the Depression, the average attendance prior to it was around 90 million a week.
The attendance was one-third less than the old average” ( American Cultural 2). The loss of a third of any businesses’ clientele will cause some pretty seismic changes, and movie theatres were no exception. In the 1940’s movies attention was focused on the war and anything involved with the war. The Office of War declared movies an essential industry for morale and propaganda. Most plots had a fairly narrow and predictable set of morals, and if Germans or Japanese were included, they were one-dimensional villains. Examples are Casablanca, Mrs.
Miniver, Lifeboat, Notorious, Best Years of our Lives, Wake Island, Battle of Midway, Guadalcanal Diary, and Destination Tokyo. (American Cultural page 1). The popular years of motion pictures were crushed by the ever growing popularity of the television. Television soon became the entertainment of choice because of it’s accessibility. It was close enough to a movie and you did not have to leave the comfort of your own home. Movies were still well-liked but television was a superior form of entertainment at this time. All though movies had a bit of a dry spell at one point in time they have bounced back.
Hollywood, actors and motion pictures of today are one of the greatest part of culture in America and in most other countries. Movie stars are the only thing people can talk about, Hollywood is a dream land for most, and movies are a part of everyday life. Movies have become something that E. J Marey, Louis Lumiere, and Thomas Edison could have never dreamed of. Motion pictures have become a form of entertainment unmatched by anything else existing. When the zoopraxiscope came out, no one would have thought that the nickname was true. Motion pictures really became the wheel of life.