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The Silent Era as Art The Classical Hollywood Silent era is marked by the films that emerged with the first film studios Silent films began to take on a narrative structure and use filmmaking conventions D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation set the stage for modern cinematic storytelling
Birth of a Nation (1915) Based Thomas Dixon Jr.'s anti-black, bigoted play, The Clansman Its release set up a major censorship battle over its vicious, extremist depiction of African Americans. Unbelievably, the film is still used today as a recruitment piece for Klan membership.
Birth of a Nation (1915) It was one of the biggest box-office money-makers in the history of film, due to its charge of $2 per ticket. It made $18 million by the start of the talkies. Riots in Boston and Philadelphia. Chicago, Denver, St. Louis and other major cities refuse to show it
Birth of a Nation (1915) Film scholars agree, however, that it is the single most important and key film of all time in American movie history Introduces & refines camera angles, traveling shots, artificial lighting, realistic sets, flashbacks, split screens, soft focus, dissolves, fades, and irises.
WE’RE GOING TO NEED A BIGGER BOAT NEW HOLLYWOOD – FILM SCHOOL-TRAINED DIRECTORS EUROPEAN INFLUENCES COPPOLA, LUCAS, SPIELBERG, DE PALMA, SCORSESE, FRIEDKIN 1970’S - CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED AND COMMERCIALLY SUCCESSFUL THE GODFATHER, JAWS, STAR WARS LOW BUDGETS – BONNIE AND CLYDE AND EASY RIDER
GOOD THINGS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES 1980’S & EARLY 90’S – RISE OF INDEPENDENT FILM (INDIES) INDEPENDENT FROM THE STUDIO SMALL BUDGETS HIGH PROFIT-TO-COST RATIO SUCCESS DEPENDENT ON CRITICAL ACCLAIM AKA: ARTHOUSE FILMS SPIKE LEE, KEVIN SMITH, SODERBERGH, TARANTINO FINANCIAL SUCCESS AND CROSSOVER CAUSED STUDIOS TO CREATE INDIE SUBSIDIARIES LIKE FOX SEARCHLIGHT MIRAMAX – MOST POWERFUL INDIE COMPANY
VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR BUT NOT AMERICAN CINEMA FILMS THAT DID POORLY AT THE BOX OFFICE WERE POPULAR ON HOME VIDEO SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION & THE SECRET OF NIMH ALLOWED FUTURE FILMMAKERS TO WATCH MOVIES AND LEARN FROM THEM TARANTINO WORKED AT A VIDEO STORE VIDEO AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY LED TO FILMMAKING AMONG THE NON-RICH AND FAMOUS POSSIBLE WITHOUT A STUDIO BACK DVD’S ALLOW EXTRA SCENES, COMMENTARY, ETC.
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