Rough draft notes from the book

Bibianne Bennett                                              

Cinema II/ October 8, 2016

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Dr. Bard

American Films have had an ability to entertain audiences, teach them historical events and progress to meet the expectations of society.  The technical advancements in creative filming have gone beyond the dreams of writers and directors over the past ten decades. A correlation in budget and production value of the film.

With the 1960’s the filmmakers had financial backing from the studios like Warner Brothers, Columbia and Paramount. The contracts many times made with extravagant actors turned out to be a guiding factor on how to better negotiate. “Hollywood movies emphasized glamour best typified perhaps by the youthful president John F. Kennedy and his glamourous wife.” (222)

“Only 159 movies were produced throughout the entire decade. Pictures got bigger and more expensive.” (222)

In 1968, Cleopatra almost bankrupted the studio because of the attempt to keep up with the list of demands Liz Taylor created weekly.  In 1960’s “Stars were demanding huge salaries, plus percentage of the profits. Literacy and stage properties grew more and more expensive, escalating the cost of movies to unprecedented heights. (223) “Genre films were no longer considered safe investments. “(224)

With non-union labor internationally being cheaper, “International Co-Producers flourished” (224)

As they saved on costs in America, internationally, there were living expenses and the cost of moving to contend with. (224)

“Most of the critics are agreed that the escalation of the Vietnam War was the principal reason for this shift in sensibility-which was angry, militant, and harshly critical of the establishment.”(232)

Thanks to “An Arab immigrant, Fouad Said, developed the Cinemobile Mark VI in 1967, a virtual movie studio on wheels, which allowed filmmakers to make movies on very small budgets” (233). “Said van was 35 feet long and included dressing rooms, a bathroom, space for a crew and actors, plus all the necessary equipment to make a movie on location. (233-234)”

In the popular imagination, the decade of the 1960’s is usually associated with politics, shrill rhetoric and bloody confrontations” (242)

Regarding the 1970’s    “The war in Vietnam was tearing America apart. Despite the promises of our nation’s leaders that there was a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’, there was no diminishment in the savage intensity of the fighting.” (274)

“Blacks were portrayed as cool and stylish, yes, but they were also shown to be violent and employed mostly in illegal professions.” (276)

“For the first time in twenty years, film attendance began to rise, not decline.” (277)

“Up to 50% of the gross of American films were – and still are – earned abroad.” (277)

“Many films during this period were presented to lay investors as package deals, which included the producer, a story property, the director and one or more bankable stars.” (277)

In 1968, the censorship code was loosened so now sex in American cinema is a popular subject. “By 1972, there were more than 700 theaters in the United States showing some hardcore pornography.” (280)

“Feminist film critics complained, for the most part correctly, that females in American movies were portrayed primarily as sexual playthings for the boys.” (281)

“Like virtually every other characteristic of the Vietnam / Watergate 

 this situation concerning women’s issues began to change after mid-decade.” (282)

Regarding the 1980’s-  The   American film making had Technology at its finger tips. 

President Ronald Reagan  was a former movie star. “Mainstream Hollywood films reflected many of Reagan’s values, especially nationalism, winning, money, family solidarity, and militarism. (324)

“The advent of the video cassette recorder VCR , as strenuously( and stupidly) resisted by the studios as television itself had been, added yet another diversion with which movies had to compete. The VCR revolution changed the way films were made and seen.”(324)

“By 1987, video rentals surpassed ticket sales as the industry’s leading source of revenue. The Marketing  of movies attained a standard of excellence that sometimes overshadowed the film marketed. “(324)

“The independent film maker found to their displeasure, the 1980’s saw something return to the studio system. Organizations like Disney’s Touchstone, Paramount, and Orion once again began signing box office favorites to long-term contracts: Eddie Murphy at Paramount, Bette Midler and Tom Selleck at Dsiney, among others.”(324)   “The revitalized-and highly successful-Disney studio was a good example of the new studio system. It constructed an efficient assembly line that turned out a profusion of modestly budgeted films featuring medium-range performers (Robin Williams, Tom Selleck, Bette Midler) with a high degree of likeability.”(325)

Regarding the 1990’s

“These have been the years of diversity- diversity in styles, diversity in settings, diversity in technique. With Latitude allowed for the special styles of talents like Ford and Welles, In the years of the classical Hollywood cinema, there was a standard way of shooting, a conventional range of charactoers and subject matter. “(406)

“More than ever before, movies are now the expression of an individual consciousness. One great movie no longer looks like another great movie, or is even made with the same intent. A great film can take any number of forms and bypass genre completely. “(406)

“Movies are increasingly about technology-new technology, or old technology used in new ways. Technology is now a nominal part of many people’s homes; widescreen, high definition televisions with surround sound can offer an experience commensurate with the theatrical experience, and often utilized as such.”(406-407”Special effects became the single most important component of  a movie for many audiences. Micheal Bay’s The Transformers(2007) contained 625 special effects shots, while 300 (2007) contained 1,255- the vast majority of the shots in the movie. As a result of this proliferating technology, the look of movies has become less realistic, and more abstract.” (407)

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