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Film TV 106A Notes

Film TV 106A Notes - 20:09 TheNickelodeonEra...

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20:09 The Nickelodeon Era -Gertie the Dinosaur First generation movie houses: Nickelodeons Covered store/ theater, seats 75-300 Low admission price, 5-10 cents One reel subjects: topicals, westerns and melodramas Frequent change of program Films rented from distribution exchanges  Audience People who attended vaudeville knew movies, slid easily to Nickelodeons  Wealthy, educated elite did not attend Nickelodeons  Owners Extremely brand new, untried business venture  Not many banks and business owners were interested Audience goers, early immigrants became Nickelodeon owners Family run businesses, takes only two to three people NYC: Three dozen or more Nickelodeons Vaudeville (live and films) versus Nickelodeons (films)  Films shared and rented amongst Nickelodeons, concept of renting instead of buying  films develops Distribution exchanges establish around the US, first run movies established
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First run movies had best quality, given to dime houses then passed to Nickelodeons  Sound Always some sort of accompaniment  Simple pianist or, for more expensive dime venues, a full band  Edison, Biograph, Vitagraph Always had more demand than supply of film Most films in US imported from France, Lumiere brothers Production ramps up to meet demand 1-2 reels per week Shift to Fiction Film 90% of Theatrical market becomes fiction films in 1908 Demand for fiction (Great Train Robbery) GTR put storytelling in the context of the real world  American films combines realism/verisimilitude with storytelling Easier to standardize production of fiction films (documentaries wait for current events,  uneven production schedule)  Rich tradition of fiction in storytelling already in place (books) The Production Unit “Ben Hur” copyright case 1907-11 1 minute reel of play “Ben Hur”  Heirs to rights of novel/play sued film company  Film company response: No copyright in place for films US Supreme Court: Copyright must be extended to films 
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Copyright law written Film companies couldn’t just advertise for stories, needed rights Nickelodeons realized that they needed to professionalize job of writing stories with film  in mind, leads to creation of screenwriters Edison believed that his rivals were infringing on his patents, sued everyone  No clear cut winners, great insecurity in the film business The Screenplay Early Production Companies Lubin First film pirate Screened Meliere films with different titles Reshot the Great Train Robbery Essanay Actor in Great Train Robbery  Specialized in Westerns Selig Supplied Chicago and Mid-West Animal and Western films Had train cars, sent film crews to tour around the Mid-West 
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