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The Beginnings of Moviemaking in the United States

Posted on July 11, 2019 by Tracy Vile

The Great Train Robbery was a movie made in 1903 and was the first American movie that had a story to tell its viewers. It was created by Edwin S. Porter and it lasted for eight minutes. This was a silent film and had a"cops and robbers" plot, like a great deal of movies that followed it. Printed subtitles were finally added to the silent films in 1912. These subtitles were flashed along with the action scenes to help the audience know what was happening. So as to add more excitement and drama into the scenes, an untiring pianist would play throughout the film. He would change from fast songs for exciting or dramatic numbers to a more sentimental and slow music because the disposition of this picture changed.

In April of 1914, the first big theater was constructed for the sole purpose of displaying movies. This theatre has been able to hold 3000 people. The building of the grand scale theater inspired the era of size and splendor in motion images.

In 1915, David Wark Griffith made a 3-hour movie entitled The Birth of a Nation. The film was about the American Civil War and the Reconstruction or the rebuilding of the South. This movie was a fantastic advancement in the movie industry. This wasn't only due to its controversial topic, which was a story that was told from the point of view of the conquered South, but it introduced a far more developed and elegant camera technique. The movie used a collection of close-ups and long shots in conjunction with quite distinctive editing, that's the arrangement of these shots. This camera technique managed to bring the historic setting to life and immerse the viewer in the epoch. Griffith also added a complete orchestra in the theater pits. The orchestra played a particularly written musical score and added the sound effects. The music along with the camera method mesmerized the audience. The Birth of a Nation was the first epic of American theatre.

Before long motion pictures were made,"flickers" as long as 20 minutes were shown in tiny stores called Nickelodeons. Nevertheless, in the debut of large-scale motion pictures, these Nickelodeons expanded into bigger theaters. When they didn't have motion pictures to show, they'd revealed"serials". These serials were broken into 20-minute episodes. 1 episode was shown every week and it would always end with the hero and heroine facing another problem. The expression"cliffhangers" came from such serials since the hero or the rebellion was left hanging thickly over a cliff at the end of the episode. The audience would need to wait until the following week to see what could happen to them. This strategy secured a constant and interested audience.

Earlier, films were produced by small independent producers. However, with the arrival of the huge theater, silent films had become a booming business in the period of 20 years. The movies were now produced by firms of producers or studios. Some of those companies were Paramount, Warner Bros., Universal and United Artists. As a result of World War I, the majority of these the big-shot manufacturers moved to California. The middle of the creation of American movies became Hollywood, which is an area within Los Angeles. It wasn't long before Hollywood gained its reputation for glamour and made it a renowned name around the world. This standing of Hollywood is true even now.