Film was first created in 1877 using 12 cameras, but it wasn’t until much later that movies included both sound and color. In the beginning, movies were just one scene, or perhaps 60 seconds of film. Eventually, though, the movie industry became “an industry based on dreams.” This is because movies began to have a little imagination and creativity thrown in, instead of essentially showing a moving picture of a horse.
The film industry, as many people know, has been facing tough issues for many years. The invention of the television caused people to abandon movie theaters for the comfort of their own home. In 1966 movie ratings were introduced, which was a good thing for movie theater attenders, but not a great thing for the film industry. Because films were rated, many people stopped going to see certain movies because they were “too bad.” Although DVD sales and rentals have helped the film industry income rise a little bit, the industry is still struggling each year to stay afloat.
Technology is now driving the business by changing the way production and distribution are done. Computers are now being used to create movies inexpensively, which can cost a lot less than hiring real-life people. When it comes to technology changing distribution, Apple is making movie downloads available online, Netflix is streaming movies to customers TVs, and distribution companies are planning to send moves by satellite to dishes on top of theaters.
Although technology appears to be beginning to drastically change (and help) the film/movie industry, as a job market the industry is not very secure. Although some movies make billions of dollars, only 2 out of 10 theatrical movies make any money at all. Just to make a movie costs an average of $107 million! Ticket sales have dropped substantially for movie theaters, but if the price is raised to bring in more money, customers will simply rent a movie from RedBox or stream a movie to their house using Netflix. Creating movies sounds like an extremely fun job, but the industry just seems way too risky to me, even with ancillary rights being used to bring in more cash.
My favorite part of the chapter was reading how much money it took to make the 10 most expensive movies. It blew me away that anyone could have so much money to be spent on a film, but when I read the list of movies it was obvious that they’re all well-known and have probably more than doubled the amount that was invested in them. For example, the most expensive movie ever made was Avatar, which cost $500 million. As you could probably guess, Titanic, King Kong, and a few of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies made it onto the list. I can’t fathom having that much money to spend on making a movie, but I imagine much of it was for production costs and computer graphics. As shocking as these numbers were, they make it painfully obvious that to survive in the movie/film industry, you must have not only good connections and creativity, but a lot of money as well.
Media/Impact: An Introduction to Mass Media by Shirley Biagi – Chapter 7