Saturday, January 12, 2008

Old Movie Studio System

The history of movies is very colorful especially in the black and white and early silent era.
The advent of the studio system and the star making machines and in the process created most of the greatest screen legends of all time, many of which still live on in at in in the hearts and minds of many. While none of the glitz and glamor of the old school movie machine still survive, except in studio warehouses and in very short and chopped clips of stars doing what they did best making appearances and generally creating the romance the public so desperately needed at the time.. The old studio system run their stars like horses in a race, however, the really good ones stood out , when they get to a certain point most were able to write they're own ticket or at least keep good steady work and build a very good catalogue of work,, In the process of building their careers they learned their trade, and earned the right to call their own shots, many eventually formed their own production companies allowing them to what they really wanted, if it didn't do as well as they hoped, that was OK, they were doing what they wanted.
Not everyone lead such colorful lives, many thousands of actors and actress did many parts that are now just being remembered and called to folks attention. Its nothing to find that a certain actor has done 15-20 films in a year, thus bring his total lifetime output of material up close to 100 if not more films over 50-60 year career.. How many of today stars can say their output comes anywheres near that kind of commitment. Theses people came to work everyday knew their lines and did the parts the best they knew how. That's not to say all the material they put out is Oscar material, obviously the greater number of work you do the chances increase that you'll get some of the better material..
The other thing to consider while they were making all those films every year, they generally didn't have a huge budget per film. Which by default means the director had to really have a vision in mind when he shot the film and and sent it to the editing room. If a director shoot it right there was really one one way to edit it so it would work and he Essentially edited while he shot. So he had to be really creative to get what he wanted on a tight budget.

Economics won't allow it, and the movie machine has changed too much to allow it, and its well-known that there were a lot of problems with the old studio system, However, the idea of bring back the old studio system dose have merit. One thing is would help insure actors got the training and dedication,they really need. One may wonder how many of today stars would have lasted in the old system,if they didn't measure up and didn't pan out at the end of their contract they studio could cut them loose and they had they're chance to be big stars.. Thee are a lot of very good reason why the studio system shouldn't be brought back , and equally as many reasons why it should be brought back. The people who are responsible for setting up the original system are long gone, However, the people running toady's systems would be hard pressed to try to get actors to sign multi- year deals with the actors knowing that they were at the beck and call of the studio and had no choice but to do whatever project was given them, and if they didn't they were fined. Not to mention the studios to really go back would have to hire in-house acting coaches dancing and a whole host of other specialized teachers to work with the contract players and keeping a staff a of screen writers busy, and stunt doubles and many other support personal, many of which they still have already.
But the bigger question is will the public accept the old studio system ?
I'm not a film movie historian, so I don't know all the ins and out of the old studio system, and even less about how the system works today, However, I do know that I don't see many movies today that can compare with the old movies of the40's and 50's, I don't know any actors today that I have a connection with, oh theres a couple I like well enough, but they don't have style or charisma the older ones had. They wee no angles back then either, but most of what they did pales in comparison to the stunts some of today "actors" have pulled. But they showed up on the set every morning and did the job. and turned in good performances. So in while the old studio system did have problems it still was able to produce most of the greatest films of all time, certainly some of my favorites, such as "Casablanca" And Boogie & Bacall in in "To Have and Have Not"

"You do know how to whistle, do you Steve,
You just put your lips together....
And Blow"

1 comment:

ctyankee said...

I'm glad you like Bogart and enjoy classic films. But I really don't know the time when young people had a great appreciation for things from their grandparent's generation.

And please, it's pronounced and spelled Bogie ... not Boggie. Sheesh.