[watch] Art Vs. Industry: The History of Hollywood


There’s filmmaking, and then there’s Hollywood. “Filmmaking” is the art form, while “Hollywood” is the industry built around the art form. As you can see, these respective definitions pretty much make the terms opposite, yet if you were to ask 100 people – FAMILY FEUD style – I’d be willing to bet most all of them would say they’re synonyms. That’s because the effect of Hollywood on filmmaking so blurs their distinctions to the point that for many folks said distinctions just don’t exist: filmmaking is Hollywood is filmmaking.

Whether you believe this or not, you can’t overlook the influence of the industry on the art form – and vice versa – that when taken as a snapshot of the last 100+ years reveals a series of peaks and valleys in the path of Hollywood to now, rises and falls wherein filmmakers were coaxed, encouraged, or flat-out manipulated one way or another to align with shifting industry standards and audience expectation.

In the latest video from Now You See It the rises and falls of Hollywood have been divided into five individual periods, which are then examined using both the films of the era, and the (mostly negative) effects the industry had on their production, as well as how filmmakers worked around and within the industry to arrive at their art.

It’s no new notion that popular art must compromise some of its art to be popular, but when you look at a big picture of that compromise like provided here, you can’t help but wonder what exactly it is the industry is compromising in return?

Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist