July 12, 2014

Find out How a $25K Bet in 1878 Led to the Beginning of Hollywood in This 10-Min Video

historyShocking as it may seem, there was a time before movies (I know, crazy). But there was; though they dominate our lives today and shape all of the media we consume, narrative motion pictures (I'm talking about movies that, though they may be artful, see themselves as entertainment rather than "art") have only been around for a little more than a century, which, in time terms, is not that long. But now, because you are lucky enough to live in the future, you can watch this video from CineFix that tells the history of the movies (and Hollywood, where many movies live) in ten minutes. So, cool kids, put down your hoverboard, grab some Sunny D, and check it out!

Forget a hundred years, it's amazing how things have changed since the turn of the century, which was not that long ago (as an example, kids born in 2000 still can't legally drive). We're living through a revolution as massive as the birth of motion pictures themselves, and as important to Western Civilization as the printing press.

In a shockingly brief period, technology has democratized quality to the point that an average person, with some natural acumen, and the right know-how (gained from websites like this one) can make a movie that looks as good as anything that comes out of Hollywood. Case in point, it is now possible for anyone with a computer and internet access to make a 10-minute (really 8:52, but who am I, the time police?) video that shows the history of Hollywood. (To cover the entire motion picture industry as a global phenomenon would take at least 20 minutes.)

I don't mean to harp on the point, but in the year 2000, this video would have required a good deal more than a laptop to produce, and also, there was no wi-fi. And your phone probably had a hinge, and could not take selfies. Plus, where would you have shown this video? And to whom? Lastly, it's also always great to be reminded that a $25,000 bet is tangentially responsible for motion pictures, because it drives home the point that rich dudes gambling on stuff is what makes the world go 'round.

But if this video makes any point more clearly than others, it's that Hollywood has been knocked down many times, and it always responds by fighting, then co-opting the thing that threatens it. And if history has taught us anything, it's that you really can't know where you are going (or where you are) unless you know where you've been -- which is a little like saying that history has taught us that history is important, but I digress.

So, if you want to make movies, you should know how we got where we are, and for an indie filmmaker, especially, it's important to know your position within the great chain of cinematic being. Now that you've seen this video, go to your local library (which for most of us is called Google) and read up on the history of cinema. This public service announcement has been brought to you by your friendly local No Film School. See you at the movies!

[via CineFixFilmmaker IQ]

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11 Comments

July 12, 2014 at 7:59PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Nick

Thanks for the close read. Well, if apocryphal means of dubious authenticity, but widely circulated, and we are a movie site, then, to paraphrase 'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,' print the legend, as it were. And that's not really the point of the article. But thanks! Glad to know people are paying attention.

July 12, 2014 at 10:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Justin Morrow
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Writer/Director

Lost me when he gave credit to Edison, the bully thief. Really, guy, read a book or two on history before you make your videos.

July 12, 2014 at 11:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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James

seriously. not a fan of these videos that over-simplify facts

July 13, 2014 at 2:29AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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mezzy

Okay, the video is called a 10 Minute History, so I would be surprised if it was anything but a concatenation of facts and figures which, hopefully, would spark someone's interest enough to go to the library or whatever. But thanks for reading, and for letting us know!

July 13, 2014 at 7:21AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Justin Morrow
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And there's not one reference to the Los Angeles Porn Industry and it's role in the popularity of the VCR

July 14, 2014 at 7:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Christopher Sco...

There was no "wager" as far as the Muybridge issue. Stanford was more or less obsessed with Horses in motion... and so was Muybridge

July 13, 2014 at 2:28AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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mezzy

Who doesn't like horses? They are rad.

July 13, 2014 at 7:23AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Justin Morrow
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Writer/Director

1. This is a 10 minute youtube video, available for free.
2. See #1.
3. The whole Edison was evil thing isn't exactly earth shaking, and maleficent bastard did play a big, nasty part in the history of motion pictures. Not all people involved in the picture shows are the sort you'd want to have for supper.

July 13, 2014 at 7:29AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Justin Morrow
Writer
Writer/Director

Loved it - well done!

July 13, 2014 at 8:10AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Stu Fletcher

Applause

July 21, 2014 at 7:52AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Nigel