A Discussion on Television Era and Film-making. Television effect on film-making in America
During the First and Second World Wars era, television was not widely accessible. Initially, people would visit cinemas for film exhibition, only a few homes owned TV sets. By the end of the Second World War, televisions started gaining popularity, and television entertainments were becoming dominant. Increased population characterized this upcoming era. Many young people were getting married, bearing children, and then moved to the suburbs for settlement, this caused reduction of individuals visiting the movie theatre in the city. According to the Department of Commerce and Bureau for Statistical Data of USA, theatre attendance declined consistently from the 1920s by 1960s, when the number of people who visited the theatres for a movie dropped from 80 million people to 30 million. The decline can be explained in two dimensions (Kristopher, p. n). The post-war crisis influenced the fall in the 1940s. In the 1950s, after the post-war crisis, and people settlement in the suburbs televisions became popular and a steady decline of theatre audience was registered.
In 1948, according to a survey by theatre owners of America twenty television stations were viewed in the United States. In the southern part of USA though, no television was broadcasting. By 1960, 440 commercial television aired meaning more people had purchased a television, and it was becoming the dominant mode of entertainment. Televisions were being advertised in almost all print media, in this era. Between 1950- 1960, over 10 million TVs were sold out (Spencer 57). According to the Warner Bros. Pol in 1950, home ownership of television contributed to the 46-74% drop off film audience, which continued to decline down the path. The drop was also added to by introduction of new leisure activities, such as sports.
Elements employed by the film industry to bring the audience back to the movie theatre
The declined number of audiences in theatres devastated the theatre production groups and reduced profits were made. They therefore, launched a war against television. The new film production campaigns were characterized by improved full-screen displays, scope, and colour. Cinerama was the wide screen. To make the wide screen a breakthrough three cameras and three projectors and stereo sound system were required, use of this new systems allowed audiences to feel like they were in the centre of the play.
The Cinerama was common around vacation centres and parks, they were popular in the 50s, but due to their high cost and maintenance, they were abandoned. 3-D movies were introduced in the same era. The 3-D required audiences to use special stereoscopic goggles that made the audience feel like the action was poping out of the screen (Buhle, Paul, and Dave 123). The glasses were expensive, and viewers failed the glasses back. Hence, this project failed. Smell -O -Vision was another strategy introduced. Special gadgets, injected with different smell were fit in the cinema seats. The film in progress motion sound would trigger the release of the aroma; this made the theatre climate remain blissful and breathe taking.
Production Code in the 50s
Production code was a set of moral guidelines created for the film production industries. The rules were to be strictly followed and adhered to before release of a film to the public. The production code was first created during the era of Will Hays when he was the leader of motion picture producer and distributor of America between 1922 to 1945. The code was adopted and strictly enforced in the 1930s. Using the code, motion pictures were scrutinized of their content, spelling out acceptable and unacceptable content for public display. The code was well received and implemented until 1950 when it begun to loose popularity. The television foreign programs and films displayed were not restricted to the production code in America and hence the people begun to ignore the code. The foreign films did not pass through the production codes and hence bold directors begun to ignore the code. The production code was pushed to the court for intervention. The code rules were minimally enforced until 1968 when the code was replaced by motion picture association of America film rating.
How the American cultural and social tensions were reflected in films 50s
In the 1950s, the film production industry assumed the current issues that affected the people in that era. Many of the television shows were comedies that portrayed the conservative values of ideal America society. Social issues like racism, civil right, and politics were barely touched. The comedies always ended with a strong moral teaching portly the ideal American family. In the 1950s, many of the American family were nuclear in nature as depicted in the American film of that era; this was resulted to by the increased poverty, political instability and post war crisis. Many people wanted to settle and raise families and enjoy the peaceful life of family portrayed in the films. Many of the Americans in this era were immigrants and many of the black families were poor but the films failed to feature this way of life in their films to avoid confrontation from the upper class and government. In 1960s, the cold war effects were being felt in the USA. The film production for the first time showed live events of the period in the television, example J F Kennedy assassination. This era brought about new changes as people dared to show films that addressed controversial issues in the televisions with no one questioning them. By 1970, the new movies were characterized by stories of rebellion and rock and roll. The characters in the films were sophisticated and refined. The plot lines were darker. The films in this era also focused on cultural change, power shift, fashion, and humanitarian acts, this made the film production industry to venture into the TV entertainment (Spencer 94).