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Film Studies For Dummies by James Cateridge

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Chapter 9

Bringing Hollywood into Focus

In This Chapter

arrow Appreciating the studio system’s rise and fall

arrow Explaining the continued success of Hollywood

arrow Dissecting Hollywood’s varied output

What is ‘Hollywood’? Clearly, it’s not just a district of Los Angeles in Southern California. Hollywood is the American film industry, which for most of the 20th century was the largest and most influential in the world. Wherever Hollywood exported its movies, audiences adopted them as the bigger, brasher brothers of local films.

Hollywood has also come to stand for something even larger: its studios are now part of multinational corporations producing all kinds of films, TV shows, games and associated merchandising. Hollywood is entertainment made for audiences all over the globe.

Running the Dream Factory

The secret of Hollywood’s success is simple: it creates lots of movies that lots of people want to see. Of course this goal is much easier said than done. Hollywood is an efficient industrial system and a powerful creative force. Hollywood films have an apparently universal appeal, but they’re very carefully designed to be enjoyed by different audience sectors, and many millions of dollars are ...

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