Author Topic: Hollywood Location Explained  (Read 6197 times)

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Offline Brocke

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Hollywood Location Explained
« on: July 03, 2013, 04:10:30 am »

Panoramic view of Hollywood, 1900

In many ways, it's no surprise that Hollywood is the unquestioned worldwide epicenter of modern-day filmmaking. With quick access to all types of physical terrain, an abundance of space to build studios and great weather year-round, it serves as a perfect shooting location. There is, however, an additional, less publicized reason why directors began to flock there in the early 20th century: they were all running from the law.

At the time, Thomas Edison (a noted asshole) and his New Jersey-based company had a stranglehold on the entire cinema industry. With patents on the entire spectrum of available filmmaking equipment, he made it next to impossible for small filmmakers to function.

Unfortunately for Edison, a small band of filmmakers just decided not to comply with the patents. Oh, and not only that: To make it a pain in the ass for Edison to catch them, they decided to move just about geographically as far in the U.S. as they could get from New Jersey: Hollywood, California.

Seeing as this was the early 1900s and there was no way to get on an airliner, watch a shitty Adam Sandler movie or two and arrive across the country in six hours, Edison couldn't exactly just head over and confiscate their equipment. The distance was just too far for Edison and his infamous team of thugs to travel without sacrificing a huge amount of time and expense.

Unable to physically enforce his intellectual property, Edison decided to sue the filmmakers. Unfortunately for him, California's legal system wasn't exactly keen on enforcing those patents. Despite Edison attempting to sue Carl Laemmle, the founder of Universal Pictures, a whopping 289 times, Laemmle walked away unscathed.

Edison was eventually slapped with antitrust lawsuits a few years later and watched his company fall into shambles as the bandits in Hollywood who defied him went on to create companies such as Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Paramount and MGM.

They've grown slightly fonder of intellectual property rights since.

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That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
~Aldous Huxley

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