It is a well-known fact the first movies were made in black a white (without color) and had no speaking or dialog. Such films are now called silent movies, and from the late 1800’s until 1920’s they were the made and watched in both Europe and the United States with great interest. But it would be a mistake to think that people watched the movies silently. There was often live music being played where the movies were being shown, and the music could be performed in a way that helped it match the action on the screen. Today the old silent films may look a little silly, but in fact they often had a serious side. Stories about simple working people were often used. These stories showed the needs of the poor who struggled against the rich and powerful. Many silent movies also introduced important social issues such as birth control, child labor, divorce, immigration, poverty, prisons, and women’s rights.By the 1920’s movies were one of the biggest forms of entertainment in the United States. In those days movies did not have much competition, as television had not be invented. Moreover, movie theaters were both cheap and plentiful. In 1925, fifty million (50,000,000) people a week went to the movies – this was equal to half the nation’s population. By 1929 the movie theaters in Chicago had enough seats for half the city’s population to attend a movie each and every day. Today’s movies are full of both color and sound. In fact the use color has been around since the start of filmmaking. However, in the beginning it was very difficult and expensive to add color to films. But in the 1920’s a new method of adding color to films was invented that was much simpler and less expensive than the older methods. Filmmakers had always understood the power of color. Colors can be used to make us feel excited, scared, peaceful, or surprised about the actions we are seeing on the screen. In this way, colors can actually be used to make the story more powerful and to make it easier for us to follow the action in a movie scene. For these reasons, filmmakers work very hard at making color decisions that will affect the audience, even if they don’t realize it.
The sounds we hear when we watch movies can be divided into two categories. The first is either the sounds that are made by the people and things in the movie, for example the words the actors are speaking or the sounds of the things like doors opening, airplanes taking off or a window breaking. The other is sounds that are not really a part of the setting, but can be added to make the emotional effect of the screen greater. These sounds can be music or unusual sound effects that can suggest certain feelings and emotions. The filmmaker can change the pitch, tempo, and volume of a sound to affect the way the audience feels. For instance, high-pitched sounds like screams help to create a sense of anxiety, while low-pitched sounds, including the sounds of waves can be used to create a sense of calm or mystery. With the addition of sound and color the effect of watching films a became more dramatic experience for the audience.
After the 1930’s it was not uncommon for people to think of Hollywood as the center of the movie industry, but in fact the growth of filmmaking lead to advances in movie cultures all around the world. In particular, the period between 1940 and 1960 is considered to be the Golden Age of Asian cinema. In Japan, Akira Kurosawa produced films that were to become world famous classics such as Seven Samurai and Hidden Fortress. It is said the although Kurosawa had less access to advanced film technology he could make his films moving and meaningful by using his own unique methods of expressing the purpose and motivations behind a character’s actions. This made his characters more important to the story than the special effects or action scenes themselves. Because of this, his movies are very powerful and full of emotion. Around the same time, the film industry of India was becoming very productive. As many as 200 films were being produced a year, and with their use of music and dance they were highly entertaining. But more importantly Indian films were often about the everyday conditions of the working class and brought attention to causes and reasons behind those conditions.
Similarly, unique and creative forms of film making could be seen in many other Asian settings. Regardless of the time, place or style truly great films have shown that they can have a strong effect on society. For example, in 2015, the famous SeaWorld Park of San Diego California ended its “Shamu Show”, a show that used a live, trained killer whale, or orca. Shamu was the name given to an orca that was captured in the wild and trained to perform at SeaWorld shows. She died after 6 years of performing. SeaWorld’s decision was almost certainly a result the popular documentary film Blackfish which showed the negative side of trained animal shows. By watching Blackfish people learned of the dangers of keeping orcas and other animals in zoos and aquariums and that it was wrong to use wild animals just to amuse people. The movie Philadelphia, starring Tom Hanks was a big success at the theaters. It also changed way people thought and felt about AIDS and AIDS victims. It helped people find new ways to talk about the problems and difficulties of this issue and to find better, long lasting solutions. Movies like these, which show us the true nature of problems we face in real life can help us to come up with creative ways to meet life’s challenges.
There is no doubt that movies were once the king of entrainment. But since the end of the Golden Era of movies in the 1960’s filmmaking has faced new and difficult challenges that have had a big effect on the industry. First there was the rise of television. Once every home had its on Television set, it was no longer necessary to leave your house to see entertainment. Instead of going to see several movies a week, people would go to a few movies a month. And when home video players made it possible to rent movies and watch them at home even fewer people went to see movies at the theater. This, in turn lead to an increase in the cost movie tickets. The cost of making movies also started to increase as famous actors asked for more money and the cost of modern technology increased. Because the risk of making an unpopular movie were very great, it has become common for many movies to follow certain patterns that have been successful in the past and this leads to less creative filmmaking, but still, people love a good story told in an exciting way, and movies will probably be around for a long time to come.