The Expanding American Film Industry
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THE NICKELODEONS by Joseph Medill Patterson

THE NICKELODEONS by Joseph Medill Patterson | The Expanding American Film Industry | Scoop.it
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We are so accustomed to thinking of the tiny nickelodeons as things of the past we seldom realize that at one time they were such novelties that many Americans had not stepped inside one. That's why The Saturday Evening Post saw fit to devote a detailed article to describing those curious storefront amusement centers just off Main Street. The author, Joseph Medill Patterson, would become a major figure in journalism when, after serving in World War I, he established New York's famed tabloid, the Daily News. Captain Patterson's cousin, incidentally, was Colonel Robert McCormick, publisher of the Chicago Tribune. As the years went by the Tribune-News syndicate introduced some of the country's most durable comic strips, from The Gumps and Gasoline Alley to Little Orphan Annie and Dick Tracy. Here is Patterson's portrait of the nickelodeons as it appeared in the Post issue of November 23, 1907.

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History of Edison Motion Pictures: Fictional Films Dominate as nickelodeons Emerge (1900-1907)

History of Edison Motion Pictures: Fictional Films Dominate as nickelodeons Emerge (1900-1907) | The Expanding American Film Industry | Scoop.it
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Here is a brief essay from the Library of Congress detailing the rise of the fiction film in relation to the emergence of nickelodeon theaters.

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National Board of Review of Motion Pictures :: History of the NBR

National Board of Review of Motion Pictures :: History of the NBR | The Expanding American Film Industry | Scoop.it
The official website of the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures
Erik K. Clabaugh's insight:

The proliferation of nickelodeons led to calls for social reform.  In 1909, a group of citizens formed the New New York Board of Censorship (which would later become the National Board of Review).  MPPC members voluntarily submitted their films to the organization for approval and even helped to support the board financially.

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Bright Lights Film Journal

Bright Lights Film Journal | The Expanding American Film Industry | Scoop.it
Bright Lights Film Journal is a popular-academic hybrid of movie analysis, history, and commentary, looking at classic and commercial, independent, exploitation, and international film from a wide range of vantage points.
Erik K. Clabaugh's insight:

By 1910, producers were beginning to market films to exhibitors based on stars.  Check out this article on Florence Lawrence the "Biograph Girl."

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Intercutting (Coppola)

Examples of intercutting in two films by Francis Ford Coppola, The Godfather (1972) and Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
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Intercutting (aka crosscutting or parallel editing) is a method of assembling shots that switches back and forth between actions in different places.

 

Check out these examples.

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Film Studies: 180° Degree Rule

Film Language Glossary: The 180° rule is a cinematography guideline that states that two characters in a scene should maintain the same left/right relationsh...
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Contiguity editing is used to establish how characters onscreen move through space.

In order to make sure that characters maintain consistent screen direction, filmmakers often rely on the 180-degree system.  The clip above describes this system in greater detail.

According to your textbook, in the 180-degree system “the camera should stay on one side of the action in order to maintain consistent screen direction” (36).

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Amst 109 - shot reverse shot

This is an example of the shot-reverse shot. Notice how the 180 degree axis is set in the establishing shot. The shot-reverse shot alternates between Lily an...
Erik K. Clabaugh's insight:

 

The shot/reverse shot is also an example of contiguity editing.  Bordwell and Thompson tell us that a shot/reverse shot is:


A film technique wherein one character is shown looking (often off-screen) at another character, and then the other character is shown looking “back” at the first character. Since the characters are shown facing in opposite directions, the viewer unconciously assumes that they are looking at each other.

-Bordwell, David; Thompson, Kristin (2006). Film Art: An Introduction. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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nickelin.jpg (500x446 pixels)

nickelin.jpg (500x446 pixels) | The Expanding American Film Industry | Scoop.it
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An interior photo of the first nickelodeon in the U.S.

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Guide to Motion Picture Catalogs - The Edison Papers

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Check out this short description of the Motion Picture Patents Company (MPPC) from Rutgers.edu

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Vitagraph article

Vitagraph article | The Expanding American Film Industry | Scoop.it
Erik K. Clabaugh's insight:

Prior to 1909, the term "feature film" merely referred to an unusual or special film in an exhibitor's lineup.  However, the release of films including Vitagraph's The Life of Moses (1909-1910) marked a transition towards longer multi-reel films.  By the mid 1910s, the "feature" became the standard for more prestigious American theaters.

 

Check out this brief history of Vitagraph by Tim Lussier.

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Motion Picture Story Magazine, Dec. 1912

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Debuting in 1911, Motion Picture Story Magazine became the first "fan magazine" and the precursor to publications like People.

 

Check out this digital copy of an issue from December 1912.

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The Gay Shoe Clerk

A shoe salesman learns the hard way that business and romance don't always mix in this 1904 movie set to the vintage ragtime music of Scott Joplin
Erik K. Clabaugh's insight:

Analytical editing “refers to editing that breaks down a single space into separate framings” (35)  One way to accomplish this is with a cut-in.  Here is an early example:

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Match frame, eyeline

Lesson
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The eyeline match is another form of contiguity editing.  An eyeline match is a shot that reveals what a character is looking at (offscreen), but does not show it from his or her exact point of view.  Check out this example from Dario Argento’s The Stendhal Syndrome (La Sindrome di Stendhal, Italy, 1996).

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