Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"Hollywood and the World"
It was definitely interesting to have read "Hollywood as an Industry," but its content became even more interesting when it was followed by the reading of "Hollywood and the World" by Toby Miller. Where as "Hollywood as an Industry" explains the growth of Hollywood since its beginnings and the overwhelming control of industry by so few companies, "Hollywood and the World" took a look at the influence of American films throughout the world. In the year 1993, America produced eighty-eight of the one hundred films that grossed the most money. Even more astonishing is the fact that American productions made more money just one year later, in 1994, overseas than it did domestically. The success of American films has most likely stemmed from the following two things: English is a big international language and the United States' multitude of diversity has established a wider array of storytelling and productions than in most other cultures. Hollywood has even helped America in times of economical need. Film is essentially a commercial market in itself, and American film that travels around the world advertises American products to foreign markets. Because of this fact, the United States movie industry has had to regulate producers' inclusion of other country's religions, history, and prominent people. Who would have thought that Hollywood had so much pull on foreign politics and foreign markets?

In my opinion, the most interesting thing about "Hollywood and the World" is its discussion of Hollywood no longer being geographically constrained. Yes, Hollywood, California exists as a concrete representation of the film industry, but film has expanded far beyond the limits of California. American films, therefore, also takes on a broader meaning. As discussed before, 90-95% of films are produced or controlled by just six or seven main production companies. Since such a limited number of companies control such a large industry, "American" film has begun to encompass films that do not have to be entirely American. For example, a film may be trademarked and produced by MGM, but it might have been written in France, directed by a German, and might have included Spanish born actors. In fact, most modern day Hollywood film production is done by smaller, independent production companies that use the major producers to facilitate, market, and distribute films around the world.

It will be interesting to see what the future has in store for American film. As of now, the American Film Industry is concerned with American film losing its culture due to concerns of broadcasting to a larger international audience. Only time will tell what truly happens with Hollywood and its Americanized identity.

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