Thursday, August 27, 2009

Inventing The Movies: Hollywood's Epic Battle Between Innovation And The Status Quo, From Thomas Edison To Steve Jobs

Product Description
From Edison to the iPod, from the Warner Brothers to George Lucas, the story of how the movies became America's favorite form of escapist entertainment - and retained their hold on our imaginations for more than a century - is a story of innovators prevailing again and again over skeptics who prefer to preserve the status quo. Inventing the Movies unspools the never-before-told story of the innovators who shaped Hollywood: how a chance meeting at the Saratoga Race Track led to the end of black-and-white movies ... how Bing Crosby brought you the VCR ... how Walt Disney tamed television ... how a shotgun blast signaled the end of hand-made models and the beginning of digital special effects ... and how even the almighty Morgan Freeman had trouble persuading theater-owners that the Internet wasn't their mortal enemy. Inventing the Movies is an important read not just for fans of Hollywood's history, but for innovators trying to make change happen in any industry.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

In his latest book, Scott Kirsner charts what he calls "Hollywood's epic battle between innovation and the status quo." Film history is full of examples of this antagonism. In 1908 Thomas Edison co-founded the so-called "Trust," an organization aimed at putting movie production under its control. Its members doubted that an audience would tolerate movies longer than twelve minutes, until the renegade filmmaker D. W. Griffith released the three-hour The Birth of a Nation (1915), which was a huge success. When asked about the possibilities of motion pictures with sound, Kodak founder George Eastman famously declared, "The public will never accept it." Resisting color on the screen, "studios... --This text refers to the Digital edition.