The Big Picture

The Big Picture

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Epstein, Edward Jay Random House Publishing Group, 2005
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IN THIS SUMMARY

The golden years of the American motion picture industry - from 1930 to the 1950s, was when the studio system held sway. All the money, prestige and power of the industry were derived from just one activity: selling tickets at the box office. Nowadays it is very different; the movie business is just a small component of an immense synergistic moneymaking industry. The media universe's reach extends from the silver screen to home television, recorded media and the Internet, and even to such arenas as theme parks. Unlike in the old system, film studios nowadays make enormous profits from this vast assortment of disparate, albeit related, industries, such as video-game spin-offs and soundtracks. Ticket sales count for a tiny slice of the pie, if at all. Regardless of how profit-oriented it may be, Hollywood, however, is of course not just about making money. While profit is undoubtedly the driving force behind the movie industry, its social and political milieus - the behind-the-scene dynamics that make Hollywood tick, and which are defined by their major players' search for power and prestige - can neither be ignored nor neglected if one wants to arrive at a true understanding of Hollywood. This book, then, is an attempt to make sense of Hollywood - to provide a 'big picture' understanding of it, so to speak - making use of the perspective explained above.