By Edward Jay Epstein
Through the heyday of the studio method spanning the Thirties, ‘40s, and ‘50s, nearly all of the American movie industry’s cash, strength, and status got here from a unmarried job: promoting tickets on the field place of work. this present day, the motion picture company is simply a small, hugely obvious outpost in a media universe managed via six corporations–Sony, Time Warner, NBC common, Viacom, Disney, and NewsCorporation. those conglomerates view motion pictures as a part of an enormous, synergistic, vertically built-in money-making undefined.
In The immense Picture, acclaimed author Edward Jay Epstein offers an remarkable, sweeping, and punctiliously interesting account of the genuine magic in the back of moviemaking: how the studios make their funds. Epstein exhibits how, in Hollywood, the one paintings that issues is the paintings of the deal: significant motion pictures flip large gains, no longer from the films themselves yet via myriad different companies, equivalent to video-game spin-offs, fast-food tie-ins, soundtracks, or even theme-park rides.
The studios may well compete with each other for stars, exposure, box-office
receipts, and Oscars; their company mom and dad, even if, make fortunes
from cooperation (and collusion) with each other in much less glamorous markets, similar to cable, domestic video, and pay-TV.
But cash is barely a part of the Hollywood tale; the social and political milieus–power, status, and status–tell the remaining. along striking monetary revelations, the large photo is stuffed with eye-opening actual Hollywood insider tales. We find out how the promise of loose cowboy boots for a manufacturer not on time a huge movie’s taking pictures agenda; why stars by no means practice their very own stunts, regardless of what the grocery store tabloids declare; how video clips deliberately form political sensibilities, either in the US and overseas; and why fifteen-year-olds dictate the type of low-grade fare that has flooded monitors around the state.
Epstein additionally bargains incisive profiles of the pioneers, together with Louis B. Mayer, who helped construct Hollywood, and introduces us to the visionaries–Walt Disney, Akio Morita, Rupert Murdoch, Steve Ross, Sumner Redstone, David Sarnoff–power agents who, via dint of innovation and deception, created and keep watch over the media that mildew our lives. while you are attracted to Hollywood this day and the advanced and engaging manner it has developed on the way to live to tell the tale, you haven’t obvious the large photograph until eventually you’ve learn The great Picture.