By Edward Jay Epstein
Throughout the heyday of the studio procedure spanning the Nineteen Thirties, ‘40s, and ‘50s, nearly the entire American movie industry’s cash, strength, and status got here from a unmarried task: promoting tickets on the field place of work. at the present time, the motion picture enterprise is simply a small, hugely seen 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 a huge, synergistic, vertically built-in money-making undefined.
In The huge Picture, acclaimed author Edward Jay Epstein provides an extraordinary, sweeping, and punctiliously interesting account of the true magic at the back of moviemaking: how the studios make their funds. Epstein exhibits how, in Hollywood, the single artwork that concerns is the artwork of the deal: significant motion pictures flip large earnings, no longer from the flicks themselves yet via myriad different agencies, comparable to video-game spin-offs, fast-food tie-ins, soundtracks, or even theme-park rides.
The studios could compete with each other for stars, exposure, box-office
receipts, and Oscars; their company mom and dad, despite the fact that, make fortunes
from cooperation (and collusion) with each other in much less glamorous markets, corresponding 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 amazing monetary revelations, the large photograph is full of eye-opening actual Hollywood insider tales. We learn the way the promise of unfastened cowboy boots for a manufacturer not on time an immense movie’s taking pictures time table; 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 in a foreign country; and why fifteen-year-olds dictate the type of low-grade fare that has flooded monitors around the nation.
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, by means of dint of innovation and deception, created and keep watch over the media that mildew our lives. while you're drawn to Hollywood this day and the complicated and engaging method it has developed with a view to live to tell the tale, you haven’t noticeable the massive photo until eventually you’ve learn The great Picture.