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Motion picture industry

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Motion picture industry

The film industry or motion picture industry comprises the technological and commercial institutions of filmmaking, i.e., film production companies, film studios, cinematography, film production, screenwriting, pre-production, post production, film festivals, distribution; and actors, film directors and other film crew personnel.

Though the expense involved in making movies almost immediately led film production to concentrate under the auspices of standing production companies, advances in affordable film making equipment, and expansion of opportunities to acquire investment capital from outside the film industry itself, have allowed independent film production to evolve.

Modern film industry

Currently, the largest business center of film making is in the United States and India. Other centers are Nigeria and Hong Kong. In Europe the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, and Germany are the countries that lead movie production.[1]

Distinct from the centers are the locations where movies are filmed. Because of labor and infrastructure costs, many films are produced in countries other than the one in which the company which pays for the film is located. For example, many U.S. and Indian movies are filmed in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand or in Eastern European countries.

United States

The United States has one of the oldest film industries (and largest in terms of revenue), and Hollywood is the primary nexus of the U.S. film industry. However, four of the six major film studios are owned by East Coast companies. Only The Walt Disney Company — which owns Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Lucasfilm Limited, the Pixar Animation Studios, and Marvel Studios — is fully based in Southern California.[2] And while Sony Pictures Entertainment is headquartered in Culver City, California, its parent company, the Sony Corporation, is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. New York, Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, and California are considered the most productive areas for the film industry.


India is the largest producer of films in the world.[3][4] In 2009 India produced a total of 2,961 films on celluloid, that includes a staggering figure of 1,288 feature films.[5] Indian film industry is multi-lingual and the largest in the world in terms of ticket sales and number of films produced and 2nd largest in terms of revenue. The industry is supported mainly by a vast film-going Indian public, and Indian films have been gaining increasing popularity in the rest of the world—notably in countries with large numbers of expatriate Indians. Largest film industry in India is the Hindi film industry mostly concentrated in Mumbai (Bombay),[6] and is commonly referred to as "Bollywood", an amalgamation of Bombay and Hollywood, which produces around 20% of films in India. The other largest film industries are Tamil cinema, Telugu cinema, Kannada cinema, and Malayalam cinema[7] which are located in Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Kochi are commonly referred to as "Kollywood","Tollywood" "Sandalwood" and "Mollywood".[7] The remaining majority portion is spread across northern, western, and southern India (with Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, Oriya, Assamese Cinema). However, there are several smaller centers of Indian film industries in regional languages centered in the states where those languages are spoken. Indian films are made filled with musicals, action, romance, comedy, and an increasing number of special effects.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a filmmaking hub for the Chinese-speaking world (including the worldwide diaspora) and East Asia in general. For decades it was the third largest motion picture industry in the world (after Indian and Hollywood) and the second largest exporter of films.[8] Despite an industry crisis starting in the mid-1990s and Hong Kong's return to Chinese sovereignty in July 1997 Hong Kong film has retained much of its distinctive identity and continues to play a prominent part on the world cinema stage. Unlike many film industries, Hong Kong has enjoyed little to no direct government support, through either subsidies or import quotas. It has always been a thoroughly commercial cinema, concentrating on crowd-pleasing genres, like comedy and action, and heavily reliant on formulas, sequels and remakes. Typically of commercial cinemas, its heart is a highly developed star system, which in this case also features substantial overlap with the pop music industry.


The biggest film studios in Southeast Asia has been soft opened on November 5, 2011 on 10 hectares of land in Nongsa, Batam Island, Indonesia. Infinite Frameworks (IFW) is a Singapore-based company (closed to Batam Island) which easy to approach or be approached by international clients and is owned by a consortium with 90 percent of it hold by Indonesian businessman and movie producer, Mike Wiluan.[9]


Egyptian cinema is the flourishing cinema of the Middle East which is often considered “Hollywood of the East.” Since 1976, Cairo has held the annual Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), which is accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Association. Most of today’s Egyptian movies and TV series are produced in the Egyptian Media Production City which is equipped with the latest equipment for shooting in outdoor and indoor studios.[10] It includes about 64 high tech studios. Censorship, formerly an obstacle to freedom of expression, has decreased remarkably. The Egyptian cinema has witnessed a remarkable shift in terms of the taboos it may address. It has begun to tackle boldly issues ranging from sexual issues[11] to heavy government criticism.[12]


Nigeria was ushered into modern film making by a film known as Living in Bondage, which featured Kenneth Okonwo, Kanayo O. Kanayo, Bob Manuel Udokwu, Francis Agu, Ngozi Nwosu, Nnena Nwabueze, etc. This movie, which hit the market in 1992, marked a turning point in the Nigerian movie industry and heralded the trend in modern-day movie making in Nigeria.[13]

The movie capital of the country was in Lagos. However, over the years, there has been a shift from Lagos to Enugu, in the eastern part of the country. This shift is said to be championed by Pete Edochie, a veteran in the communications industry who turned an actor and has become one of the most successful in Nigeria.


The first feature film ever made was The Story of the Kelly Gang, an Australian film based on the infamous Ned Kelly. In 1906 Dan Barry and Charles Tait of Melbourne produced and directed The Story of the Kelly Gang, a silent film that ran continuously for a breathtaking 80 minutes.[14] It was not until 1911 that countries other than Australia began to make feature films. By this time Australia had made 16 full-length feature films.

In the early 1910s the film industry had fully emerged with D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation. Also in the early 1900s motion picture production companies from New York and New Jersey started moving to California because of the good weather and longer days. Although electric lights existed at that time, none were powerful enough to adequately expose film; the best source of illumination for movie production was natural sunlight. Besides the moderate, dry climate, they were also drawn to the state because of its open spaces and wide variety of natural scenery.

Another reason was the distance of Southern California from New Jersey, making it more difficult for Thomas Edison to enforce his motion picture patents. At the time, Edison owned almost all the patents relevant to motion picture production and, in the East, movie producers acting independently of Edison's Motion Picture Patents Company were often sued or enjoined by Edison and his agents. Thus, movie makers working on the West Coast could work independently of Edison's control. If he sent agents to California, word would usually reach Los Angeles before the agents did and the movie makers could escape to nearby Mexico.


The first movie studio in the Hollywood area, Nestor Studios, was founded in 1911 by Al Christie for David Horsley in an old building on the northwest corner of Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street. In the same year, another fifteen Independents settled in Hollywood. Hollywood came to be so strongly associated with the film industry that the word "Hollywood" came to be used colloquially to refer to the entire industry.

In 1913 Cecil B. DeMille, in association with Jesse Lasky, leased a barn with studio facilities on the southeast corner of Selma and Vine Streets from the Burns and Revier Studio and Laboratory, which had been established there. DeMille then began production of The Squaw Man (1914). It became known as the Lasky-DeMille Barn and is currently the location of the Hollywood Heritage Museum.

The Charlie Chaplin Studios, on the northeast corner of La Brea and De Longpre Avenues just south of Sunset Boulevard, was built in 1917. It has had many owners after 1953, including Kling Studios, which housed production for the Superman TV series with George Reeves; Red Skelton, who used the sound stages for his CBS TV variety show; and CBS, who filmed the TV series Perry Mason with Raymond Burr there. It has also been owned by Herb Alpert's A&M Records and Tijuana Brass Enterprises. It is currently The Jim Henson Company, home of the Muppets. In 1969 The Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Board named the studio a historical cultural monument.

The famous Hollywood Sign originally read "Hollywoodland." It was erected in 1923 to advertise a new housing development in the hills above Hollywood. For several years the sign was left to deteriorate. In 1949 the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce stepped in and offered to remove the last four letters and repair the rest.

The sign, located at the top of Mount Lee, is now a registered trademark and cannot be used without the permission of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which also manages the venerable Walk of Fame.

The first Academy Awards presentation ceremony took place on May 16, 1929, during a banquet held in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard. Tickets were USD $10.00 and there were 250 people in attendance.

From about 1930 five major Hollywood movie studios from all over the Los Angeles area, Paramount, RKO, 20th Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Warner Bros., owned large, grand theaters throughout the country for the exhibition of their movies. The period between the years 1927 (the effective end of the silent era) to 1948 is considered the age of the "Hollywood studio system", or, in a more common term, the Golden Age of Hollywood. In a landmark 1948 court decision, the Supreme Court ruled that movie studios could not own theaters and play only the movies of their studio and movie stars, thus an era of Hollywood history had unofficially ended. By the mid-1950s, when television proved a profitable enterprise that was here to stay, movie studios started also being used for the production of programming in that medium, which is still the norm today.


See also: Cinema of Nepal,Kaliwood Nepal does not have a very long movie history, but the industry has its own place in the cultural heritage of the world. It is often referred to as 'Nepali Chalchitra' (which translates to "Nepali movies" in English). Most of the Nepali movies are sold to America. The film industry represents the characteristics of hollywood as English has became dominant language in Nepal. The Cinema is also puporarly known as Gurkha Cinema the cinema of Nepalese.


Bollywood is the informal term popularly used for the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), Maharashtra, India. The term is often incorrectly used to refer to the whole of Indian cinema; however, it is only a part of the total Indian film industry, which includes other production centres producing films in multiple languages.[15] Bollywood is the largest film producer in India and one of the largest centres of film production in the world.[16][17][18]

Bollywood is formally referred to as Hindi cinema.[19] There has been a growing presence of Indian English in dialogue and songs as well. It is common to see films that feature dialogue with English words (also known as Hinglish), phrases, or even whole sentences.[20]

Raja Harishchandra (1913), by Dadasaheb Phalke, was the first silent feature film made in India. By the 1930s the industry was producing more than 200 films per annum.[21] The first Indian sound film, Ardeshir Irani's Alam Ara (1931), was a major commercial success.[22] There was clearly a huge market for talkies and musicals; Bollywood and all the regional film industries quickly switched to sound filming.

The 1930s and 1940s were tumultuous times: India was buffeted by the Great Depression, World War II, the Indian independence movement, and the violence of the Partition. Most Bollywood films were unabashedly escapist, but there were also a number of filmmakers who tackled tough social issues, or used the struggle for Indian independence as a backdrop for their plots.[21]

In 1937 Ardeshir Irani, of Alam Ara fame, made the first colour film in Hindi, Kisan Kanya. The next year, he made another colour film, a version of Mother India. However, colour did not become a popular feature until the late 1950s. At this time, lavish romantic musicals and melodramas were the staple fare at the cinema.


Largest markets by box office

Source: MPAA

Rank Country Box Office Year Box office
from national films[23]
1 United StatesCanada United States/Canada $10.8 billion 2012
2  China $2.7 billion 2012
3  Japan $2.4 billion 2012 56.9% (2009)
4  United Kingdom $1.7 billion 2012 36.1% (2011)
5  France $1.7 billion 2012 39.8% (2011)
6  India $1.4 billion 2012
7  Germany $1.3 billion 2012
8  South Korea $1.3 billion 2012 51.1% (2011)
9  Russia $1.2 billion 2012
10  Australia $1.2 billion 2012 4.1% (2011)
11  Brazil $0.8 billion 2012 11.4% (2011)
- World $34.7 billion 2012

National film production

Source: Average national film production – UNESCO Institute for Statistics

Rank Country Films produced Year
1  India 1,178.2 2005-2009 (average)
2  Nigeria 1,093.5 2005-2009 (average)
3  United States 554.6 2005-2009 (average)
4  Japan 409.2 2005-2009 (average)
5  China 379.6 2005-2009 (average)
6  France 228.2 2005-2009 (average)
7  Russia 227.2 2005-2009 (average)
8  Germany 179.0 2005-2009 (average)
9  Spain 164.6 2005-2009 (average)
10  Italy 124.0 2005-2009 (average)
11  South Korea 118.4 2005-2009 (average)
12  United Kingdom 116.8 2005-2009 (average)
13  Philippines 91.2 2005-2009 (average)
14  Bangladesh 88.4 2005-2009 (average)
15   Switzerland 84.0 2005-2009 (average)
16  Canada 76.2 2005-2009 (average)
17  Indonesia 74.8 2005-2009 (average)
18  Brazil 68.2 2005-2009 (average)
19  Mexico 64.6 2005-2009 (average)
20  Hong Kong 55.8 2005-2009 (average)

See also



  • Allen J. Scott (2005) On Hollywood: The Place The Industry, Princeton University Press

External links

  • Movie Making Manual wikibook
  • MP3 Newswire article on the potential impact of Net distribution on the film industry
  • Box Office Cinefile Review

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