The Big Picture: The New Logic of Money and Power in Hollywood (Google eBook)

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Random House Publishing Group, Feb 15, 2005 - Performing Arts - 396 pages
18 Reviews
During the heyday of the studio system spanning the 1930s, ‘40s, and ‘50s, virtually all the American motion picture industry’s money, power, and prestige came from a single activity: selling tickets at the box office. Today, the movie business is just a small, highly visible outpost in a media universe controlled by six corporations–Sony, Time Warner, NBC Universal, Viacom, Disney, and NewsCorporation. These conglomerates view films as part of an immense, synergistic, vertically integrated money-making industry.

In The Big Picture, acclaimed writer Edward Jay Epstein gives an unprecedented, sweeping, and thoroughly entertaining account of the real magic behind moviemaking: how the studios make their money. Epstein shows how, in Hollywood, the only art that matters is the art of the deal: major films turn huge profits, not from the movies themselves but through myriad other enterprises, such as video-game spin-offs, fast-food tie-ins, soundtracks, and even theme-park rides.

The studios may compete with one another for stars, publicity, box-office
receipts, and Oscars; their corporate parents, however, make fortunes
from cooperation (and collusion) with one another in less glamorous markets, such as cable, home video, and pay-TV.

But money is only part of the Hollywood story; the social and political milieus–power, prestige, and status–tell the rest. Alongside remarkable financial revelations, The Big Picture is filled with eye-opening true Hollywood insider stories. We learn how the promise of free cowboy boots for a producer delayed a major movie’s shooting schedule; why stars never perform their own stunts, despite what the supermarket tabloids claim; how movies intentionally shape political sensibilities, both in America and abroad; and why fifteen-year-olds dictate the kind of low-grade fare that has flooded screens across the country.

Epstein also offers incisive profiles of the pioneers, including Louis B. Mayer, who helped build Hollywood, and introduces us to the visionaries–Walt Disney, Akio Morita, Rupert Murdoch, Steve Ross, Sumner Redstone, David Sarnoff–power brokers who, by dint of innovation and deception, created and control the media that mold our lives. If you are interested in Hollywood today and the complex and fascinating way it has evolved in order to survive, you haven’t seen the big picture until you’ve read The Big Picture.


From the Hardcover edition.
  

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Review: The Big Picture: Money and Power in Hollywood

User Review  - Ian Bond - Goodreads

Great starting point to learn the entertainment industry. How it was created, major contributors, and where it is trending towards... Read full review

Review: The Big Picture: Money and Power in Hollywood

User Review  - Ian Bond - Goodreads

Great starting point to learn the entertainment industry. How it was created, major contributors, and where it is trending towards... Read full review

Contents

The Two Hollywoods
3
The New System
25
The Creators
27
Americanizing the World
85
The Sexopoly
93
The Clearinghouse Concept
106
The Art of Deception the Deception of
127
Development Hell
129
The DVD Revolution
209
The Television Windfall
219
License to Merchandise
225
The Learning Imperative
229
The Midas Formula
236
The Social Logic of Hollywood
243
HomoLuden
245
The Communal Instinct
253

The Green Light
139
Preparing the Illusion
148
Lights Cameras Action
154
Bits and Pieces
163
Completing the Illusion
170
The Creation of Audiences
175
The Awareness Mission
177
The Drive
184
DDay
187
The Economic Logic of Hollywood
193
The Popcorn Economy
195
Alien Territory
203
The New Elites
258
Hollywood at Work and Play
290
The Culture of Deception
296
The Political Logic of Hollywood 27 The Pictures in Our Heads
313
The Rules of the Game
319
The World According to Hollywood
327
The Once and Future Hollywood
338
Notes
353
Acknowledgments
375
Index
377
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Edward Jay Epstein is author of a number of books, including Inquest: The Warren Commission, News from Nowhere: Television and the News, Establishment of Truth, Legend: Lee Harvey Oswald, and Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer. He lives in New York City.


From the Hardcover edition.

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