A Blast From Our Past: Establishing the Unconventional

For the sake of this post, I must reiterate a point I have stated before, I love film. Film is a incredible medium that allows people to represent positions and personally constructed visions of entertainment to public sources. As 21st century filmmakers, we have the control to produce forms of entertainment, while also sticking to convictions and impressions. Over the last few years of studying, it has become interesting to recognize and interpret the various ways past and present artists have used this medium to exhibit their own morals and aesthetic within the confines of a lens. As a growing student, and soon to be graduate let loose into the world of competing industries and professionals, I believe that it is essential to reiterate that Hollywood has always been and always will be, a business. With businesses, comes rises and falls, regulations and ruling.

Institutional inertia being what it is, systems are rarely fixed unless they are broken, and this one, against it will, was broken utterly” Tim Wu

WhImage result for the production codeen it comes to regulations, it’s main cause for effect, is control. It is influential and intriguing to review past regulations and how the dismantlement of control, transformed present day studios and the systems once resided in. The establishment of The Production Code in early film history is an example of how monopolies controlled through censorship as well as how it’s overturn, exhibits a ruptured, controlled system transformed for a new perception of film and media culture.


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Economics, not morality, was and is the primary motivation for this regulation. The Production Code, set predetermined guidelines and direction for theaters, as well as movie makers, to follow while producing and exhibiting films. As Alfred Chandler stated, the American Economy was dominated by the visible hand of managerial capitalism.  Just like directors and film creators have control over what the public sees, the production code was a way for these studios to have control over what film creators considered entertainment, ultimately what messages can and should be delivered to the public.

The Code was developed as a public relations gesture, designed to control both the industry itself and the community within. Eventually, with the breakup of leading studio systems, like Paramount, control and film censorship crumbled allowing a bridge for auteurs and their creativity.

“What replaced film production in the dismantled studios, was a transformed system, with most inputs required to make a film coming together only in a one-shot deal…. the same ideal list of idiosyncratic talents rarely turns up for two different films” – Richard Caves

Image result for opportunityThis deconstruction, established a “New Hollywood Era” that embraces different cultures and visions, a idea was once foreign now promoted due to the destruction of solitary control. The current ability to provide a sense of entertainment, individuality, culture, and positioning comes from a minor disruption of “the cycle”. Although there is always going to be a sense of what’s acceptible and not within the industry, it is important to see how disruption embraces innovation and influences the growth of individual perspective, and has allowed an opportunity for vision to flow across national and international borders. 



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