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The Highest Grossing Film of All Time (With Inflation)

1939's "Gone With The Wind" is the highest grossing film with inflation. A national event when released, the film made 1.6 billion dollars in 2014 money, selling over 200 million tickets.

Contributed by Samuel Bruce Goodrich

Produced in 1910, Thomas Edison made the first film adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, which is also one of the first horror films in general.

Contributed by Samuel Bruce Goodrich

The Youtube channel Every Frame a Painting is one of the most interesting sources of analysis on film form and how it is used to tell stories. I decided to link to one of the best episodes, which looks at how Jackie Chan is one of the masters at shooting action and comedy scenes, finding that both are more similar than originally thought.

Contributed by Samuel Bruce Goodrich

Thomas Edison's Black Maria

Thomas Edison's theater, the Black Maria, was built on a pivot so the building could turn and be kept aligned with the Sun. A section of the roof could be opened up to allow the sunlight in to illuminate the set for filming.

Contributed by Ben Fancher

The First Theaters

The first theaters were called nickelodeons. Their name came from a combination of the admission cost (just one nickel) and the Greek word for theater. The nickelodeons were frequently storefronts.

Contributed by Ben Fancher

Early films had trouble with dim indoor lighting. So filmmakers came up with a solution, use the sun to light indoor sets. Sets were constructed without roofs so that the sun could illuminate them, but now if it rained it would ruin the set, and if clouds settled overhead, they lost their lighting. So cinema packed up and moved to sunny California, avoiding clouds and rain.

Contributed by Conner VanHorn

Despite the commonly accepted opinion (fact) that 35mm film has a more realistic and aesthetically pleasing projection, digital filmaking is taking the cinema industry by storm. Some of the most influential directors of all time are putting up protests to this quickly spreading epidemic. Among them are the ilk of Christopher Nolan, (The Dark Knight, Inception, The Prestige, Memento) and Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs, Inglorious Bastereds, Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction.) Tarantino has even threatened directorial retirement if the overhaul becomes universal.

Contributed by Conner VanHorn

With the creation of the studio system came the major players who had the most say in the film industry. There were five studios in all which became known as The Big Five. The Big Five consisted of Warner Bros., Paramount, RKO, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (later MGM), and Fox Film Corporation. These studios controlled most if not all aspects of the film industry at the time. There is rumor that The Big five still exist today though the lineup has changed a little. It may be worth a note that the top five grossing studios are: Warner Bros., Walt Disney, Universal, Fox, and Sony. www.metacritic.com

Contributed by Ben Fancher

End of the Silent Films

The 1920s saw the invention of sound added to films. At first, it was treated as more of a novelty has the mics had to be hidden on the set (usually in a prop like a flower vase or on the actors clothes) and would be stationary so the actors couldn't move very much. There was also the problem that the cameras made a lot of noise so they were placed inside a soundproof booth to mute the sound from hitting the mic. Eventually the boom pole was invented and quieter cameras were made.

Contributed by Ben Fancher

Filmmaking even has its own lingo as you can see in this link. A C47 is a clothespin. One of the stories on its name is a film was starting to run tight on the budget and they needed clothespins to hold some fabric together to keep out the light but were certain the studio would not approve the clothespins so they came up with calling it a C47 to make it sound cool and get the approval they needed to make the purchase. The list in the link does not include everything and there are numerous other great sites out there as well as actual books. One such book that was given to me is "Movie Speak" by Tony Bill. If you're interested in the work, learning the lingo will go a long ways.

Contributed by Ben Fancher