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Nov 1st 2016

Hollywood: History, Industry, Art (edX)

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Explore the history of Hollywood, from Edison and the birth of film to the rise of the internet. In this course you will learn about Hollywood and how it came to be the global powerhouse of today. We will discuss the complex Hollywood industry and how business and politics translate into the art of film, TV, and new media.

This course will chronicle Hollywood’s growth and global reach since the 1920s, looking at:

- How Hollywood has responded to new
 technologies such as synchronized sound, color cinematography, TV, home video, computer graphics, and the internet

- How the global spread of Hollywood since the 1920s changed 
the film industry

- The relationship between Hollywood and independent 
film

- Hollywood’s responses to crises in American 
politics (e.g., world wars, the cold war, the 1960s counterculture, 9/11)

We will look closely at representative studios
 (Paramount, Disney, Fox, and others) and representative filmmakers (Mary
 Pickford, Charles Chaplin, Frank Capra, George Lucas, Spike Lee, among many others).


What you'll learn:

- The history of the studio system

- How to analyze a film

- How Hollywood has responded to new technologies in the industry

- The impact of global audiences on Hollywood

- The relationship between Hollywood and independent media

- How Hollywood has reacted to major political events

- What the future holds for Hollywood




Course Syllabus


Week 1

0. Intro

1. Before Hollywood

1.1 The Birth of the Film

1.2 Edison the Inventor

1.3 Who, What, Where, Why

1.4 The Trust and the Independents

1.5 Piracy, Copyright, and the Ben-Hur Case

2. The Studio System

2.1 The Birth of the Studio System

2.2 The Star System

2.3 The Genre System

2.4 Meet Me in St. Louis and the Man Who Shot Liberty Valence

2.5 House Style: It All Comes Together


Week 2

3. Sound and the Production Code

3.1 The Challenges of New Technology

3.2 Sound, Style, and King Kong

3.3 King Kong

3.4 The New Deal

3.5 The Road to the Production Code

3.6 The Production Code in Action

4. Hollywood at War

4.1 FDR and Media

4.2 Hollywood Gets Political

4.3 Warners Bros. at War

4.4 Wartime Government Agencies


Week 3

5.0 The Blacklist and Cold War

5.1 HUAC in Hollywood

5.2 The Hollywood Ten and the Blacklist

5.3 Cold War Genres

6.0 The New Hollywood

6.1 Television

6.2 Hollywood Auteurs and the Counterculture

6.3 Big Media


Week 4

7.0 Home Video and Indiewood

7.1 Development of Home Video

7.2 Mini-Majors

7.3 Indiewood

8.0 Digital Cinema and the Internet

8.1 Special Effects and Computer Generated Images

8.2 Hollywood’s Internet


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