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A film studio (also known as movie studio or simply studio) is a major entertainment company or motion picture company that has its own privately owned
studio A studio is an artist An artist is a person engaged in an activity related to creating art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional pow ...

studio
facility or facilities that are used to make
film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, ...

film
s, which is handled by the
production company A production company, production house, production studio, or a production team is a business that provides the physical basis for works in the fields of performing arts, new media art, film, television show, television, radio, comics, interactive ...
. Most firms in the entertainment industry have never owned their own studios, but have rented space from other companies. There are also independently owned studio facilities, who have never produced a motion picture of their own because they are not entertainment companies or motion picture companies; they are companies who sell only studio space. The largest film studio in the world is
Ramoji Film City Ramoji Film City is an integrated film studio complex located in Hyderabad, India. Spread over 1,666 acres, it is the largest integrated film city in the world and as such has been certified by the Guinness World Records as the largest studio c ...

Ramoji Film City
, in
Hyderabad Hyderabad ( , , ) is the capital and largest city of the n of and the ' capital of . It occupies on the along the banks of the , in the northern part of . With an average altitude of , much of Hyderabad is situated on hilly terrain aroun ...

Hyderabad
,
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
.


Beginnings

In 1893,
Thomas Edison Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices in fields such as electric power generation Electricity generation is the process of generating electric power from s ...

Thomas Edison
built the first movie studio in the United States when he constructed the
Black Maria Black Maria may refer to: Art and literature *Black Mariah (comics), a character in the Luke Cage comics series *Black Maria (novel), ''Black Maria'' (novel), a 1991 Diana Wynne Jones bibliography, novel by Diana Wynne Jones *''Black Maria'', a ...
, a tarpaper-covered structure near his laboratories in West Orange,
New Jersey New Jersey is a in the and regions of the . It is bordered on the north and east by the state of ; on the east, southeast, and south by the ; on the west by the and ; on the southwest by and the state of . At , New Jersey is the , but ...
, and asked circus, vaudeville, and dramatic actors to perform for the camera. He distributed these
movies A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of used to simulate experiences that communicate ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty, or atmosphere through the use of moving images. These images are gen ...
at vaudeville theaters, penny arcades, wax museums, and fairgrounds. The first
film serial A serial film, film serial (or just serial), movie serial, or chapter play, is a motion picture A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that communicate ideas, ...
, ''
What Happened to Mary ''What Happened to Mary'' (sometimes erroneously referred to as ''What Happened to Mary?'') is the first serial film made in the United States. Produced by Edison Studios, with screenplay A screenplay, or script, is a written work by screen ...
'', was released by the Edison company in 1912. The pioneering Thanhouser film studio was founded in
New Rochelle, New York New Rochelle (; older french: La Nouvelle-Rochelle) is a Political subdivisions of New York State#City, city in Westchester County, New York, United States, in the southeastern portion of the state. In 2010, the city had a population of 77,062 ...
in 1909 by American theatrical impresario
Edwin Thanhouser Edwin Thanhouser (November 11, 1865 – March 21, 1956) was an American actor, businessman, and film producer. He was most notable as a founder of the Thanhouser Company The Thanhouser Company (later the Thanhouser Film Corporation) was one o ...

Edwin Thanhouser
. The company produced and released 1,086 films between 1910 and 1917, successfully distributing them around the world. In the early 1900s, companies started moving to
Los Angeles, California Los Angeles ( ; xgf, Tovaangar; es, Los Ángeles, , ), commonly referred to by the initialism L.A., is the List of municipalities in California, largest city in California. With a 2020 population of 3,898,747, it is the List of United S ...

Los Angeles, California
. Although
electric light An electric light is a device that produces visible light Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation within the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of frequencies (the spectrum ...
s were by then widely available, none were yet powerful enough to adequately expose film; the best source of illumination for motion picture production was natural sunlight. Some movies were shot on the roofs of buildings in
Downtown Los Angeles Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) is the central business district A central business district (CBD) is the commercial and business center of a city. It contains commercial space and offices. In larger cities, it is often synonymous with the city's ...

Downtown Los Angeles
. Early movie producers also relocated to
Southern California Southern California (sometimes known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the southern portion of the U.S. state of California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western Unite ...

Southern California
to escape Edison's
Motion Picture Patents Company The Motion Picture Patents Company (MPPC, also known as the Edison Trust), founded in December 1908 and terminated seven years later in 1915 after conflicts within the industry, was a trust of all the major US film companies and local foreign-bran ...
, which controlled almost all the
patent A patent is a type of intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depe ...

patent
s relevant to movie production at the time. The first movie studio in the
Hollywood Hollywood is a neighborhood A neighbourhood (British English, Hiberno-English, Hibernian English, Australian English and Canadian English) or neighborhood (American English; American and British English spelling differences, see spelling ...

Hollywood
area was
Nestor Studios The Nestor Film Company, originally known as the Nestor Motion Picture Company, was an American motion picture A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that commun ...
, opened in 1911 by
Al Christie Alfred Ernest Christie (23 October 1881 – 14 April 1951) was a Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, ...
for
David Horsley David Horsley (March 11, 1873 – February 23, 1933) was an English pioneer of the film industry. He founded the Centaur Film Company and its West Coast branch, the Nestor Film Company The Nestor Film Company, originally known as the Nestor Moti ...
. In the same year, another 15 independents settled in Hollywood. Other production companies eventually settled in the Los Angeles area in places such as
Culver City Culver City is a city in Los Angeles County, California Los Angeles County, officially the County of Los Angeles, is the most populous county in the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United State ...
,
Burbank Burbank may refer to: Places Australia * Burbank, Queensland, a suburb in Brisbane United States * Burbank, California, a city in Los Angeles County * Burbank, Santa Clara County, California, a census-designated place * Burbank, Illinois, a ...
, and what would soon become known as
Studio City Studio City is a neighborhood in the city of , in the southeast , just west of the . It is named after the studio lot that was established in the area by film producer in 1927, now known as . History Originally known as Laurelwood, the are ...
in the
San Fernando Valley The San Fernando Valley, known locally as "the Valley", is an urbanized valley A valley is an elongated low area often running between hills or mountains, which will typically contain a river or stream running from one end to the other ...

San Fernando Valley
.


The "majors"

The Big 5 By the mid-1920s, the evolution of a handful of American production companies into wealthy motion picture industry conglomerates that owned their own studios, distribution divisions, and
theaters Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art The performing arts are arts such as music, dance, and drama which are performed for an audience. It is different from visual arts The visual arts are art forms such as pain ...

theaters
, and contracted with performers and other filmmaking personnel, led to the sometimes confusing equation of "studio" with "production company" in industry slang. Five large companies:
RKO Radio Pictures RKO Pictures was an American film production and distribution company. In its original incarnation, as RKO Radio Pictures, Inc. (a subsidiary of Radio-Keith-Orpheum, aka: RKO) it was one of the Big FiveBig Five may refer to: Animals * th ...
,
20th Century Fox 20th Century Studios, Inc. (also known as 20th Century for short, and nicknamed 20th Pictures, formerly Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation) is an American film studio A film studio (also known as movie studio or simply studio) is a maj ...
,
Paramount Pictures Paramount Pictures Corporation (common : Par) is an American film and television and company and a subsidiary of . It is the fifth oldest in the world, the second oldest film studio in the United States (behind ), and the sole member of the ...

Paramount Pictures
,
Warner Bros. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (commonly known as Warner Bros. and abbreviated as WB) is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate headquartered at the Warner Bros. Studios complex in Burbank, California ...
, and
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (also known as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures or MGM) is an American media company, founded in 1924, that produces and distributes feature films and television programs. It is based in Beverly Hills, California ...
came to be known as the "Big Five," the "majors," or "the Studios" in trade publications such as ''
Variety Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equations * Variety (universal algebra), classes of algebraic structures defined by equations in universal algebra Hort ...
'', and their management structures and practices collectively came to be known as the "
studio system A studio system is a method of filmmaking Filmmaking (film production) is the process by which a motion picture A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art form ...
". The Little 3 Although they owned few or no theaters to guarantee sales of their films,
Universal Pictures Universal Pictures (legally Universal City Studios LLC, also known as Universal Studios, or simply Universal; common metonym Metonymy () is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an int ...
,
Columbia Pictures Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. is an American film production Filmmaking (film production) is the process by which a Film, motion picture is #Production, produced. Filmmaking involves a number of complex and discrete stages, starting wit ...
, and
United Artists United Artists Corporation (UA), currently doing business as United Artists Digital Studios, is an American digital production company. Founded in 1919 by D. W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin Jr. (16 April ...
also fell under these rubrics, making a total of eight generally recognized "major studios". United Artists, although its controlling partners owned not one but two production studios during the Golden Age, had an often-tenuous hold on the title of "major" and operated mainly as a backer and distributor of independently produced films.


The minors

Smaller studios operated simultaneously with "the majors." These included operations such as
Republic Pictures Republic Pictures Corporation (currently held under Melange Pictures, LLC) was an American motion picture production-distribution corporation in operation from 1935 to 1967, that was based in Los Angeles Los Angeles (; es, Los Ángeles; "T ...
, active from 1935, which produced films that occasionally matched the scale and ambition of the larger studio, and
Monogram Pictures Monogram Pictures Corporation is an American film studio that produced mostly low-budget films between 1931 and 1953, when the firm completed a transition to the name Allied Artists Pictures Corporation. Monogram was among the smaller studios in ...
, which specialized in series and genre releases. Together with smaller outfits such as
PRC China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, East ...
TKO and Grand National, the minor studios filled the demand for
B movie A B movie or B film is a low-budget A low-budget film or low-budget movie is a motion picture shot with little to no funding from a major film studio or private investor. Many independent films are made on low budgets, but films made on the ...

B movie
s and are sometimes collectively referred to as
Poverty Row Poverty Row was a slang term used in Hollywood from the 1920s through the 1950s to refer to a variety of small (and mostly short-lived) B movie studios. Although many of them were on (or near) today's Gower Street in Hollywood, the term did not ...
.


The independents

The Big Five's ownership of movie theaters was eventually opposed by eight independent producers, including
Samuel Goldwyn Samuel Goldwyn (born Szmuel Gelbfisz; yi, שמואל געלבפֿיש; August 27, 1882 January 31, 1974), also known as Samuel Goldfish, was a Polish-American Polish Americans ( pl, Polonia amerykańska) are Americans Americans are the ...
,
David O. Selznick David O. Selznick (May 10, 1902June 22, 1965) was an American film producer A film producer is a person who oversees film production. Either employed by a production company or working Independent film, independently, producers plan and coordina ...
,
Walt Disney Walter Elias Disney (; December 5, 1901December 15, 1966) was an American entrepreneur, animator, writer, voice actor, and film producer. A pioneer of the American animation industry, he introduced several developments in the production of ...
,
Hal Roach Harry Eugene "Hal" Roach Sr. (January 14, 1892 – November 2, 1992) was an American film and television producer, director, actor and studio executive, who was the founder of the namesake Hal Roach Studios Hal Roach Studios was an American mot ...
, and
Walter Wanger Walter Wanger (né Feuchtwanger; July 11, 1894 – November 18, 1968) was an American film producer active in filmmaking beginning in the 1910s, concluding with the turbulent production of ''Cleopatra (1963 film), Cleopatra,'' his last film, in ...
. In 1948, the federal government won a case against Paramount in the
Supreme Court A supreme court is the highest court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out the administration of just ...

Supreme Court
, which ruled that the
vertically integrated In microeconomics Microeconomics (from Greek prefix ''mikro-'' meaning "small" + ''economics'') is a branch of economics that studies the behavior of individuals and Theory of the firm, firms in making decisions regarding the allocation o ...
structure of the movie industry constituted an illegal
monopoly A monopoly (from Greek el, μόνος, mónos, single, alone, label=none and el, πωλεῖν, pōleîn, to sell, label=none) is as described by Irving Fisher, a market with the "absence of competition", creating a situation where a specific ...

monopoly
. This decision, reached after twelve years of litigation, hastened the end of the studio system and Hollywood's "Golden Age".


Typical components

By the 1950s, the physical components of a typical film studio had become standardized. Since then, a film studio has usually been housed inside a "studio lot," a physically secure compound enclosed by a tall perimeter wall. This is necessary to protect filmmaking operations from unwanted interference from
paparazzi Paparazzi (, ; ; singular: masculine paparazzo or feminine paparazza) are independent photographers who take pictures of high-profile people, such as actors, athletes, politicians, and other celebrities, typically while subjects go about the ...

paparazzi
and crazed
fans Fan commonly refers to: * Fan (machine) Sounds from a household fan. A fan is a powered machine A machine is a man-made device that uses power to apply forces and control movement to perform an action. Machines can be driven by anima ...
of leading
movie star A movie star (also known as a film star or cinema star) is an actor or actress who is famous for their starring, or leading, roles in movies. The term is used for performers who are marketable stars and whose names are used to promote movies, fo ...
s. Movement in and out of the studio lot is normally limited to specific
gate Candi bentar, a typical Indonesian gate that is often found on the islands of Java">Indonesia.html" ;"title="Candi bentar, a typical Indonesia">Candi bentar, a typical Indonesian gate that is often found on the islands of Java and Bali B ...

gate
s (often capped with grand decorative arches), where visitors must stop at a
boom barrier Boom usually refers to an onomatopoeic word for the sound that an explosion makes. Boom may also refer to: Objects * Boom (containment), a temporary floating barrier used to contain an oil spill * Boom (navigational barrier), an obstacle strung ...

boom barrier
and explain the purpose of their visit to a
security guard#REDIRECT Security guard A security guard (also known as a security inspector, security officer, or protective agent) is a person employed by a government or private party to protect the employing party's assets (property Property (''latin: Res ...
. The
sound stage A sound stage (also written soundstage) is a soundproof, large structure, building, or room with large doors and high ceilings, used for the production of theatrical film-making and television productions, usually located on a secured movie ...
is the central component of a studio lot. Most film studios have several; small studios may have as few as one, and large studios have as many as 20 to 30. Film studios also provide
office An office is a space where an Organization, organization's employees perform Business administration, administrative Work (human activity), work in order to support and realize objects and Goals, plans, action theory, goals of the organizatio ...

office
space for studio executives and production companies, and makeup rooms and rehearsal rooms for talent. If space allows, a studio may have an outside
backlot A backlot is an area behind or adjoining a movie studio containing permanent exterior buildings for outdoor scenes in filmmaking Filmmaking (or, in any context, film production) is the process by which a film A film, also called a movi ...
. Finally, there is a studio "commissary", which is the traditional term in the film industry for what other industries call a company
cafeteria A cafeteria, sometimes called a canteen outside the U.S. The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America North America is a c ...

cafeteria
. In addition to these basic components, the largest film studios are full-service enterprises offering the entire range of production and post-production services necessary to create a motion picture, including costumes, props, cameras, sound recording, crafts, sets, lighting, special effects, cutting, editing, mixing, scoring, ADR, re-recording, and foley. Independent suppliers of all these services and more (e.g.,
photographic processing Photographic processing or photographic development is the chemical means by which photographic film Photographic film is a strip or sheet of transparent coated on one side with a containing microscopically small light-sensitive crystals. ...

photographic processing
labs) are often found in clusters in close proximity to film studios.
Nitrate film Nitrate is a polyatomic ion A polyatomic ion, also known as a molecular ion, is a covalently bonded set of two or more atoms, or of a metal complex, that can be considered to behave as a single unit and that has a net charge that is not ze ...

Nitrate film
, manufactured until 1951, was highly flammable, and sets and backlots were and still are very flammable, which is why film studios built in the early-to-mid 20th century have s to facilitate
firefighting Firefighting is the act of attempting to prevent the spread of and extinguish significant unwanted fire BBQ. Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various r ...

firefighting
. Water towers "somewhat inexplicably" evolved into "a most potent symbol ... of movie studios in general."


Film to television

Halfway through the 1950s, with
television Television, sometimes shortened to TV or telly, is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire A wire is a single usually cylindrical A cylinder (from Gre ...

television
proving to be a lucrative enterprise not destined to disappear any time soon—as many in the film industry had once hoped—movie studios were increasingly being used to produce programming for the burgeoning medium. Some midsize film companies, such as
Republic Pictures Republic Pictures Corporation (currently held under Melange Pictures, LLC) was an American motion picture production-distribution corporation in operation from 1935 to 1967, that was based in Los Angeles Los Angeles (; es, Los Ángeles; "T ...
, eventually sold their studios to TV production concerns, which were eventually bought by larger studios, such as the
American Broadcasting Company The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is an American multinational commercial broadcast television network A television network or broadcaster is a telecommunications network A telecommunications network is a group of nodes intercon ...
which was purchased by
Disney The Walt Disney Company, commonly known as Disney (), is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate headquartered at the Walt Disney Studios complex in Burbank, California California is a U.S. st ...
in 1996.


Today

With the growing diversification of studios into such fields as
video games#REDIRECT Video game#REDIRECT Video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joystick, game controller, controller, computer keyboard, keyboard, or motion sensing device ...

video games
,
television stations A television station is a set of equipment managed by a business, organisation or other entity, such as an amateur television (ATV) operator, that transmits video content and audio content via radio waves directly from a transmitter on the earth ...
,
broadcast syndication Broadcast syndication is the practice of leasing the right to broadcasting Broadcasting is the distributionDistribution may refer to: Mathematics *Distribution (mathematics) Distributions, also known as Schwartz distributions or gen ...
,
television Television, sometimes shortened to TV or telly, is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire A wire is a single usually cylindrical A cylinder (from Gre ...

television
,
theme parks Wonder Mountain at Canada's Wonderland An amusement park is a park that features various attractions, such as rides and games, as well as other events for entertainment purposes. A theme park is a type of amusement park that bases its stru ...
,
home video Home video is prerecorded media sold or Video rental shop, rented for home viewing. The term originates from the VHS and Betamax era, when the predominant medium was videotapes, but has carried over to optical disc formats such as DVD and Blu-ra ...
and
publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refers to the creation and distribution of printed works, such as book A ...
, they have become multi-national corporations. International markets account for growing proportion of Hollywood movie revenue with approximately 70% of total movie revenue coming from international ticket sales and the Chinese domestic box office revenue is projected to outpace those of USA in 2020. The growth of film studios and
filmmaking Filmmaking (film production) is the process by which a motion picture A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the pr ...
outside of Hollywood and the USA have produced popular international film studio locations such as
Hollywood North Hollywood North is a colloquialism Colloquialism or colloquial language is the linguistic style used for casual communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among S ...
(
Vancouver Vancouver ( ) is a major city in western Canada Western Canada, also referred to as the Western Provinces and more commonly known as the West, is a region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth desc ...

Vancouver
and
Toronto Toronto (, ) is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016 in 2016, it is the List of the largest municipalities in Canada by population, most p ...

Toronto
in
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

Canada
),
Bollywood Hindi cinema, often known as Bollywood and formerly as ''Bombay cinema'', is the Indian Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai (formerly Bombay). The term is a portmanteau of "Bombay" and "Cinema of the United States, Hollywood". The ...

Bollywood
(
Mumbai Mumbai (, ; also known as Bombay — List of renamed Indian cities and states#Maharashtra, the official name until 1995) is the capital city of the Indian States and union territories of India, state of Maharashtra. According to the United ...

Mumbai
,
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
), and
Nollywood Nollywood is a sobriquet that originally referred to the Nigerian film industry. The origin of the term dates back to the early 2000s, traced to an article in ''The New York Times ''The New York Times'' (''NYT'' or ''NY Times'') is an A ...
(
Lagos Lagos (Nigerian English Nigerian English, also known as Nigerian Standard English, is a List of dialects of the English language, dialect of English spoken in Nigeria. Based on British English, the dialect contains various loanwords an ...

Lagos
,
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as we ...

Nigeria
). As the studios increased in size they began to rely on production companies, like
J. J. Abrams Jeffrey Jacob Abrams (born June 27, 1966) is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. He is known for his work in the genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) wit ...

J. J. Abrams
'
Bad Robot Productions Bad Robot is an American film and television production company led by J. J. Abrams. Under its Bad Robot Productions division, the company is responsible for the television series upright=1.35, A live television show set and cameras A televi ...

Bad Robot Productions
, to handle many of the creative and physical production details of their feature films. Instead, the studios transformed into financing and distribution entities for the films made by their affiliated production companies. With the decreasing cost of CGI and
visual effects Visual effects (sometimes abbreviated VFX) is the process by which imagery is created or manipulated outside the context of a live-action shot in filmmaking Filmmaking (film production) is the process by which a is . Filmmaking involves a ...
, many studios sold large chunks of their once massive studio spaces or backlots to private real-estate developers.
Century City Century City is a 176-acre (71.2 ha) neighborhood and business district in Los Angeles, California Los Angeles (; es, Los Ángeles; "The Angels"), officially the City of Los Angeles and often abbreviated as L.A., is the largest city in ...

Century City
in
Los Angeles Los Angeles ( ; xgf, Tovaangar; es, Los Ángeles, , ), commonly referred to by the initialism An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be u ...

Los Angeles
was once part of the
20th Century Fox 20th Century Studios, Inc. (also known as 20th Century for short, and nicknamed 20th Pictures, formerly Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation) is an American film studio A film studio (also known as movie studio or simply studio) is a maj ...
backlot, which was among the largest and most famous of the studio lots. In most cases, portions of the backlots were retained and are available for rental by various
film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, ...

film
and
television Television, sometimes shortened to TV or telly, is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire A wire is a single usually cylindrical A cylinder (from Gre ...

television
productions. Some studios offer tours of their backlots, while
Universal Pictures Universal Pictures (legally Universal City Studios LLC, also known as Universal Studios, or simply Universal; common metonym Metonymy () is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an int ...
allows visitors to its adjacent
Universal Studios Hollywood Universal Studios Hollywood is a film studio A film studio (also known as movie studio or simply studio) is a major entertainment company or motion picture company that has its own privately owned studio A studio is an artist or worker's wo ...

Universal Studios Hollywood
theme park to take a tram tour of the
backlot A backlot is an area behind or adjoining a movie studio containing permanent exterior buildings for outdoor scenes in filmmaking Filmmaking (or, in any context, film production) is the process by which a film A film, also called a movi ...
where films such as ''Psycho'' and ''
Back to the Future ''Back to the Future'' is a 1985 American science fiction film directed by Robert Zemeckis Robert Lee Zemeckis (born May 14, 1952) is an American film director, film producer, and screenwriter who is frequently credited as an innovator in v ...
'' were once shot. In fall 2019, movie mogul Tyler Perry opened Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. The studio lot is claimed to be larger than any other movie studio lot in Hollywood.


Independent film and the studios

In the 1980s and 1990s, as the cost of professional 16mm film equipment decreased, along with the emergence of non-film innovations such as
S-VHS , the common initialism for Super VHS, is an improved version of the VHS VHS (Video Home System) is a standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identific ...

S-VHS
and
Mini-DV DV refers to a family of codecs A codec is a device or computer program which encodes or Decoding methods, decodes a data stream or signal. ''Codec'' is a portmanteau of coder/decoder. In electronic communications, an endec is a device which ...
cameras, many young filmmakers began to make films outside the "studio system". Filmmakers and producers such as
Mike Judge Michael Craig Judge (born October 17, 1962) is an American actor, animator, writer, producer, director and musician. He is the creator of the animated television series ''Beavis and Butt-Head ''Beavis and Butt-Head'' is an American adult anim ...
,
Adam Sandler Adam Richard Sandler (born September 9, 1966) is an American actor, comedian, and filmmaker. He was a cast member on ''Saturday Night Live'' from 1990 to 1995, before going on to star in many Hollywood films, which have combined to earn more tha ...

Adam Sandler
,
Jim Jarmusch James Robert Jarmusch (; born January 22, 1953) is an American film director, screenwriter, actor, producer, editor, and composer. He has been a major proponent of independent cinema Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainmen ...

Jim Jarmusch
,
Robert Rodriguez Robert Anthony Rodriguez (; born June 20, 1968) is an American filmmaker Filmmaking (or, in any context, film production) is the process by which a film is made. Filmmaking involves a number of complex and discrete stages including an initia ...

Robert Rodriguez
,
Steven Soderbergh Steven Andrew Soderbergh (; born January 14, 1963) is an American film director, producer, screenwriter, cinematographer, and editor. An early pioneer of modern Independent film, independent cinema, Soderbergh is an acclaimed and prolific filmma ...
,
Quentin Tarantino Quentin Jerome Tarantino (; born March 27, 1963) is an American filmmaker, film director, screenwriter, producer, film critic, and actor. His films are characterized by nonlinear storylines, dark humor Darkness, the polar opposite of brig ...

Quentin Tarantino
,
Kevin Smith Kevin Patrick Smith (born August 2, 1970) is an American filmmaker, actor, comedian, comic book writer, author, and podcaster. He came to prominence with the low-budget A low-budget film or low-budget movie is a motion picture shot with litt ...

Kevin Smith
and
Richard Linklater Richard Stuart Linklater (; born July 30, 1960) is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. He is known for films that revolve mainly around suburban culture and the effects of the passage of time. His films include the comedies ''S ...

Richard Linklater
made films that pushed boundaries in ways the studios were then reluctant to do. In response to these films, many distributed by "mini-studios" like
Miramax Miramax, LLC (also known as Miramax Films) is an American entertainment company known for producing and distributing films and television shows. Its headquarters are located in Los Angeles Los Angeles (; es, Los Ángeles; "The Angels") ...
, the "majors" created their own in-house mini-studios meant to focus on edgier "independent" content.
Focus Features Focus Features LLC is an American film production Filmmaking (or, in any context, film production) is the process by which a film is made. Filmmaking involves a number of complex and discrete stages including an initial story, idea, or commissi ...

Focus Features
was created by
Universal Pictures Universal Pictures (legally Universal City Studios LLC, also known as Universal Studios, or simply Universal; common metonym Metonymy () is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an int ...
and
Fox Searchlight Searchlight Pictures, Inc. (formerly Fox Searchlight Pictures) is an American film studio A film studio (also known as movie studio or simply studio) is a major entertainment company or motion picture company that has its own privately owned s ...
was created by
20th Century Fox 20th Century Studios, Inc. (also known as 20th Century for short, and nicknamed 20th Pictures, formerly Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation) is an American film studio A film studio (also known as movie studio or simply studio) is a maj ...
for this purpose.


See also


References


External links


Who built the first film studio in the United States?



A Film Studio for the Age of Virtual Reality
"A Montreal-based film studio is making movies that you’ll watch with a virtual-reality headset, pointing the way to a whole new form of entertainment." Rachel Metz, ''
MIT Technology Review ''MIT Technology Review'' is a bimonthly magazine A magazine is a periodical publication Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial Serial may refer to: Arts, entertainment ...
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