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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 or worker's workroom. This can be for the purpose of acting, architecture, painting, pottery (ceramics), sculpture, origami, woodworking, scrapbooking, photography, graphic design, filmmaking, animation, industrial design, ra ...

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, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface ...

film
s, which is handled by the production company. 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 India, Indian States and union territories of India, state of Telangana and the ''de jure'' capital of Andhra Pradesh. It occupies on the Deccan Plateau along the banks of the Musi Ri ...

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

India
.


Beginnings

In 1893,
Thomas Edison Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman who has been described as America's greatest inventor. He developed many devices in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication ...

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 U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic States, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, Northeastern regions of the United States. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York (state), New York; on the ...
, 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 visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface ...
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 form popular during the first half of the 20th century, consisting of a series of short subjects exhibited in consecutive order at one theater, gene ...
, ''
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 () 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, making it the seventh-largest in th ...
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 (; es, Los Ángeles; "The Angels"), officially the City of Los Angeles and often abbreviated as L.A., is the largest city in California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3milli ...

Los Angeles, California
. Although
electric light An electric light is a device that produces visible light from electric power. It is the most common form of artificial lighting and is essential to modern society, providing interior lighting for buildings and exterior light for evening an ...
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 of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, as well as a diverse neighborhood, residential neighborhood of some 85,000 people, and covers . A 2013 study found that the district is home to ov ...
. Early movie producers also relocated to
Southern California Southern California (popularly 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. It includes the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the second mo ...

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 NPOV disputes from March 2021 A patent is a Title (property), title that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention for a limited period of years in exchange for publishing an sufficiency of di ...

patent
s relevant to movie production at the time. The first movie studio in the
Hollywood Hollywood is a neighborhood in the Central Los Angeles, central region of Los Angeles, California. Its name has come to be a metonymy, shorthand reference for the Cinema of the United States, U.S. film industry and the people associated with i ...

Hollywood
area was
Nestor Studios The Nestor Film Company, originally known as the Nestor Motion Picture Company, was an American film, motion picture production company. It was founded in 1909 as the West Coast production unit of the Centaur Film Company located in Bayonne, New Je ...
, 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 American pioneer of the film industry. He founded the Centaur Film Company and its West Coast branch, the Nestor Film Company, which established the first film studio A film studio ( ...
. 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 Los Angeles, California, in the southeast San Fernando Valley, just west of the Cahuenga Pass. It is named after the studio lot that was established in the area by film producer Mack Sennett in 1927, ...
in the
San Fernando Valley , photo = San Fernando Valley vista.jpg , photo_caption = San Fernando Valley looking northeast; from the Top of Topanga Overlook Park above Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, Woodland Hills in foreground , map_image = Wpdms shdrlfi020 ...

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 that uses live performers, usually actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage. The performe ...

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 Five studios of Hollywood Hollywood is a ...
,
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 that is a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios (division), Walt Disney Stu ...
,
Paramount Pictures Paramount Pictures Corporation (common metonym: Par) is an American film and television production company, production and Distribution (marketing), distribution company and a subsidiary of ViacomCBS. It is the fifth oldest film studio in the w ...

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, initialized as MGM; often referred to as Metro; common metonym Metonymy () is a figure of speech in which a thing or concept is referred to by the name of someth ...
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 wherein the production and distribution of films is dominated by a small number of large movie studios. It is most often used in reference to Hollywood motion picture studios during the Golden Age of Ho ...
". 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, and formerly named Universal Film Manufacturing Company and Universal-International Pictures Inc.) is an American film studio, film production and distributi ...
,
Columbia Pictures Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. (commonly known as Columbia Pictures) is an American film studio and production company that is a member of the Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, a division of Sony Entertainment's Sony Pictures Entertainment, ...
, 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, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks, the studio w ...
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 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; "The Angels"), officially the City of Los An ...
, 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 commercial motion picture that is not an arthouse film. In its original usage, during the Golden Age of Hollywood Golden means made of, or relating to gold. Golden may also refer to: Places United Kingd ...

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 17, 1879 January 31, 1974), also known as Samuel Goldfish, was a Polish-American film producer. He was best known for being the founding contributor and Studio executi ...
,
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 Modern animation in the United States, American animation industry, he introduced sever ...
,
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. Roach was active in the industry fr ...
, 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 The 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 ...

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 File:Kebun Raya Bali Candi Bentar IMG 8794.jpg, Candi bentar, a typical Indonesian gate that is often found on the islands of Java and Bali A gate or gateway is a point of entry to or from a space enclosed by walls. The word derived from old N ...

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 or photographic paper, paper is treated after photographic exposure to produce a negative or positive image. Photographic processing transforms the ...

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 up Kaman K-MAX helicopter fighting wildfires in Utah 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 ...

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 (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome (black and white), or in color, and in two or three dimensions and sound. The term can refer to a te ...

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 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; "The Angels"), officially the City of Los An ...
, 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 Television in the United States, American multinational Commercial broadcasting, commercial broadcast television network that is the flagship property of Walt Disney Television, a division of Dis ...
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 television shows and radio programs to multiple television stations and radio stations, without going through a broadcast network. It is common in the United States where ...
,
television Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome (black and white), or in color, and in two or three dimensions and sound. The term can refer to a te ...

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 rented for home viewing. The term originates from the VHS VHS (Video Home System) is a standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag us ...
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 books, newspa ...
, 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 used to simulate experiences that communicate ideas, stories, perceptions, fee ...
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 list of regions of Canada, region of Canada that includes the four provinces and territories o ...

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, it is the List of the 100 largest municipalities in Canada by population, most populous cit ...

Toronto
in
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocea ...

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 Nat ...

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

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: ; ) is the largest city in Nigeria and the List of urban areas in Africa by population, most populous city in Africa, with a population of 14.8 million as of 2015 within the city proper. The Lagos State, Lagos metropo ...

Lagos
,
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa. It is the List of African countries by population, most populous country in Africa; geographically situated between the Sahel to the north, and the Gulf of ...

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 and video production. The integration of live action footage and other live action footag ...
, 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 (; es, Los Ángeles; "The Angels"), officially the City of Los Angeles and often abbreviated as L.A., is the List of cities and towns in California, largest city in California. With an estimated population of nearly four millio ...

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 that is a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios (division), Walt Disney Stu ...
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, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface ...

film
and
television Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome (black and white), or in color, and in two or three dimensions and sound. The term can refer to a te ...

television
productions. Some studios offer tours of their backlots, while
Universal Pictures Universal Pictures (legally Universal City Studios LLC, also known as Universal Studios, and formerly named Universal Film Manufacturing Company and Universal-International Pictures Inc.) is an American film studio, film production and distributi ...
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 wor ...

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 identifica ...

S-VHS
and Mini-DV 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 animator, actor, voice artist, writer, filmmaker and musician. He is the creator of the animated television series '' Beavis and Butt-Head'' (1993–1997, 2011, 2021–present), and co-c ...
,
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 ''Saturday Night Live'' (also known as ''SNL'') is an American late-night live television sketch comed ...

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 film, independent cinema since the 1980s, directing films such as ''St ...

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 initial ...

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 cinema, Soderbergh is an acclaimed and prolific filmmaker. Soderbergh ...
,
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 narrative, nonlinear storylines, dark humor, stylized violence in ...

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 film, low-budget comedy film ''Clerks (film), Clerks'' (1994), which he wrot ...

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 ''Sl ...

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, and formerly named Universal Film Manufacturing Company and Universal-International Pictures Inc.) is an American film studio, film production and distributi ...
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 that is a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios (division), Walt Disney Stu ...
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 wholly owned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and editorially independent of the university. It was founded in 1899 as ''The Technology Review'', and was re-launched without "The" in it ...
'' {{Authority control