By Andrew A. Erish
All histories of Hollywood are unsuitable. Why? phrases: Colonel Selig. This early pioneer laid the root for the motion picture that we all know this day. lively from 1896 to 1938, William N. Selig used to be accountable for an awesome sequence of firsts, together with the 1st two-reel narrative movie and the 1st two-hour narrative function made in the US; the 1st American motion picture serial with cliffhanger endings; the 1st westerns filmed within the West with actual cowboys and Indians; the production of the jungle-adventure style; the 1st horror movie in the USA; the 1st profitable American newsreel (made in partnership with William Randolph Hearst); and the 1st everlasting movie studio in l. a.. Selig was once additionally one of the first to domesticate broad foreign exhibition of yank motion pictures, which created a global viewers and contributed to American domination of the medium.
In this e-book, Andrew Erish delves into the just about untouched Selig archive on the Academy of movie Arts and Sciences Library to inform the attention-grabbing tale of this unjustly forgotten movie pioneer. He lines Selig’s profession from his early paintings as a touring magician within the Midwest, to his founding of the 1st motion picture studio in l. a. in 1909, to his landmark sequence of techniques that also impact the movie undefined. As Erish recounts the various accomplishments of the fellow who first famous that Southern California is definitely the right position for moviemaking, he convincingly demonstrates that whereas others were credited with inventing Hollywood, Colonel Selig is absolutely the one that so much merits that honor.
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Extra resources for Col. William N. Selig, the Man Who Invented Hollywood
89 Afraid of losing the business he’d worked so hard to build, especially now that it promised substantial profit, William Selig was open to reaching a settlement. 91 Fortunately for Selig, J. Stuart Blackton of Vitagraph and George K. Spoor of the newly formed Essanay Company realized that they, too, were in imminent danger of being forced out of business since their cameras were also based on Edison’s model. They joined Selig in agreeing to pay Edison the royalties his legal team demanded in return for an end to all litigation—in essence acquiescing to extortion.
Selig could have returned to the production of Westerns earlier by filming them at his Chicago studio and in nearby parks. That had been the modus operandi for his competitors back East: Biograph produced A Frontier Flirtation; or, How the Tenderfoot Won Out (1905) at its Manhattan studio, and Edwin S. Porter filmed Life of a Cowboy (1906) on Staten Island, not far from the Edison studio. 33 No longer available to write or direct Colorado Westerns due to the demands of his growing business in Chicago, Selig hired Gilbert M.
Indd 21 11/30/11 11:32 AM COL . W I L L I A M N . SE L IG fluctuations of the Northeast and Midwest. Since safe and effective electric lighting was still in development, the studios were built much like greenhouses, with specially designed prismatic glass roofs that diffused sunlight for evenly distributed illumination. The first such studios were built by Pathé on the outskirts of Paris. Vitagraph completed an American facility along these lines in Brooklyn between 1903 and 1906, expanding to three studio buildings by 1908.