This essay will explore and analyse the theory of the Hollywood Star System in relation to the benefits and limitations for actors in the film industry. I shall also investigate the financial issues and the strategies that the film industries have to endure. By doing this, I shall present an analysis of the history of ‘Hollywood’ and it’s ‘Star System’ and what impact the film industry might have.
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People generally believe that Hollywood is where actors should be and where their prominence is made. They said that business corporations will someday function in the same manner like how Hollywood produces movies. It is a contradiction to some in the sense that it would not be profitable for business due to the fact that actors make a lot of money that would leave the business profitless. Nevertheless, people have tried and continued to try to make their way to the film industry (Williams, 2005: p.383).
The star system was the technique of inventing, publicizing and using actors in traditional Hollywood movies (Calabria, 1993: p.183). The studios would choose talented adolescent performers and establish personas for them where they frequently create new signature moniker names and new credentials. The star system put an importance on appearance representations instead of performing even though tactful performance, vocal sound and dancing experiences were a normal procedure element. Women were supposed to act maturely while wearing make-up and fashionable outfit whereas men were supposed to look like aristocrats (Seldes, 1956: p.9). Morality clauses were also a general part of the performers’ studio conventions (MacDonald, 2000: p.60). The agents, publicity employees and studio management would collaborate to hide events or existences that would harm the performer’s reputation while they collaborated to produce a persona. Journalists and newspapers would be informed and photographers would emerge to acquire the idealistic instant. Simultaneously, a performer’s infidelity, partner separation, drug and alcohol troubles would be concealed with bribery for witnesses or agreements of high-class stories to journalists. The star system started in the year 1919 which was in the period where silent films were made (Hayward, 2013: p.354). It has outlasted the influential filmmaking development, the introduction of the special-effects runaway success and the repetitive financial executives’ rejections. From the early years of the 1890s to the 1900s, performers were not classified in movies (MacDonald, 2000: p.23) because stage performers were mortified to be in a movie as silent film was just regarded as a drama and the primary talents they require was their voice (RamiÌrez, 2004: p.31). The performers were anxious to perform in movies that would destroy their reputable status. Early cinematic movies were also aimed at the proletarians (Butler, 1991: p.336) and film was just viewed as an action beyond a side show at a fair and a parade. Producers also became worried that performers would acquire more status and control where they would ask for more money (Powdermaker, 1979: p.228). The primarily substance for variation was everyone’s appeal to recognize the performers’ names. Movie viewers have constantly acknowledged some performers in the films they enjoyed. Since they never knew the performers’ names, they gave them nicknames (Cohen, 2001: p.136). Furthermore, examples which were established by an appropriate theatre helped movies to imitate the star system of the stage. Theatre actors in the late 19th century were treated almost the same as movie actors in the mid 20th century. Nevertheless, films are currently the main mediums for actors after all these years but the star system has survived its worth for a long time that made economic sense originally. However, it was rather common for studios to organize the contractual talent switch of actors and directors for fame representation from the 1930s to the 1960s (McDonald, 2013: p.1863), (Williams and Hammond, 2006: p.5). Actors would occasionally engage in these switches by themselves while they become choosy. Some determined actors got studio disapproval and exposure for declining specific roles because they feel they understood better on what roles would suit them. The publicity associated with these events raised an increased idea with performers because a system being more like a free agent would be more directly useful to them than the star system but by the 1960s, the star system slowly dissolved (Marich, 2009: p.249), (Sickels, 2011: p.124). The scheming studio system characteristic operates actuality and images which ultimately started to fail as the world and news media started acknowledging the public limits disassembling. The performers’ morality and mass-produced quality started to be in doubt. They also began having restrictions. However, a new innovative performing technique in Konstantin Stanislavsky’s ‘Method Acting’ had begun by the 1960s and 1970s (Esch, 2006: p.4). It has protected and created as individualism was changed into a valued individual characteristic. The star system failed and was never mended as there were competition from television and the whole studios switched. The studio system could not challenge the variations that happened in acting, labour, society and news anymore as it was entirely vanished by 1970 (King, 2002: p.51).
The film industry could operate across numerous strategies for building a practical star persona by using performers identified from other cultural texts such as theatre (Becker, 2008: p.19). The producers would evaluate newcomers in a diversity of film characters until they find the one performer who reverberates with the studio system and the audience. A star persona would then be imitated in successive films and the film industry’s publicity mechanisms would move into high gear which builds links between an actor’s screen image and their personal life (Becker, 2008: p.19). The customary film star system mechanisms could not operate without being considerably changed for television. Film industries expanded actors throughout the classical period by classifying suitable main roles for them and successively corresponding publicity about their personal lives to those so that they can produce combined star identities (Becker, 2008: p.7). The actors who shifted to television in the mid 1900s have their reduced traditional reputation relatively to movie, explicit profit making, exhibition genres, trivial filmic elements and initial star identity television which required an identity renewal away from the uncommon (Becker, 2008: p.7). The shaped star image was then changed as a more individual and common theory (Becker, 2008: p.7). This fame adaptation made actors who were not television celebrities and iconic actors. On the other hand, television has used the star power from Hollywood very instantly but the new method is not simply shifting and reducing it (Becker, 2008: p.8). Television has alternatively engaged this star power with the distinctive understanding and vital quality which the method was raised as an individualism strategy. Television has also adopted strategic benefit of these new star images to provide fame to the broadcasts and their actors (Becker, 2008: p.8). Furthermore, television has aided to reveal the same mechanisms behind the star images establishment throughout the mid 1900s by representing them (Becker, 2008: p.8). The media started investigating what fame really was as much as if it was a false incident and if television could build it since it is produced in a substantial amount. This is because of the actors’ presences on television and the subsequent difficulties of what this could indicate to their star images. Television, broadcasting and publicity then benefited from these debates to represent its starred movie ability as released from the Hollywood’s star-making mechanism limitations (Becker, 2008: p.8). It is thus aiding to exceed from certain thoroughly mass-produced ideas which the classical star system had depended on for decades.
The majority of studio movies in Hollywood do not earn much money (MacDonald, 2000: p.92), (McDonald, 2013: p.1863). The production and promotion expenditures are increasing rapidly whereas the financial revenues are not (Wilson and Block, 2010: p.608). The primary issue of Hollywood stays as a belief with huge cultural significance but there was no actual profitable logic because of the star’s importance (Wilson and Block, 2010: p.608). This is why actors are very important to the film industry as they hold a considerable influence on the new method throughout most of the mid 1900s. They made the specific genres structure which helped gain extensive economic financing in production. They also raised the instant talent agencies growth and aided to sell customer products and the method itself to audiences and supporters. The advantages of the star system became more clear to the film industry (McDonald, 2013: p.1863), (Mendible, 2007: p.39). Without stars, the film industry would not be able to deliver movies. Outlining star names has created for larger audience classification with actors. This caused larger audience while actors started requesting on-screen credits (Mendible, 2007: p.39). The film industry started adding and emphasizing the star prominence of their actors as they understood these methods have developed profitable turnovers and enhanced motion-picture fans (Mendible, 2007: p.39). Obtaining actors’ pictures was an extra in this manner and became a general system in the United States and beyond as it has aided to produce and maintain the star system which consecutively influenced the accomplishment of Hollywood movies (Mendible, 2007: p.39). The supply of movies is vital because it blends the purpose of selling them to consumers whilst promoting them at the same time. Star identities became recognized and in demand beginning with the fame exchange discussions before 1920. The studios have completely provided the publicity department with obligations for building and distributing an actor’s image throughout the cultural media texts of radio, magazines, posters, newspapers and photographs throughout the 1930s and 1940s (MacDonald, 2000: p.50). There would be an appointed person in charge of publicity in every studio and he or she would be liable for handling the marketing campaigns (MacDonald, 2000: p.50). The person would be a unit publicist to produce and handle the publicity around a specific production when making a movie. The publicity department would also organize stories from the film set about the production and its actors that were then placed by higher authorities in the film industry and news media in the manner they planned to expand coverage preceding a movie’s delivery as publicity was not a reflection in the production development (MacDonald, 2000: p.50). During that time, the film industry trusted its actors to make money and it seemed right because they were studio employees. The majority of actors had long-standing contractual deals with one specific studio or another from the studio system (Nelmes, 2003: p.170), (Sikov, 2010: p.132). At that time, the actors were lucrative as they were salaried highly. The studios were overseeing their respective financial profits by turning their actors into stars which is why they do not make money. The actors generally acquire a substantial profit of a film’s gross (MacDonald, 2000: p.92). This makes the films less pleasing because its benefits are restricted. It also makes them financially threatening because they are more costly. Movies including its actors are no more valuable than the movies without them. This is to do with how they market their publicity which has distributed an actor’s image along with the people population and the film industry. The performance in Hollywood is also generally calculated by the most approximate system of the box-office gross (Litman, 1998: p.182). Success is a reflection and actors could enhance a film’s box-office but it is occasionally sufficient to overshadow their earnings expenditures. The Hollywood star system does not have the privileges of free agency expenditures (Becker, 2008: p.22), (MacDonald, 2000: p.22). It’s free agents can be free as they want. This is beneficial for the actors because it means they are able to work when they want and what they would like to develop. It may benefit the high-profile actors but it is substandard for the studios, the investors and the films because expanded finances can only mean that several of them can be made and not a lot.
By now, I believe have explored the idea of the star system in relation to the benefits and limitations for actors in the screen industry. I think in order to enhance the star system; Hollywood and other film industries in general ought to produce more small movies and less pricey ones particularly if they are going to feature well-known and exclusive actors from a financial perspective. Sometimes, even the predominant successes are obscured. The best thing to make movies would be to reduce the actors and have a stable group of producers, directors, writers and common actors. I believe it is advisable for film industries to not imitate Hollywood because studios have swayed from one film to another without a group of domestic actors. They have exhausted a huge amount of time and money by building talent for every new strategy. I think the film industry must be viewed more like a company because it is the actors that got excessively substantial whilst the business becomes unprofitable.
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