Vintage: Fame Is Fleeting

Posted in Vintage at 1:33 pm by Sam

Even long-lasting fame is fleeting. In the 1920s, “everybody” would have known, to pick two unrelated examples, Warner Baxter and Aileen Pringle. In the Film Daily Yearbook for 1929, they each had a full page publicity ad. But who knows them today?

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Vintage: Ballyhoo, Part 10

Posted in Vintage at 5:12 pm by Sam

My apologies for being so astronomically late with this. But here it is — the last post in the Ballyhoo series, wherein we look at advertising stunts used in the 1920s to advertise movies at your local cinema. As we learned in the previous entries in this series, advertising had a spicier, zanier character to it than it does now that the process has become corralled by laws. The most striking difference, though, is that the burden of advertising fell more on individual theaters than on the production studios, which, in today’s world of mass information dissemination, handle almost everything.

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Vintage: Studio Economy Pact

Posted in Vintage at 1:54 pm by Sam

The WGA is on the verge of striking. As with the last WGA strike in 1988, it changed the face of television overnight. The reality show genre blossomed, and audiences fled the networks for cable channels in droves. You think there are lots of reality shows now? Feature films are less likely to impacted, although films that might otherwise go direct to DVD might get a shot in theaters.

Behind the mask of arts and entertainment Hollywood puts forth as its product, it’s one of the messiest political maelstroms you can imagine. In short, there’s a lot of money floating around, and everybody wants a piece of it.

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Vintage: Motiograph and Seat Covers

Posted in Vintage at 1:10 pm by Sam

There is no inherent link between the Motiograph, a type of camera we’ll look at here, and seat covers for use in movie theaters, except that interesting articles about both appeared on the same page of The Film Daily Yearbook 1928. So we might as well cover them at the same time.

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Vintage: Film Labs

Posted in Vintage at 12:34 pm by Sam

An assortment of 1928 advertisements for film laboratories….

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Vintage: Ballyhoo, Part 9

Posted in Vintage at 9:26 pm by Sam

In the 1920s, advertising was crazier and less restrained. Nothing was out of the question. Everything was worth a shot. In previous weeks in this series, we’ve examined many real advertising stunts pulled during the 1920s to advertise movies, including going so far as to hire the police to pull people over and hand out movie tickets. Here’s another batch of advertising stunts, collected and printed in The Film Daily Yearbook, an almanac of sorts for theater owners and others in the film industry.

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Vintage: Old Timey Advertising

Posted in Vintage at 5:00 am by Sam

This week’s Vintage post is a fun one. Here’s a treasure trove of assorted advertising for things that don’t even exist today, outside of museums, antique stores, and attics that haven’t been cleaned in 80 years.

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Vintage: Vocafilm

Posted in Vintage at 5:00 am by Sam

Sound film didn’t just arrive in the industry as a singular entity, a crystal clear technological gift to the industry. A lot of different companies and research groups devised different means of using sound in the movies, and there was real competition, especially between Warner Bros. with Vitaphone and Fox with Movietone. But there were other systems as well, such as Vocafilm, that were ultimately either bought up or squeezed out.

In 1928, none of the fates of these technologies were quite clear.

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Vintage: Technical Progress In 1927

Posted in Vintage at 5:00 am by Sam

Technology progresses at such a breakneck rate, one can look back at the state of the art of a mere ten years ago and bask in nostalgia. Eighty years ago, it was a different world. Here’s an article recapping the technological progress made in 1927 relating to the advancement of film.

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Vintage: Ballyhoo, Part 8

Posted in Vintage at 5:00 am by Sam

The word “ballyhoo” means “a clamorous and vigorous attempt to win customers or advance any cause; blatant advertising or publicity.” 80 years ago, advertising was less burdened by cumbersome advertising laws, which now make such petty demands from advertising as that it should be truthful, that it not involve vandalism or littering, and that it not infringe on the civil liberties of private citizens.

80 years ago, advertising was a lot more interesting.

Time for another installment in our series on wild advertising stunts actually used by local theaters in the 1920s. If you’re new to the series, plunge right in if you wish, but I recommend backtracking to Part 1 first.

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