Books - Non-fiction

Inventing the Movies: Hollywood's Epic Battle Between Innovation and the Status Quo (Preview)

From Edison to the iPod, from the Warner Brothers to George Lucas, the story of how the movies became America's favorite form of escapist entertainment - and retained their hold on our imaginations for more than a century - is a story of innovators prevailing again and again over skeptics who prefer to preserve the status quo. Inventing the Movies unspools the never-before-told story of the innovators who shaped Hollywood: how a chance meeting at the Saratoga Race Track led to the end of black-and-white movies ... how Bing Crosby brought you the VCR ... how Walt Disney tamed television ... how a shotgun blast signaled the end of hand-made models and the beginning of digital special effects ... and how even the almighty Morgan Freeman had trouble persuading theater-owners that the Internet wasn't their mortal enemy. Inventing the Movies is an important read not just for fans of Hollywood's history, but for innovators trying to make change happen in any industry. This preview includes the complete text of the introduction, chapter 1, and chapter 10, along with the table of contents. This book's Web site is
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         First Digital Edition - Preview   © 2008 Scott Kirsner / CinemaTech Books To purchase the complete book in digital or paperback form, please visit,, or Cover design by Lisa Foulger. Images: Edison’s Kinetoscope, upgraded with audio (courtesy of the U.S. Department of the Interior); Gone with the Wind , in triumphant Technicolor (used with permission from Corbis); Apple chief executive Steve Jobs brandishing a new video iPod (used with permission from Reuters). All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means without permission in writing from the author: This digital preview is distributed without digital rights management protection. Feel free to share it with friends or colleagues. Complete paperback and digital copies are available on,, or 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1    Contents Introduction 1 Chapter 1: Inventing the Movies 5 Chapter 2: ‘Who the Hell Wants to Hear Actors Talk?’ 11 Chapter 3: How Television Led to Smell-O-Vision 18 Chapter 4: Befriending the Boston Strangler 33 Chapter 5: From Shotguns to Software 40 Chapter 6: Movie Editors’ Slow Cross-Fade 50   Chapter 7: Digital Cinema Pioneers 57 Chapter 8: ‘Agreeing on the Weather’ 75 Chapter 9: Filming Without Film 97 Chapter 10: Coming to Terms with the Net 113 Afterword: Imagining the Future 124 Appendix A 131 Appendix B 132 Acknowledgments 133 A Note on Sources 134
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