Veni, Vidi, Video

Veni, Vidi, Video

by Frederick Wasser


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A funny thing happened on the way to the movies. Instead of heading downtown to a first-run movie palace, or even to a suburban multiplex with the latest high-tech projection capabilities, many people's first stop is now the neighborhood video store. Indeed, video rentals and sales today generate more income than either theatrical releases or television reruns of movies.

This pathfinding book chronicles the rise of home video as a mass medium and the sweeping changes it has caused throughout the film industry since the mid-1970s. Frederick Wasser discusses Hollywood's initial hostility to home video, which studio heads feared would lead to piracy and declining revenues, and shows how, paradoxically, video revitalized the film industry with huge infusions of cash that financed blockbuster movies and massive marketing campaigns to promote them. He also tracks the fallout from the video revolution in everything from changes in film production values to accommodate the small screen to the rise of media conglomerates and the loss of the diversity once provided by smaller studios and independent distributors.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780292791466
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 01/15/2002
Series: Texas Film and Media Studies Series
Edition description: 1ST
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 791,351
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.57(d)

About the Author

Frederick Wasser is Professor of Television and Radio at Brooklyn College. As a freelancer in the Hollywood film and television industry, he witnessed the rise of home video throughout its first decade.

Table of Contents

  • Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Signs of the Time
    • The American Film Industry before Video
    • The American Film Industry and Video
    • The Political Economy of Distribution
    • Video and the Audience
    • Structure of the Study
  • Chapter 1: Film Distribution and Home Viewing before the VCR
    • A Brief Review of the Early Days of the Movie Industry
    • From Universal Audiences to Feature-Length Films
    • Movies at Home
    • Tiered Releasing
    • Broadcasting: The Other Entertainment Medium
    • Postwar Film Exhibition
    • Distributing Films to Smaller Audiences
    • Television Advertising and Jaws: Marketing the Shark Wide and Deep
  • Chapter 2: The Development of Video Recording
    • Broadcast Networks and Recording Technology
    • Television and Recording
    • Home Video 1: Playback-only Systems
    • Home Video 2: Japanese Recorder System Development
  • Chapter 3: Home Video: The Early Years
    • Choice, "Harried" Leisure, and New Technologies
    • The Emergence of Cable
    • The Universal Lawsuit
    • VCR and Subversion
    • X-rated Cassettes
    • The Majors Start Video Distribution
    • Videotape Pricing
    • Renting
  • Chapter 4: The Years of Independence: 1981-1986
    • Independence on the Cusp of Video
    • New Companies Get into Video Business
    • Hollywood Tries to Control Rentals
    • Video, Theater, and Cable
    • Pre-Selling/Pre-Buying
    • Video and New Genres
    • Vestron's Video Publishing
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 5: Video Becomes Big Business
    • The Development of Two-Tiered Pricing
    • The New Movie Theater
    • Microeconomics 1: Overview
    • Microeconomics 2: Rental
    • Video and Other Commodities
    • Retailing Consolidation
    • Breadth versus Depth
    • Video Advertising
    • Video and Revenue Streams
    • Production Increase
    • More Money, Same Product
  • Chapter 6: Consolidation and Shakeouts
    • High Concept
    • Disney Comes Back On-line
    • The Majors Hold the Line on Production Expansion
    • Vestron Responds
    • The Fate of Pre-Selling and the Mini-Majors
    • LIVE, Miramax, and New Line
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 7: The Lessons of the Video Revolution
    • Media Industries after the VCR
    • Home Video and Changes in the Form of Film
    • Images of Audience Time
    • A Philosophic View of Film and Audience
    • Whither the Mass Audience?
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index

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