Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hollywood - The Mecca of Aspiring Movie Stars

Hollywood - The Mecca of Aspiring Movie Stars

Hollywood is the world's movie capital dishing out numerous movies every year. The present area, in the 1870's belonged to an agricultural community and the Spanish and Native Indians had established their settlements growing crops and fruits of exotic varieties. A part of the land was later bought by H. J. Whitley, and it was his wife who coined the name Hollywood. H. J. Whitley is termed as the 'Father of Hollywood' and he navigated several plans for the new city and paved for Prospect Avenue which became the famous Hollywood Boulevard.

The era of filmmaking in Hollywood started in 1910 with the advent of the first motion picture, In Old California by prolific director D. W. Griffith. This melodrama was filmed in the village of Hollywood surrounding the beautiful scenery and depicting the Mexican life of California. The first motion picture studio in the region was built in 1909 by the Selig Polyscope Company and The Squaw Man directed by Oscar Apfel and Cecil B. DeMille became the first feature-length Hollywood movie to be rolled out on the big screens. The fame of Hollywood increased with its movies and movie stars and creators of dreams began arriving in thousands to Hollywood in search of a new life. Cameras cranked away, capturing images of custard pies, bathing beauties, comedy and tragedy, villains leering, heroines with long curls and heroes to save the day; and they built a new world to replace the lemon groves and exotic crops. Hollywood became an inspiration for several pioneers in the industry leading to some of the famous movie creations. This capital of film glamour is a district in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A buzzing with movie studios and stars.

The Old Hollywood era progressed through the 1920's by producing silent movies and the major studios RKO, Warner Brothers, Fox, Paramount, and MGM. Some of the genres common in Old Hollywood were westerns, comedies, and war-time films and later it opened the arena to the Golden Age of Hollywood which served an inspiration for the production of new-age movies. Classics like Hell's Angels, Gone with the Wind, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and Stage Coach saw the light of the big screens in this era giving the industry many talented actors like James Cagney, Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor, Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant and Humphrey Bogart. Thousands of other movies were produced during the Golden Age of Hollywood with a substantial change in the themes, from that of their predecessors. The Modern Hollywood saw the production of TV Commercials and movie production for television. During this period the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame was created as a tribute to the artists of yesterday and today.

As I watched the Walt Disney Studios tour on my HD television powered by Dish TV Packages, I must say, it was one of the thrilling experiences. There are several famous Hollywood studios that have churned out world famous movies and stand today as historical monuments. The Charlie Chaplin Studios built in 1917, Paramount Studios, MGM, Culver Studios, Sunset Gower Studios, Walt Disney Studios, Raleigh Studios and many others turned out to be gates of the dream factories to several movie legends. There are hundreds of such studios now and on a visit to these studios, you can get a tour of studio's back lot, sets, sound stages and historic scenery or sometimes the chance of seeing a star behind or in front of the camera, which is awesome. Many of the studios will not offer tour to visitors and it's better to check before you land in front of the studio gates. Hollywood is surely a Mecca for aspiring actors and actresses trying to break into the reel world.

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